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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UIN

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
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Home Office
Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for his Department to respond to it's consultation on the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill; and what the timetable is for further steps to be taken in relation to that Bill.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 June 2018

On 8 March we launched a 12 week public consultation on proposals for a landmark domestic abuse Bill and a supporting package of practical action to transform the response to domestic abuse. The consultation closed on 31 May. Over 3,200 responses to the consultation were received. The responses to the consultation are being considered and a draft Bill will be published later this session.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 June 2018
Department for International Development
Africa and Asia: Food
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to improve longer term nutrition and food security for (a) women, (b) children and (c) other vulnerable communities in conflict and fragile states in (i) Africa and (ii) Asia that are also prone to climate related disasters.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 22 June 2018

The Government has committed to improve the nutrition of 50 million people in developing countries by 2020. We particularly focus on preventing and treating undernutrition among infants and young children and improving the nutrition of women and adolescents. As part of this, we are strengthening essential health, nutrition and social protection services in a number of countries so that these can better protect the food security and nutrition of people affected by climate shocks and other crises. DFID also monitors early warning data and works with governments and operational partners to put in place the best possible early response if food insecurity and malnutrition deteriorates.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 June 2018
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Natural Disasters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the UK Government is taking to ensure that the response to early warnings of climate disasters addresses the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 22 June 2018

DFID’s humanitarian aid is targeted on the basis of need. We monitor areas at risk of climate disaster and work closely with local governments, civil society and communities to ensure we target the most vulnerable. We also support projects that provide early warning information directly to communities at risk. In areas that are particularly prone to disaster we are supporting social protection schemes, pre–identifying those most vulnerable and ensuring help is delivered swiftly and efficiently.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Public Consultation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Written Ministerial Statement HCWS690 of 17 May 2018, what the timetable is for (a) the consultation on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, (b) the consultation on the inclusion of shale production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime and (c) the consultation on the establishment of a new Shale Environmental Regulator.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 21 June 2018

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government set out in the Written Ministerial Statement HCWS690 of 17 May 2018, that we will progress manifesto commitments by holding an early stage consultation in summer 2018, on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.

We will consult in summer 2018 on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime. The UK regulatory regime for shale gas is considered among the most robust and stringent in the world. However, we acknowledge that it is also complex, with three regulators, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority, all with responsibilities for regulation. We will set up a Shale Environmental Regulator on a virtual basis from the summer. This will bring the regulators together to act as one coherent single face for the public, mineral planning authorities and industry,

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Natural Gas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) implications for his policies of the Debunked: The G20 Clean Gas Myth report of 11 June 2018 and (b) compatibility of the UK’s investment in the extraction of gas with its commitments on the Paris climate change agreement.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The UK must have safe, secure and affordable supplies of energy with carbon emissions levels that are consistent with the carbon budgets defined in our Climate Change Act and our international obligations.

We believe that gas has a key part to play in meeting these objectives both currently and in the future. In part as a result of the UK’s diverse range of energy sources, which include natural gas, we have had competitively-priced energy since 1990 whilst reducing carbon emissions across the economy by 49% – a leading performance among developed nations.

Gas still makes up around a third of our current energy usage and every scenario proposed by the Committee on Climate Change setting out how the UK could meet its legally-binding 2050 emissions reduction target includes demand for natural gas.

As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, innovations in technologies such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) have the potential to decarbonise this energy supply still further and prolong its role in our energy mix.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Preston Park Station
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people who use Preston Park Station on a (a) week and (b) weekend day at (i) peak times and (ii) off peak times; by what mechanism the footfall at Preston Park Station was estimated prior to the changes to the timetable; what estimate has been made of the number of people who commute between Preston Park and London with a ticket which has Brighton as their departure or destination station; if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the mechanisms for estimating station use at stations which do not have ticket barriers; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Department collects some information on the number of passengers who use trains at selected stations, however it does not collect this information for Preston Park. Train operators use commercial passenger data and various modelling methods when making changes to the timetable. This data takes into account time of day, day of week and passengers using stations other than the one which is on their ticket.

In addition, the Office of Rail and Road publishes annual estimates of the total numbers of people entering, exiting and changing trains at each station in Great Britain. These show that in 2016/17, the latest year for which information is published, there were 527 thousand journeys (of which 211 thousand were season ticket journeys) that started or ended at Preston Park.

The methodology takes into account situations where passengers are travelling to or from a different destination to that on their ticket. For example, in the 2016/17 wave of ‘Estimates of Station Usage’, 88,372 entries and exits were reallocated from Brighton to Preston Park.

You can find the data and methodology report through this link: http://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on its plans to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 21 June 2018

On 22 May 2018, amendment regulations came into force, completing the main suite of RHI reforms that were announced in December 2016. On 29 May 2018, the Department published the government response to a consultation in Autumn 2017 on further changes to the non-domestic RHI, and laid the associated regulations. Together these reforms are designed to improve value for money, prevent gaming, shift deployment towards technologies needed for long-term decarbonisation of heat and to strengthen consumer protection.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Southern
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long the training is for drivers to learn new routes on Southern services arising from the new timetable; and what proportion of the route learning time for a new route is (a) classroom based and (b) learning on the job.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The average training length for a new train driver recruit will vary between Train Operating Companies, and will in part be determined by the complexity of the route(s) upon which the driver is being trained. However, we understand that training length can be up to or over a year. For existing drivers learning new routes, this will again vary depending upon factors such as the complexity of the route. The training of drivers for these new routes has been managed by the Train Operating Company who are best placed to answer queries around the specifics of the training detail. Route knowledge needs to be kept up to date and if a driver has not driven on a route for the past 6 months, they will need to undergo refresher training.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Govia Thameslink Railway on that company's standards for driver training of new routes; what assessment he has made of the adequacy of safety planning and measures in place for learning of new routes; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The company standards regarding the safety, planning and measures for drivers to learn new routes are jointly managed by the Train Operating Company, Network Rail and the driver’s trade union ASLEF.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2018
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the document EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent published on 21 June 2018, whether EU citizens granted settled or pre-settled status in the UK will retain the right to stand as a candidate in local elections (a) during the proposed transition period up until 31 December 2020; and (b) after 31 December 2020.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will postpone a decision on hydraulic fracturing at the Preston New Road well site until the conclusion of judicial review proceedings in respect of Cuadrilla Bowland Limited’s environmental permit for Preston New Road.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 20 June 2018

There is no set timeframe for my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State to take a decision on an application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The Government has always been clear that shale gas development must be safe and environmentally sound. We are committed to ensuring a rigorous, evidence-based approach is taken to reviewing any applications for hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic Fracturing Consent approval will not be issued unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the legislative conditions in the Petroleum Act 1998 have been met and that he is otherwise satisfied that it is appropriate to issue consent.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timescale is for his decision on Cuadrilla Bowland Limited’s hydraulic fracturing consent application for their shale gas site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 20 June 2018

There is no set timeframe for my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State to take a decision on an application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The Government has always been clear that shale gas development must be safe and environmentally sound. We are committed to ensuring a rigorous, evidence-based approach is taken to reviewing any applications for hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic Fracturing Consent approval will not be issued unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the legislative conditions in the Petroleum Act 1998 have been met and that he is otherwise satisfied that it is appropriate to issue consent.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Cuadrilla Resources
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has instructed the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to begin conducting financial resilience tests on Cuadrilla Bowland Ltd; and if he will publish the (a) details of those tests and (b) timetable for their completion.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 20 June 2018

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January 2018 that we will look at the financial resilience of all companies wishing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations alongside their application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent.

Therefore I have asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to conduct a financial resilience assessment of Cuadrilla as part of their application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The details and timetable for the completion of the assessment are a matter for the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 29 May 2018 to Question 146305 on Fracking, and with reference to Written Ministerial Statement HCWS690, what discussions Ministers and Officials from his Department had with (a) shale gas industry trade bodies, (b) shale gas operators, (c) civil society organisations, and (d) local people in areas where fracking is proposed prior to making that Statement; and if he will publish details of those discussions.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 20 June 2018

Ministers and officials regularly discuss a range of energy policy matters, including shale gas extraction, with stakeholders.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy Companies Obligation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of whether the affordable warmth component of the Energy Company Obligation that will come into effect on September 2018 will be more focused on those living in fuel poverty in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Great Britain compared to the current eligibility criteria.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 20 June 2018

The current Energy Company Obligation (ECO) runs until September 2018. Seventy percent of the current scheme, Affordable Warmth, is focused on low income and fuel poor households. The remaining part of the scheme, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation is available for all households.

The Department has recently consulted on the future ECO scheme that will run from October 2018 until March 2022, and the response to consultation will be published shortly.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 20 June 2018
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Govia Thameslink Railway on whether all sections of new routes implemented as part of the new rail timetable must be covered in a classroom setting before a driver covers the route.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 June 2018
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number of staff his Department will require to process applications for medicinal cannabis; what estimate he has made of the number of such applications that will be made; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of sites of special scientific interest that have had no condition assessments undertaken in the last six years; and if he will publish the names of those sites.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Packaging: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to replace the packaging recovery note scheme with a fee-based system that takes account of the end of life costs of plastic materials.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Packaging: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to ensure that extended producer responsibility covers 100 per cent of the collection and disposal costs of packaging.
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