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: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Out of Area Treatment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many out-of-area placements there have been for children and adolescents with psychosis in (a) England and (b) Birmingham in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data is not available in the format requested.

The Department and NHS England are committed to delivering the recommendations of 2016’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. By 2020/21, inpatient stays for children and young people will only take place where clinically appropriate, will have the minimum possible length of stay, and will be as close to home as possible to avoid inappropriate out of area placements.

To support the delivery of these targets, NHS England is funding 150-180 new Tier 4 specialist inpatient beds for children and young people in underserved parts of the country to reduce travel distances for treatment.

As part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, by 2020/21 at least 60% of people with first episode psychosis will start treatment in an Early Intervention in Psychosis service within two weeks of referral, with a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-recommended package of care focused on recovery.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people in (a) Birmingham and (b) England referred for early intervention in psychosis services received help within two weeks of being referred in the last twelve months.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data on performance against the two-week waiting time standard for early intervention in psychosis is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

According to the latest data for England in May 2018, 75.7% of patients referred to Early Intervention in Psychosis services started treatment within two weeks. This performance exceeds our target of 50%. A breakdown for the last 12 months can be found in the following table.

Month

Number of patients started treatment by week since referral

Total number of completed pathways (all)

% within 2 weeks

More than 0-2 weeks

More than 2-6 weeks

More than 6-12 weeks

12 weeks

June 2017

873

193

39

22

1,127

77.50%

July 2017

824

226

36

14

1,100

74.90%

August 2017

816

207

45

16

1,084

75.30%

September 2017

818

187

47

15

1,067

76.70%

October 2017

836

178

50

18

1,082

77.30%

November 2017

787

230

50

22

1,089

72.30%

December 2017

699

198

39

19

955

73.20%

January 2018

722

238

65

17

1042

69.30%

February 2018

807

185

36

24

1,052

76.70%

March 18

795

178

49

26

1,048

75.90%

April 2018

783

204

44

21

1,052

74.40%

May 2018

840

210

47

12

1,109

75.70%

Information for people in Birmingham is not available in the format requested. The number of patients who started treatment for Early Intervention in Psychosis and waited less than 2 weeks are displayed for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that cover Birmingham for last 12 months of published data, which cover June 2017 to May 2018. These CCGs are:

- NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham South and Central CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG (since April 2018); and

- NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG (all 12 months).

From April this year there are only two CCGs for Birmingham: NHS Birmingham and Solihull and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCGs.

These figures are attached and can be accessed in the monthly files at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

PQ167857 attached document (Excel SpreadSheet, 19.95 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Business: Weather
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department issues to businesses on their responsibilities as employers during periods of hot weather.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 04 September 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2018 to Question UIN 136530.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding levels for maintained nursery schools in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167860 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role of maintained nursery schools in improving educational attainment among children from families living in poverty.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from local authorities on supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools beyond 2020.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167860
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Gaza
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps is he taking to obtain a full response from the Government of Israel that the investigation into that country’s use of force against demonstrators in Gaza includes an independent element; and what steps he is taking to promote accountability for potential violations of international law should a suitable independent element not be found.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 27 July 2018

​The Prime Minster stressed the need for Israel to carry out a transparent, independent inquiry into recent protests in Gaza when she met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in London on 6 June. We have called for this investigation to include international members.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the creation of the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary for tackling (a) over-fishing, (b) plastic pollution and (c) climate change.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The UK is a global leader on Antarctic marine protection issues, including within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. CCAMLR ensures that fish stocks in the Southern Ocean are sustainably managed, as well as having committed to the development of a network of MPAs. There is currently no commercial fishing activity in the Weddell Sea; only small-scale, fully monitored, research fishing activities. Ocean plastic pollution is a global problem which the UK Government is actively working to reduce. Plastic pollution is monitored at a number of stations around Antarctica and through dedicated surveys. Plastic pollution is mainly arriving in Antarctica from outside of the region. Nevertheless, in addition to strict marine pollution regulations around Antarctica, UK flagged fishing vessels operating within the CCAMLR Convention Area have implemented measures to reduce or eliminate plastic microbeads from waste water. While MPAs will not tackle global climate change, one of the objectives for the Weddell Sea MPA proposal is to establish scientific reference areas to monitor the effects of climate change and to study, in particular, representative, rare, unique and/or endemic examples of marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity and habitats.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Eritrea
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the yearly variation in the number of applications granted for refugee status from refugees from Eritrea in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The Government takes its international responsibilities seriously and grants protection to those who qualify. In assessing claims decision makers must still consider the individual facts and merits of a particular case aswell as the objective country information.

The table below is taken from published statistics and shows that the grant rate in 2015 and 2016 fell. This was due to a change to the Country Guidance advice over that time.


Year Claims Decisions Grants Grant Rate
2013 1387 960 787 82%
2014 3233 2463 2155 87%
2015 3695 3191 1531 48%
2016 2230 1838 1237 67%
2017 1093 1415 1145 80%


The full set of published statistics can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2018-data-tables

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

I discussed plans to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza with the US Administration, during my visit to Washington D.C. on 12-13 July.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

​The former Foreign Secretary spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 16 May and raised his concerns about the humanitarian and political situation in Gaza, particularly in relation to protests taking place along the Gaza/Israel security fence. He noted that calm and restraint was required from all sides. Our Consul General in Jerusalem routinely discusses the humanitarian situation in Gaza with PA ministers, doing so most recently with the Minister of Health on 19 July.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing First: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of people who (a) have received and (b) will receive support through the Housing First scheme in (i) the West Midlands, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) Birmingham Northfield constituency.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The £28 million Housing First pilots will support around 1000 individuals over three years in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and the Liverpool City Region. The first people to be helped will move into their homes from the Autumn. We will ensure that the pilots help those in the greatest need.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Pupils: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure there are adequate levels of support in schools for LGBT+ pupils.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The public sector equality duty requires all schools to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality and foster good relations between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) pupils and those who do not share those protected characteristics. It is up to schools to decide how to support LGBT pupils and the Government is taking steps to support them.

Research shows that individuals who are, or are perceived to be, LGBT are disproportionately affected by bullying. That is why the Government Equalities Office is funding school programmes aimed at building schools’ knowledge and capacity to prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The Government Equalities Office has also provided this guidance and links to support and services for LGBT individuals, including support for children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-and-support-for-lgbt-people#children-and-young-people-up-to-the-age-of-19.

The Department is developing a resource to help schools to create Respectful School Communities, which aims to reduce bullying behaviour both offline and online. This work will help schools deliver their equalities, behaviour, bullying and safeguarding duties in a way that minimises the burdens upon them. Sex and Relationship Education also helps to provide pupils with key knowledge and skills to ensure that they can develop healthy and positive relationships, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Schools
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he is taking steps to increase the availability of pastoral support in primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 25 July 2018

It is for schools to decide what pastoral support to put in place, based on the needs of their pupils. Many schools build pastoral support around their relationships and health education provision.

To support all schools to deliver high quality Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education, the Government is consulting on new statutory guidance and regulations for schools. Following this consultation, updated guidance and regulations will be laid in both houses for debate.

In addition, the Government has provided guidance in several areas to enable schools to put pastoral support in place. ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’, which was updated in July 2017, provides links to sources of support for pastoral activity with different groups of pupils: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/623895/Preventing_and_tackling_bullying_advice.pdf.

‘Counselling in Schools’ provides advice on how to set up high quality support for those experiencing problems: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

The ‘Peer Support for Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ programme is supporting schools to set up peer support programmes, engaging pupils as part of a whole school approach to pastoral support. The Department will share the evidence and impact of the programme nationally to help schools understand what is needed to establish and maintain good practice.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's monitoring of the disposal of plastic exported to China for recycling.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 25 July 2018

Businesses involved in the shipment of wastes are required to take all necessary steps to ensure that the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.

The UK environmental regulators take an intelligence-led approach to checking compliance with these obligations, focusing on specific problematic wastes. The regulators intervene at source to stop illegal exports taking place. Enforcement activity also occurs in transit, at roadsides and at ports.

Last year the Environment Agency issued 130 stop notices prohibiting the export of unsuitable waste. It also stopped 4,565 tonnes of waste destined for illegal export at ports and intervened further upstream to prevent a further 15,113 tonnes of waste from reaching ports. This work ensures we are not exporting our problem wastes for unsuitable treatment or disposal.

There is a system of international rules on waste shipments which must be followed by both Chinese and UK authorities to ultimately ensure the environmentally sound management of waste.

Our ambition is to handle more of our waste in the UK. While there has been a significant increase in recycling over the last 10 years, there is more that needs to be done and we will set out proposals in our forthcoming Waste and Resources Strategy.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on instances of Israeli authorities using equipment from UK-based companies in demolishing or assisting with demolishing structures in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is aware of media reports that highlight possible instances of Israeli authorities using equipment from UK-based companies to demolish or assist with demolishing structures in the West Bank. We continue to raise concerns with the Israeli authorities about demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes, which cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, calls into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution, and, in all but the most exceptional cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The Government is fully committed to the promotion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines, and to encouraging and fostering respect for human rights among UK business. Where a company decides to trade is a decision for each company taking account of the legal and regulatory environment, including international human rights law.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability and waiting times for therapeutic services for mental health conditions in (a) the UK and (b) Birmingham.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The Government is committed to reducing waiting times for mental health therapies across England.

Performance against Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) waiting time standards continues to improve and we are consistently exceeding the targets. According to the latest data from April 2018, 98.9% of those people completing treatment waited less than 18 weeks for their treatment to start in England against a target of 95%, and 89.4% of people completing treatment waited less than six weeks against a target of 75%.

By 2020/21, we have set a target that at least 25% of adults with common mental health conditions will access IAPT services each year.

Updates on clinical commissioning group (CCG) performance against waiting times and access targets, including for Birmingham CCGs, are published on the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health Dashboard.

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/mental-health-five-year-forward-view-dashboard/

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Children: Food Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had and with whom on the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school summer holidays in 2018.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The government recently announced a programme of research and pilots across the country that will explore ways of supporting children from disadvantaged families to access free enrichment activities and healthy food during school holidays.

This programme of work will investigate how to provide a balanced programme for the most disadvantaged school-age pupils, combining engaging activity with a healthy and nutritious meal. Work is already underway and further piloting in 2019 will follow the initial research taking place in the 2018 summer holidays.

In developing this programme of work, I met with both the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent North and with the right hon. Member for Birkenhead, and my officials have met with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss this important issue.

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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on the (a) passage of the Nation State Law by the Israeli Knesset and (b) implications of that law on the rights and status of minority groups.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​The Nation-State Bill has passed through the Knesset into law. The final wording of the legislation did not contain the clause which would have explicitly allowed a community composed of people of the same faith or nationality to maintain an exclusive community. As part of their regular diplomatic work with Israeli authorities and legislators, British diplomats in Israel discussed the (Nation-State Bill) alongside other legislation and developments. Israel's long standing commitment to equality for all its citizens is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy. As friends of Israel we would be concerned about any development that would undermine this commitment

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: 19 July 2018
Department for International Development
UNRWA: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the funding shortfall for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees on front line services in (a) the West Bank, (b) Gaza, (c) Jordan, (d) Lebanon and (e) Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

UNRWA has a twin-track approach to addressing the funding shortfall: raising additional money from donors; and identifying those programme ‎activities which can be merged with its core activities or reviewing non-core activities which can be picked up by other providers. The UK supports UNRWA’s approach, and has increased our funding for UNRWA this year to £38.5 million so far.

Emergency Appeal activities currently being reviewed are:

1. West Bank

  • Emergency interventions such as cash for work activities, community mental health and mobile health work;

2. Gaza

  • Community mental health programmes and the job creation project;

3. Jordan & Lebanon

  • Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan and Lebanon will continue to receive UNRWA support, and the delivery of UNRWA’s core services are funded until late August;

4. Syria

  • UNRWA core services are currently funded until late August, and emergency services are secure until the end of 2018.
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