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
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Allowances
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how much the new system for reimbursing hon. Members' expenses cost to implement.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 10 July 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

The original April 2016 business case for IPSA’s new IT system, IPSA Online, estimated a cost of £4.641 million. IPSA expected the programme to be completed in 2017-18. The full costs incurred to ensure IPSA could go live with IPSA Online at the beginning of the current financial year were £8.253 million.

The increase in cost was due in part to the unexpected General Election of June 2017 which diverted IPSA work for up to nine months to supporting MPs who left or joined parliament, and increased supplier costs. Costs also increased following a change of suppliers in September 2018 to improve the quality of IT support. Testing the system took longer than anticipated in order to ensure it was fully secure and free of technical problems. The increases in cost have been partly mitigated by savings elsewhere in IPSA’s budget. A full internal audit of the programme is currently taking place. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.

IPSA is committed to supporting MPs and their staff during this transition and will make appropriate adjustments to improve the system as it beds in, while ensuring strong financial control, improvements in value for money, and high data quality and data security.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 08 July 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: ICT
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if the Commission will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of the new IPSA system.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 10 July 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

The original April 2016 business case for IPSA’s new IT system, IPSA Online, estimated a cost of £4.641 million. IPSA expected the programme to be completed in 2017-18. The full costs incurred to ensure IPSA could go live with IPSA Online at the beginning of the current financial year were £8.253 million.

The increase in cost was due in part to the unexpected General Election of June 2017 which diverted IPSA work for up to nine months to supporting MPs who left or joined parliament, and increased supplier costs. Costs also increased following a change of suppliers in September 2018 to improve the quality of IT support. Testing the system took longer than anticipated in order to ensure it was fully secure and free of technical problems. The increases in cost have been partly mitigated by savings elsewhere in IPSA’s budget. A full internal audit of the programme is currently taking place. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.

IPSA is committed to supporting MPs and their staff during this transition and will make appropriate adjustments to improve the system as it beds in, while ensuring strong financial control, improvements in value for money, and high data quality and data security.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Stargardt's Disease
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) prevalence and (b) adequacy of treatment options for the retinal degenerative disease Stargardt's.
Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Internet
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what estimate his Department has made on the potential cost incurred by MPs' offices in answering web-based inquiries generated by (a) 38 Degrees and (b) other websites in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 25 June 2019

I have asked IPSA to provide this reply.

IPSA is the statutory body responsible for regulating and paying the salaries, business costs and expenses of MPs. This includes regulating and paying the salaries of staff members who work for MPs.

Each MP is allocated a budget from which their staffing costs are paid. The current staffing budget for MPs in London constituencies is £166,930; and for non-London MPs, the budget is £155,930.

In the 2018-19 financial year, MPs spent £91.1 million on staffing costs, including employment costs and other staffing services.

IPSA does not hold information on the cost attributable to staff members carrying out specific activities such as responding to web-based inquiries generated by 38 Degrees or other websites.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 10 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Location
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, for what reason the Authority did not consider locations for its offices outside London and the South-East.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 June 2019
Holding answer received on 18 June 2019

When moving offices, IPSA considered locations only in London and the South East, as evidence from other public bodies shows that organisations that relocate by a significant distance tend to lose more staff. IPSA is a small organisation and wished to retain its staff in order to continue uninterrupted its support to MPs, including regular meetings between them and their IPSA account managers, and its assurance to the public about MPs’ spending.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
[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: 10 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Offices
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 257645 on Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Buildings, which organisation's commercial interests would be prejudiced; and in what manner by disclosing the size of IPSA's office and the rate paid per metre.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 June 2019
Holding answer received on 18 June 2019

It is common practice for landlords to prohibit the publication of commercial agreements reached with their tenants. This is the case regarding the lease signed by IPSA and its landlord. IPSA is nonetheless a public body accountable to Parliament and its accounts are audited by the National Audit Office and scrutinised by the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA in order to provide assurance that value for money has been obtained. The Speaker’s Committee is scheduled to meet in July 2019 to discuss IPSA’s finances and other matters.

Q
(Christchurch)
[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 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Allowances
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the system for reimbursing MPs expenses; and if IPSA will make it its policy to reinstate the previous system for the reimbursement of expenses.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 June 2019
Holding answer received on 18 June 2019

IPSA considered a range of options for its new system of reimbursing MPs’ business costs and expenses. The system selected is more integrated and efficient than its predecessor systems, and holds the personal data of MPs and their staff more securely. The software selected is widely used in the United Kingdom, including in many public bodies. Prior to its launch in April, the effectiveness of the system was thoroughly tested, including by MPs and their staff. Its benefits include:

- A ‘single sign-on’ capability to allow MPs and their staff to access the system directly through their secure parliamentary account without an additional logon.

- MPs and staff no longer need to send paper receipts and invoices to IPSA, but can scan or photograph them and upload them digitally onto the system. This improves data security and means that IPSA can process and reimburse claims more quickly.

- MPs’ staff members can now be reimbursed directly by IPSA for their own expenses rather than via their MPs.

- MPs and their staff are now able to amend their personal details, including any change of name or address, on the new system themselves, without needing to submit a form to IPSA.

- The new system allows claims from different budgets to be submitted on the same form, rather than having to submit multiple forms.

- MPs and their staff have constant access to financial information about the amounts left in their budgets and the status of any repayments or amounts owed, rather than waiting a monthly financial statement from IPSA.

As of 13 June, 612 MPs have successfully submitted claims on the new system. IPSA is committed to supporting and training MPs and their staff as they become accustomed to the new online claims system. IPSA does not intend to make it its policy to reinstate the previous system.

Q
(Christchurch)
[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 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Email
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what estimate he has made of the number of emails from hon. Members sent to IPSA in June 2019 that have not received a response within three days; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 June 2019
Holding answer received on 18 June 2019

IPSA has a key performance target to respond to 90 per cent of emails within five working days. Between 1 June and 13 June, IPSA responded to 88 per cent of the 563 emails received within this target. IPSA has recently brought in five temporary staff to help improve its response times following the introduction of a new finance, payroll and expenses system in April 2019.

Q
(Christchurch)
[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 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Working Hours
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what steps he is taking to help ensure that IPSA has sufficient resources to extend its working hours so that (a) telephone calls can be answered during the hours the House sits and (b) responses can be given to emails from MPs within three to five working days.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 June 2019
Holding answer received on 18 June 2019

IPSA’s December 2018 user survey found that 68 per cent of MPs and their staff were satisfied with the support that they receive from IPSA on the phone, up from 53 per cent in 2017. Since the introduction of its new online finance and expenses system in April 2019, IPSA has experienced a higher-than-normal volume of calls, with some calls taking up to 45 minutes as MPs and their staff familiarise themselves with the new system. To respond to this increased demand, IPSA has recruited five temporary staff to answer the phone to MPs, and has temporarily closed its phone lines at 4pm in order to respond to the queries raised. IPSA expects to re-open its phone lines until 5pm when this demand subsides.

IPSA has a key performance target to respond to 90 per cent of emails within five days. In 2018-19, IPSA responded to over 85 per cent of the 54,500 letters and emails that were received within five working days of receipt. In April 2019, following the introduction on the new system, IPSA only replied to 70 per cent of emails within this target. The additional temporary staff will also address this increased demand.

IPSA’s performance is monitored by the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA which approves IPSA’s budget and targets, including how it responds to MPs’ queries.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: ICT
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2019 to Question 253492 on Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: ICT, what the evidential basis is for the assertion that the new system will save time for Members and their staff.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 13 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

As the system is new, IPSA continue to work closely with MPs and their staff to help them understand how IPSA Online works, and how to realise the full benefits. We are continuing to hold group and one-to-one training in Parliament and have staff available on the phone to answer queries. IPSA are conducting a survey to gather more feedback about the new system, with plans for further improvements in due course. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.

During the development of the new system, IPSA Online, IPSA carried out usability testing to look at how long a range of tasks and functions would take, compared with the old claims system. Based on this testing, IPSA found that improvements in the new system would take MPs and their staff about 30 per cent less time, due to the simplification of processes and forms. Feedback collected at training sessions also indicated that MPs’ staff expected IPSA Online to be easier and quicker to use than the old system.

MPs and their staff members will also benefit from the following time-saving changes:

- ‘Single sign-on’ capability enables MPs and their staff to access IPSA Online directly through their secure parliamentary account without an additional logon.

- The new system allows claims from different budgets to be submitted on the same form, rather than having to submit multiple forms.

- Because MPs and staff no longer need to send paper receipts and invoices to IPSA, but can scan or photograph them and upload them digitally onto the system, we can process and reimburse claims more quickly.

- Staff members can now be reimbursed directly by IPSA for their own expenses, so that MPs no longer need to wait to pay staff once they themselves have been reimbursed.

- Additional information is available to them directly, for example on the amounts left in budgets and the status of any repayments or amounts owed, so MPs and their staff no longer need to wait for a monthly financial statement or contact IPSA staff to ask about these issues.

- MPs and their staff are now able to amend their personal details, including any change of name or address, on the new system themselves, without needing to submit a form to IPSA

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 23 May 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Buildings
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2019 to Question 253493 on Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Location, how many staff are located in the new premises at 85 Strand; how much floor space those staff occupy; at what rate per square metre; which locations were considered outside London for new premises; and what the comparable cost would have been in locating those staff outside London.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 05 June 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

IPSA currently has 69 members of staff. It included in its office requirements space for up to 76 staff in order to provide flexibility for periods where there is a higher volume of work and therefore a need for additional temporary staff, such as General Election periods.

To disclose the size of the office or rate paid per square metre would be prejudicial to commercial interests. IPSA’s annual accounts are laid in Parliament and published each year, and will provide information about operational costs.

Before choosing its offices at 85 Strand, IPSA considered potential premises in Croydon and Milton Keynes, as well as Stratford and Canary Wharf in London, but determined that the selected location provided the prospect of better support to MPs and better value for money for the taxpayer.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 13 May 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: ICT
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the Answer of 7 May 2019 to Question 249206 on Members: Allowances, what the (a) forecast and (b) final cost was of the new IPSA IT system; and what assessment was made of additional costs that would be incurred by MPs' staff to work on the new system.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 May 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

The original April 2016 business case for IPSA’s new IT system, IPSA Online, estimated a cost of £4.641 million. At that time, IPSA expected the programme to be completed in 2017-18. The full costs of the system are now forecast to be £8.253 million.

The increase in cost was due in part to the unexpected General Election of June 2017 which diverted all IPSA work for up to nine months to supporting MPs who left or joined parliament, and increased supplier costs. Costs also increased following our change of suppliers in September 2018 to improve the quality of IPSA’s IT support. IPSA also spent longer than anticipated on testing the new system so that IPSA could have confidence that it would be fully secure and free of technical problems. The increases in cost have been partly mitigated by savings elsewhere in IPSA’s budget.

The new system administers MPs’ pay and business costs more efficiently and effectively, providing improved support to MPs and their staff while saving taxpayers’ money. MPs and their staff will benefit from these improvements by being able to access information and make changes to their staffing budget or office leases without needing to contact IPSA staff. They can now also access IPSA’s system directly through their secure parliamentary digital account without an additional logon. MPs and staff no longer need to send IPSA paper receipts and invoices through the post, but can scan and photograph them and upload them to IPSA digitally. The new system can also reimburse MPs’ staff directly rather than via the MP. On the basis of the experience so far, IPSA estimate that MPs will need to spend around 30 per cent less time overall on the new system than they did on the old one.

However, IPSA recognise that many MPs and their staff still need to get used to the new system. IPSA are therefore conducting group and one-to-one training in Parliament and have staff available on the phone to answer queries. IPSA are putting on more such training sessions in response to demand, with a regular presence in Portcullis House.

IPSA will shortly conduct a survey to gather more feedback about the new system, with plans for further improvements in due course. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 13 May 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Buildings
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the cost has been of the move by IPSA to new premises in central London; and what assessment was made of the potential merits of moving the organisation to a cheaper location outside London.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 20 May 2019

I have asked IPSA to reply.

IPSA moved into new office premises at 85 Strand in March 2019. The forecasted cost of this move is £732,900. This budget was approved by the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA in January 2018. IPSA’s Annual Accounts for the 2018-19 financial year are being finalised and will be laid in Parliament in November. The Speaker’s Committee will have an opportunity to scrutinise this and other expenditure.

After reviewing properties on the market, the offices selected met IPSA’s criteria and offered the best value for money to the taxpayer over the long term, with competitive running cost over the life of the lease after completing initial fit-out work. Locations outside of London were considered. IPSA concluded that basing IPSA’s office in London and within reasonable distance of Parliament would ensure that IPSA can provide a better support to MPs and their staff, including regular meetings between them and their IPSA account managers.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
[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: 30 April 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Allowances
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what involvement did the Speaker's committee had in the formulation of the new claims system for hon. Members' allowances.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 07 May 2019

As part of its role to approve IPSA’s Estimate, in March 2016, the Speaker’s Committee approved funds for a wide-ranging improvement programme, including plans for a new IT system, IPSA Online. This took into account longstanding feedback from MPs and their staff about the need to modernise and improve IPSA’s systems and processes. In subsequent years, the Speaker’s Committee has scrutinised progress on this programme via the annual Estimate approval process, as well as other formal and informal updates.

The Speaker’s Committee had no direct input into the design of IPSA Online, but has received regular updates on the key features of the system and IPSA’s plans for engagement and training activities.

More generally, IPSA engaged with MPs and staff members throughout the development of IPSA Online through activities including surveys, meetings, usability testing and training sessions, in order to take account of their needs and preferences. IPSA is committed to ongoing liaison with MPs and their staff to gain further feedback on the new system now that it has been launched.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 27 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Marine Environment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to lead efforts to tackle the global problem of marine plastic pollution; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 01 April 2019

Reducing plastic pollution in our ocean requires global action. This is why we are leading efforts to tackle the global problem through our support of the G7 Oceans Plastics Charter, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy and the Commonwealth Blue Charter. In April 2018 we launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (CCOA), which we co-lead with Vanuatu. The CCOA encourages its 25 member countries to take steps to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics, significantly reduce single use plastic carrier bags by 2021 and implement a ban of microbeads in rinse-off personal care products by 2021.

We are also championing action to protect the ocean from plastic pollution through a support package worth over £55 million. This is being used to boost global research and tackle plastic pollution in developing countries in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14 (Life below water) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production).

We want to lead by example which is why we published the Resources and Waste Strategy for England in December last year that sets out our plans to reduce plastic pollution and move towards a more circular economy. On 18 February we launched a suite of consultations to overhaul the waste system. These actions build on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.

Q
Asked by Ian Murray
(Edinburgh South)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Finance
Commons
To ask The Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if the Committee will undertake a survey of hon. Members on the (a) cost and (b) resources allocated by hon. Members to responding to e-mails from (i) 38 Degrees and (ii) other campaigning organisations; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 14 March 2019

The Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority (IPSA) was established to ensure MPs have the funding and support they need to conduct their parliamentary duties effectively. IPSA is also responsible for setting the level of the MPs’ Staffing Budget and for periodically consulting on all aspects of its expenses scheme, including on Members’ staff expenditure. At these times, Members and others are invited to respond to IPSA’s consultations and to suggest amendments to its scheme.

It is for individual MPs themselves to decide how their own staffing arrangements best support their work and how they respond to campaigning organisations such as 38 Degrees.

In respect of oversight of IPSA’s budgets, the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is in place to approve its annual estimates of resources. In addition, the Administration Committee meets representatives from IPSA to consider its support for Members and the way it operates its scheme.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 07 January 2019
House of Commons Commission
House of Commons: Governing Bodies
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many House of Commons bodies include lay members.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 30 January 2019

I take the hon. Gentleman’s question to be referring to bodies whose membership includes Members of the House. On this understanding, the following bodies have lay members:

  • Committee on Standards
  • Administration Estimate Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
  • Members Estimate Audit Committee
  • Fire Safety Committee


There are also two statutory bodies whose secretariats are based in the House of Commons and whose membership includes Members and non-Members:

  • House of Commons Commission
  • Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority


There are also two bicameral bodies whose membership includes Members and non-Members:

  • The Shadow Sponsor Board responsible for commissioning the Restoration and Renewal Programme
  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Board
Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 January 2019
House of Commons Commission
Parliamentary Estate: Alcoholic Drinks
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reasons the Commission has restricted the sale of alcohol in parliamentary cafeterias selling food; and how that policy is intended to promote responsible alcohol consumption.
A
Corrected answer by: Tom Brake
Corrected on: 17 January 2019
Holding answer received on 11 January 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 11 January 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The House of Commons Commission has agreed a number of actions to promote responsible alcohol consumption on the Parliamentary Estate. On 19 March 2018, the House of Commons Commission endorsed the recommendations of the Administration Committee to help to promote responsible drinking in Commons catering venues. The Commission also agreed to return to this matter on a six-monthly basis. The Commission did so on 29 October 2018, also giving due weight to the reference to access to alcohol within the Dame Laura Cox report on bullying and harassment. On 17 December 2018 the Commission agreed a number of actions to promote responsible alcohol consumption on the Parliamentary Estate. These included increasing the range of non-alcoholic drinks and lower strength beers available, training and supporting staff to refuse to serve customers when necessary, expanding and encouraging alcohol-free areas including all six House of Commons cafeterias (Bellamy's, Courtyard Café, Debate, Jubilee Café, Members' Tea Room, Terrace Cafeteria), discouraging Members and staff from drinking in offices after bars are shut, and not running promotional advertisements.

A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 11 January 2019
Holding answer received on 11 January 2019

The House of Commons Commission has agreed a number of actions to promote responsible alcohol consumption on the Parliamentary Estate. On 19 March 2018, the House of Commons Commission endorsed the recommendations of the Administration Committee to help to promote responsible drinking in Commons catering venues. The Commission also agreed to return to this matter on a six-monthly basis. The Commission did so on 29 October 2018, also giving due weight to the reference to access to alcohol within the Dame Laura Cox report on bullying and harassment. On 17 December 2018 the Commission agreed a number of actions to promote responsible alcohol consumption on the Parliamentary Estate. These included increasing the range of non-alcoholic drinks and lower strength beers available, training and supporting staff to refuse to serve customers when necessary, expanding and encouraging alcohol-free areas including all six House of Commons cafeterias (Bellamy's, Courtyard Café, Debate, Jubilee Café, Members' Tea Room, Terrace Cafeteria), discouraging Members and staff from drinking in offices after bars are shut, and not running promotional advertisements.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 19 December 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Homelessness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what powers his Department has devolved to the Mayor of London to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 08 January 2019

The Greater London Authority (GLA) Act sets out the Mayor of London’s powers in relation to housing and planning which can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/24/contents (section 6 and 7).

The Act determines that the Mayor must prepare and publish a London Housing Strategy, which outlines plans for tackling rough sleeping and homelessness in the capital. This can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2018_lhs_london_housing_strategy.pdf

We are currently funding the GLA to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the capital in a number of ways including:

  • £3.3 million as part of the Rough Sleeping Initiative funding with an additional £3 million provisionally allocated for 2019-20.
  • £3.3 million of Rough Sleeping Grant funding including a mental health initiative, the Safe Connections project and the London Cross-Borough Accommodation Network.
  • £50 million of funding to provide accommodation for homeless individuals and families as an alternative to hostel accommodation through the Move on Fund.

In addition to this, at Spring Statement 2018, the Chancellor announced that we will be providing London with an additional £1.67 billion from the Affordable Homes Programme to support the Mayor to build a further 26,000 affordable homes – two-thirds will be homes for rent.

This has increased our investment in London to over £4.8 billion for at least 116,000 affordable homes by March 2022.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough and that is why this summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Pigmeat
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of England's pig stock slaughtered annually do not pass vet inspections for release into the human food chain.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 October 2018

The proportion of total condemnations was 0.12% for pigs in Food Standard Agency approved slaughterhouses in England.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Cattle
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of England's total cattle stock slaughtered annually do not pass vet inspections for release into the human food chain.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 October 2018

The proportion of total condemnations was 0.40% for cattle in Food Standard Agency approved slaughterhouses in England.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Sheep
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of England's total sheep stock slaughtered annually do not pass vet inspections for release into the human food chain.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 October 2018

The proportion of total condemnations was 0.17% for sheep in Food Standard Agency approved slaughterhouses in England.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 09 October 2018
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Parental Leave
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what assessment has been made of the effect of IPSA's family leave policy on the (a) provision of adequate office arrangements for Members and (b)(i) physical and (ii) mental health of parliamentary staff returning from such leave.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 11 October 2018

I have asked the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to reply.

Letter from Marcial Boo, chief executive of IPSA, 10 October 2018:

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) provides Family Leave Guidance in relation to staff employed by MPs, a copy of which can be found on our website at: http://www.theipsa.org.uk/ipsa-for-mps/guidance.

This document provides guidance on maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, KIT/SPLIT days and caring leave. This is not a policy, but guidance to MPs on the statutory entitlements. As the legal employers of their staff, MPs are responsible for matters of individual staffing arrangements, such as approving instances of family leave and ensuring that they comply with relevant employment legislation.

As the document is guidance rather than a policy, and relates only to the statutory entitlements, we have not undertaken any specific assessment of its effects. However, IPSA encourages responsible employment and any necessary expenditure by MPs on the health and welfare of their staff, including their mental health. MPs can claim the cost of staff health and welfare costs, such as occupational health assessments, from their staffing budgets. We also undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) in relation to major changes to our Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses. We last undertook an EIA in March 2017 which concluded that changes proposed to our Scheme were likely to have a small positive impact on MPs’ staff in relation to pregnancy and maternity. A copy of that report can be found on our website at: http://www.theipsa.org.uk/publications/consultations/review-of-the-mps-scheme-of-business-costs-and-expenses.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 11 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Coeliac Disease: Prescriptions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the potential savings to the NHS budget of limiting access to gluten-free food via prescription.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 16 July 2018

The estimate of savings to be made by reducing the National Health Service provision of gluten free foods to breads and mixes is £4.1 million per annum. The details of how this was calculated are set out in the published Impact Assessment.

The impact assessment can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678190/GF_foods_impact_assesment.pdf

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Treasury
Fuels: Excise Duties
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate the Government has made of the amount of fuel duty which has not accrued to the public purse as a result of the freeze in duty introduced in the March 2011 Budget.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 06 July 2018

To support British households and businesses, at Autumn Budget 2017, the government froze fuel duty for the eighth successive year. Since public finances are based on the assumption that fuel duty will increase with RPI at every Budget, any increase below this represents a cost to the Exchequer. Successive freezes since 2011 have saved the average driver £620 compared to what it would have been with RPI increases.

Since 2011, the announced freezes to fuel duty have meant the Exchequer has not collected around £46 billion in revenues through to 2018-19. For the purposes of comparison, this is around twice as much as we spend on all NHS nurses and doctors each year.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Coeliac Disease: Prescriptions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of removing access to gluten-free foods on prescription.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 05 July 2018

An assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of removing access to gluten-free foods on prescription was undertaken by the Department in the impact and equality impact assessments. The impact assessments can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678190/GF_foods_impact_assesment.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678183/Equality_impact_assessment_-_GF_food.pdf

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Coeliac Disease: Prescriptions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on CCGs discontinuing prescriptions for gluten-free food; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 05 July 2018

Clinical commissioning groups hold the budget for primary care prescribing. It is their responsibility to give prescribing guidance to their member general practitioner practices, taking into account best practice, national guidance and the needs of their local populations.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 17 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Landfill
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether England is projected to meet its share of the UK's targets for reducing waste sent to landfill sites.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 April 2018

UK biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill in 2016 was similar to that in 2015, remaining at approximately 7.7 million tonnes or 22% of the 1995 baseline value. The UK is therefore still on track to meet the EU target to restrict BMW landfilled to 35% of the 1995 baseline by 2020.

Waste infrastructure credits (formerly waste PFI credits) were used to fund infrastructure to manage waste higher up the waste hierarchy, and thereby contribute to England meeting its share of EU landfill directive targets for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. The Government did not make use of the PFI funding regime after 2010 when it was assessed that there was a high level of confidence that England’s contribution to meeting the landfill diversion targets would be met via the existing infrastructure along with that in the construction pipeline.

Grouped Questions: 136241
Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Incinerators
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason the Government ceased to make available waste infrastructure credits in relation to incineration; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 April 2018

UK biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill in 2016 was similar to that in 2015, remaining at approximately 7.7 million tonnes or 22% of the 1995 baseline value. The UK is therefore still on track to meet the EU target to restrict BMW landfilled to 35% of the 1995 baseline by 2020.

Waste infrastructure credits (formerly waste PFI credits) were used to fund infrastructure to manage waste higher up the waste hierarchy, and thereby contribute to England meeting its share of EU landfill directive targets for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. The Government did not make use of the PFI funding regime after 2010 when it was assessed that there was a high level of confidence that England’s contribution to meeting the landfill diversion targets would be met via the existing infrastructure along with that in the construction pipeline.

Grouped Questions: 136240
Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 April 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Waste Management
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to introduce any proposals in the revised National Planning Policy framework to make changes to the Waste Planning Policy; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 23 April 2018

As part of the consultation on the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, the Government has asked at question 42 if any consequential changes should be made to the National Planning Policy for Waste, as a result of the proposed changes to the Framework. The consultation closes on 10 May 2018. We welcome views on this issue in response to the consultation.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Waste Management
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to publish its Waste and Resources Review; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The Government plans to publish a world leading Resources and Waste Strategy by the end of the year.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Incinerators
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 December 2017 to Question 117198, on Incinerators, for what reason the UK's on-stream incineration capacity is underused compared with the permitted capacity; and for what reason there is a similar difference in the East of England.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The Environment Agency’s latest Waste Management in England Statistics show that 11.64 million tonnes of waste were incinerated in England in 2016, compared to a permitted capacity of 15.48 million tonnes. For operational incinerators in the East of England only, those figures were 1.19 million tonnes incinerated compared to 1.42 million tonnes of capacity.

There are several reasons for the difference between throughput and permitted capacity. The permitted capacity relates to the waste managed at the site and not the actual throughput of the facility as the site might have more than one processing facility. Throughput will also vary depending on the wastes heat value, its composition, the maintenance regime of the facility and the delivery of waste from clients. To allow for these variances permitted capacity is normally higher than the actual processing capacity. It would not be financially viable for plants to run under capacity.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to promote the recycling of waste instead of using (a) landfill and (b) incineration.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our commitment to make it easier for people to recycle and to increase the quantity and quality of materials collected. Through the Framework for Greater Consistency, the Waste and Resources Action Programme is working with industry and local authorities to promote improved recycling performance and to ensure that a consistent set of core materials are collected by all local authorities. We want to accelerate this process and want householders to benefit from having comprehensive waste and recycling collections which ensure that products are recycled as much as possible and high quality materials are returned to the economy. We will set out measures to support this in our Resources and Waste Strategy to be published later this year.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Land Registry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of new registrations with HM Land Registry were registered within the 25 day period in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 05 April 2018

Since 1 April 2017, 16.5% of applications made to HM Land Registry to register a new title were completed within 25 days. HM Land Registry have been working to reduce the oldest cases in the system and the average age of all pending applications to register a new title is 26.5 days.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Land Registry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that HM Land Registry completes new registrations within the 25 day turnaround period.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 05 April 2018

Government has approved HMLR’s business strategy for the next five years including a digital programme that will deliver enhancements to current system capability over the duration of HM Land Registry’s Business Strategy, and appointed a new and expanded Board to support the organisation to deliver its objectives.

HM Land Registry have plans in place to deliver and maintain improved capacity for new registrations and resilience. Since October 2017 366 new staff have joined the organisation and an additional 120 new recruits are expected to join in May 2018. Since 2014-15, 567 Apprentices have joined HMLR including 510 in the Operations directorate who directly contribute to processing applications for registration. This includes 138 Apprentices taken on by the Operations directorate in 2017-18. A number of measures are in place to improve HM Land Registry processes and productivity in order to increase output, including the use of overtime and system improvements.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
Personal Injury: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of changing the Ogden rate on insurance premiums paid by businesses.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 05 April 2018

The Ministry of Justice has not separately assessed the effect of changing the way the personal injury discount rate is set on the insurance premiums to be paid by businesses, as opposed to the effect on consumers and other buyers of insurance policies.

Nonetheless, the department expects that at any review of the discount rate under the approach set out in the Civil Liability Bill, which was introduced in the House of Lords on 20 March, the rate will be higher than would have been set under the present law had it remained in force at that time.

The department believes the change in the law will result in reductions in insurance premiums paid by businesses. This is because of the competitive nature of the insurance industry and the recent public commitment by insurers representing about three quarters of the UK’s motor and liability insurance market to pass on cost benefits arising from Government action to reform the rate.

I have placed a copy of the commitment in the House Library.

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

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

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

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

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Department for Transport
Taxis: Wheelchairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of s165 of the Equality Act 2010 in ensuring that wheelchair users are able to hire taxis.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 21 March 2018

Wheelchair users should be able to travel by taxi and private hire vehicle free from the fear of discrimination, which is why we commenced the remaining provisions of s.165 and s.167 of the Equality Act 2010 last year. An increasing number of licensing authorities are applying the requirements to drivers within their jurisdiction and we encourage the remainder to do likewise. Producing the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles provides greater protection and also increases awareness among drivers and vehicle owners of the duties and responsibilities this places on them.

We meet regularly with our statutory advisors, the Disabled Persons’ Transport Advisory Committee, regarding this and other issues affecting the travelling experience of disabled passengers, and we will continue to monitor the efficacy of the policy.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nigeria: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information the Government holds on recent reports of ethnic cleansing in areas of Nigeria; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 28 February 2018

We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Nigeria closely and are concerned by reports of recent clashes in Adamawa State. We do not assess that there is institutionalised persecution of any ethnic groups by the Nigerian authorities, but continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities the importance of transparent investigations of human rights violations, accountability at all levels, and the protection of civilians in conflict areas and in places of detention.

Q
Asked by Simon Hart
(Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members' Staff
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, whether the Committee has had sight of the legal advice received by IPSA on connected parties; and if he will place a copy of that advice in the Library.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 19 December 2017
Holding answer received on 18 December 2017

The Speaker’s Committee has not received any legal advice on connected parties.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Meat: UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent representations his Department has received on the importance of maintaining veterinary equivalence between the UK and the EU on the import and export of meat and poultry protects after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 18 December 2017

My Department has received a range of representations on the future sanitary rules for trade with the EU in meat and poultry products. Some of these representations have recognised the benefits of the UK having some form of veterinary equivalence with the EU. The Government is working to achieve the freest possible trade between the UK and the EU as part of our future relationship, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders as part of this.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Meat: UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary for International Trade and (b) other parties on how to ensure favourable trade conditions for the import and export of meat and poultry products beyond the current quota system applied to non EU-countries if no deal has been agreed when the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Ministers meet their counterparts in the Department for International Trade and other parties on a regular basis to discuss a range of issues in trade policy.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Meat: UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent representations his Department has received from companies that import meat from EU Member States on how to ensure that customs processes for meat imports are efficient to prevent spoiling and reduced shelf-life if no deal has been agreed when the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 12 December 2017

DEFRA has received representations from companies and trade associations about this issue. We continue to work closely with these stakeholders. I discussed these issues with the International Meat Trade Association in November.

The precise nature of our future relationship with the EU is still to be determined and is the subject of negotiation. The Government is working to get the best deal for Britain and through our new relationship with the EU are aiming to achieve the freest possible trade in goods and services between the UK and the EU.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Genetics: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if the Government will consult on extending the moratorium that allows people not to declare the results of genetic tests to insurers after 1 November 2019; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 07 December 2017

The Government is working with the Association of British Insurers to renew the existing Concordat and Moratorium. We will be seeking the views of an established group of stakeholders with a view to publication in early 2018 ahead of the end date of the Concordat and Moratorium in November 2019.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 27 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Droughts: South of England
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the likely threat of drought in the East and South East of England; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 04 December 2017

Last winter and this autumn saw low rainfall in the east and south east of England and groundwater aquifers and some reservoirs are below normal levels. The Environment Agency is closely monitoring the situation and is working with water companies, businesses and farmers to prepare for potential consequences of continued dry weather in 2018.

For the longer term, Defra is working with the Environment Agency and Ofwat to ensure that water companies increase their resilience to droughts and reduce the risk of any future restrictions on water use.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Eating Disorders: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much and what proportion of funding made available by NHS England for eating disorders has been allocated to Tier Two providers specialising in early intervention.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 December 2017

The information requested is not collected.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Eating Disorders: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England places a requirement on clinical commissioning groups to consider third sector organisations when commissioning interventions and treatments for eating disorders?
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 December 2017

In the case of services for people with eating disorders, as with a range of other mental health services, the voluntary sector has an important role to play in providing access to care, treatment and support.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are required to commission services from the most appropriate provider, taking into consideration local need and the capacity of local providers to respond.

NHS England is implementing the delivery of new and expanded community eating disorder teams for children and young people, some of which deliver care in partnership with the voluntary sector.

In addition, the guidance for local transformation plans for children and young people’s mental health care stated that CCGs should work with local partners, including voluntary sector organisations, in the development and updating of plans.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Eating Disorders: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much and what proportion of the total spent by the NHS on treating eating disorders has been allocated to the treatment of people aged (a) seventeen and under and (b) eighteen and over in each of the last three years?
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 December 2017

The information requested is not collected.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 27 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rivers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to restore river flows in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire chalk streams; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 30 November 2017

The Environment Agency (EA) is working with partners across Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to reduce abstraction and carry out a programme of river restoration projects on chalk streams.

The EA is working with Affinity Water to cease or reduce abstraction from 11 pumping stations on 7 chalk streams in order to improve flows. Through this partnership 70 million litres of water per day will be kept in the environment, enhancing 212 kilometres of chalk streams by 2025.

The EA, Affinity Water and partners have secured £5 million of funding for around 100 river restoration projects across 7 rivers in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This will include the removal of physical modifications, such as weirs, to improve fish movement and biodiversity.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 November 2017
Home Office
Fireworks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to reduce the nuisance caused by fireworks; what plans she has to reduce instances of nuisance and abuse; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 16 November 2017

The Government’s approach to the safe use of fireworks and reducing nuisance is to encourage industry, retailers and others to promote responsible use through guidance and public education. There is also significant regulation in place covering the supply, storage, possession and use of fireworks, which helps to reduce instances of nuisance and abuse. This includes restrictions on when fireworks can be sold, curfews which limit the hours during which fireworks can be used, local authority powers to deal with excessive firework noise and a prohibition on setting off or throwing fireworks in the street or other public places.

In addition, the police or local authorities can consider the use of the powers provided by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, if they are satisfied that the relevant legal tests are met, to tackle those who cause alarm or distress to others through their misuse of fireworks.

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