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
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of (a) violence and (b) harassment towards Palestinian university (i) students and (ii) staff in the West Bank; and what recent assessment he has made of the effect of those levels on student education.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 March 2018

​While no assessment has been made about this particular issue, we strongly condemn all acts of violence and all incitement to commit acts of violence. We consistently urge Israel to ease movement and access restrictions across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, not least because of the impact the restrictions on continuity of education.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the protection of the right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 March 2018

UK support to the Palestinian Authority helps to employ vetted education public servants in the West Bank, including teachers. This enables around 25,000 young Palestinians to receive an education each year. Additionally, UK support to the UN Relief and Works Agency assists in the provision of basic education to around 500,000 children across the region. The UK will continue to urge the Israeli authorities to ease movement and access restrictions across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, not least because of the impact that the restrictions have on children and the continuity of their education.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jerusalem: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Israeli counterpart on the new legislation passed by the Knesset on 7 March 2018 which allows the Israeli Minister of Interior to revoke the permanent residency status from Palestinian residents of Jerusalem; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 March 2018

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised this issue with the Israeli authorities on 15 February, noting the importance of ensuring that the legislation is compatible with Israel’s obligations under international human rights law.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 13 March 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
GKN: Melrose
Commons
If he will use his powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to intervene in the takeover bid for GKN by Melrose.
A
Answered by: Greg Clark
Answered on: 13 March 2018

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, Ministers can only intervene in mergers that raise public interest concerns on the grounds of national security, financial stability and media plurality.

Public interest interventions are quasi-judicial in nature. It is important that Ministers act, and are seen to be acting impartially, on the basis of an open mind and on the evidence available.

It is therefore not appropriate for me to comment.

I continue to monitor this situation closely.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Funeral Payments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment Scheme her Department (a) received and (b) accepted in (i) the West Midlands and (ii) England in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 07 March 2018

Table 1 below gives the number of applications received and number of awards for Funeral Expenses Payments in England and in the West Midlands government office region in 2016/17.

Table 1: applications received and awards for Funeral Expense Payments in England and West Midlands, 2016/17

England

West Midlands

Applications received

35,900

4,400

Awards

21,200

2,600

Source: Policy, Budget and Management Information System

Notes:

  • The number of applications and awards are rounded to the nearest 100.
  • The applications figures are based on applications received by DWP, not applications processed. Some applications may have been withdrawn before a decision was made.
  • The award figures include awards made after review, reconsideration or appeal following an initial refusal.
  • These figures do not include applications which were processed clerically and have not been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System.
  • The number of awards made in each year is not equal to the number of people who made applications or received awards in that year. An individual may make multiple applications in a given time period.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Calais
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in the French Government on unaccompanied children in Calais vulnerable to (a) human trafficking and (b) modern slavery; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 07 March 2018

The UK and France regularly discuss unaccompanied asylum seeking children and their vulnerabilities, including the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking at both official and ministerial level.

The UK and France signed a Treaty on 19 January at the UK-France summit, which agreed a ‘whole of route’ joint package of co-operation on migration, aimed at further strengthening our shared border and reducing the number of illegal migrants at northern French ports, as well as reducing illegal migration and tackling modern slavery and human trafficking.

As part of the Treaty, we announced a number of specific measures in respect of unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. This includes the allocation of a £3.6 million development fund, as part of the UK’s overall £45.5m funding commitment, to identify projects which support claims through the Dublin process and ensure that those with no prospect of transferring to the UK are informed of their options.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department for Transport
Taxis: Assistance Animals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that taxi and mini cab drivers do not discriminate against assistance dog owners.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 06 March 2018

Under sections 168 to 173 of the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs), who do not hold a medical exemption certificate, to refuse the carriage of an assistance dog. Drivers convicted of doing so may face a fine of up to £1,000 in addition to any sanction imposed by the licensing authority such as suspension or revocation of a licence.

The Department is currently considering the responses to the consultation on the draft Accessibility Action Plan which will inform the updated Best Practice Guidance for taxi and PHV licensing authorities. It is the Department’s expectation that the guidance will include a recommendation that authorities should use their existing powers to require prospective drivers to complete disability awareness and equality training to ensure drivers have the skills, knowledge and understanding to provide all passengers with the assistance they require.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made in negotiations to revise the NHS England Premises Costs Directions; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The negotiations, between NHS England and the General Practitioners’ Committee of the British Medical Association, on revisions to the NHS Premises Costs Directions have recently concluded.

The Department is currently preparing revised Directions.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Burial: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of child burial charges on parents living in poverty.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The Department has not made an assessment of the impact of child burial charges on parents in poverty.

Funeral Expenses Payments are available to help parents, and others, on certain income-related benefits with the costs of funerals, and will pay the full fees levied for adult or children’s burials or cremations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Department for Education
Students: Mental Illness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of people who left their undergraduate degree course for mental health reasons in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 06 March 2018

Mental health is a priority for this government. The Children and Young People’s Mental Health green paper outlines the government’s plans to set up a new national strategic partnership focused on improving the mental health of 16-25 year olds, encouraging more coordinated action, innovation and robust evaluation of mental health services. One recommendation in the green paper is for the partnership to provide a systematic strategy to improve what we know about student mental health by encouraging improvements in data linkage and analytics. Data is available from the Higher Education Statistical Agency on the number of higher education students who leave their course early for health reasons, but the data does not make it possible to distinguish mental health reasons specifically.

The department is working closely with Universities UK on the programme of work on Mental Health in Higher Education, which has included work with the Institute for Public Policy Research to strengthen the evidence-base on mental health in higher education.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) lesbian, (b) gay, (c) bisexual and (d) transgender asylum seekers have been granted refugee status in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 06 March 2018

While the information relating to sexual orientation and gender identification of foreign nationals who are granted refugee status is not routinely recorded, the Home Office remains committed to publishing information on the number of people claiming asylum on the basis of sexual orientation.

While the Department does not hold pre-July 2015 data in a reportable format and does not currently break down the data into the separate lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender categories, experimental data on asylum claims lodged on the basis of sexual orientation, including the number of claimants who were granted asylum, between 1 July 2015 and 31 March 2017 is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/asylum-claims-on-the-basis-of-sexual-orientation

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Civil Servants: Official Secrets
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants have been (a) disciplined, (b) subject to criminal charges, and (c) dismissed for offences under the Official Secrets Act 1989 in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 06 March 2018

All breaches of information are taken seriously and recorded by each individual department. The Civil Service Management Code (4.2.1) states ‘Departments and agencies must remind staff on appointment, retirement or resignation that they are bound by the provisions of the criminal law, including the Official Secrets Acts, which protect certain categories of official information, and by their duty of confidentiality owed to the Crown as their former employer’.

Where a law has been broken or potentially broken, it is reported to the police and they would take forward any investigation. Subsequent actions would be a matter for the police and the courts.

Other than in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive governments not to comment on breaches of security.


Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Demolition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 February to Question 127853, on West Bank: Demolition, what steps his Department is taking to (a) prevent the re-occurrence of demolitions of classrooms in the West Bank and (b) work with international partners and organisations to provide alternative facilities for children directly affected by those demolitions.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 March 2018

​I most recently raised our concerns about the demolitions of Palestinian property with the Israel Ambassador on 27 February. The Government supports Bedouin communities and Palestinians facing demolition or eviction in Area C of the West Bank through our funding to the Norwegian Refugee Council legal aid programme. Additionally, we are supporting four communities, comprising of nearly 500 Palestinian families living in Area C, to remain on their land through improved infrastructure and access to community services, including education and health, in areas which have an outline plan in the Israeli approval process.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diplomatic Service
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what guidance his Department provides to UK diplomatic posts overseas on the official terminology that should be used to refer to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 March 2018

​The British Government officially refers to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and considers them to consist of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, based on 1967 borders.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department for Transport
Community Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage community transport (a) providers and (b) users to respond to his Department’s consultation on the use of section 19 and section 22 permits for road passenger transport in Great Britain.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The consultation document was sent out to the Community Transport Association, wider community transport stakeholders and local authorities on the day of the launch notifying them of the publication. Officials in the Department are also working closely with relevant interested stakeholders, including the Community Transport Association and local authorities, on a series of regional events during the consultation period.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Home Office
Musicians: Immigration Controls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) musicians and (b) artists have been refused entry into the UK due to them being deemed not conducive to the public good.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Home Office does not hold the information in the format requested.

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: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Golan Heights: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications of Israel’s plans to hold local elections in the Golan Heights; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 05 March 2018

​Whilst we have not made an assessment on this specific issue, we consider the Golan Heights to be Occupied Territory. We continue to call on Israel, as the occupying power, to uphold its obligations under international law. This includes abiding by UN Security Council Resolution 497 (1981) and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of family reunification on (a) the wellbeing and (b) integration of child refugees living in the UK.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 02 March 2018

Family reunion for refugees in the UK is a very important issue and one which we must approach with sensitivity and compassion. The Government’s policy objective is to support the principle of family unity by bringing together pre-flight families separated by conflict or oppression.

We are currently discussing our approach to family reunion with non-governmental organisations, and as part of that we are reviewing existing research on the wellbeing and integration of refugees living in the UK.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that medical practices comply with published guidance on the medical requirements for obtaining a firearms license.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 02 March 2018

The arrangements for providing medical information as part of the firearms licensing process, introduced in 2016, are voluntary and we know that there is significant variation in how GPs respond to the police request for this information.

We have been in discussions with the police, the relevant medical bodies, and representatives of shooting organisations about how greater consistency can be achieved across England and Wales.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 118941, on Gaza: Fisheries, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction of the temporary nine nautical mile limit to six nautical miles.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 March 2018

We have not made any specific assessment on this issue.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Home Office
Fire Stations: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many operational fire stations there have been in the West Midlands in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Home Office publishes station numbers, provided by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Home Office
Fire and Rescue Services: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many firefighters per 100,000 residents there were in the West Midlands in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Home Office collects and publishes firefighter statistics and publishes population statistics for fire and rescue authorities using the Office for National Statistics’ Mid Year Estimates.

The former are currently available to March 2017 and the latter to June 2016 and can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables in tables FIRE1101 and FIRE1401.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Home Office
West Midlands Fire Service: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the West Midlands Fire Authority on funding for the West Midlands Fire Service.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Government consulted all Local Authorities on the provisional Local Government Settlement which was published in December 2017. All responses were considered in advance of laying the Final Local Government Settlement which was debated and approved by the House on 7 February.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Home Office
Police Stations: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many operational police stations there were in the West Midlands in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Home Office does not hold this information. Decisions about the most effective use of available resources, including the number and operating hours of police stations, are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables locally, tailored to the needs of the local community.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Home Office
Fire and Rescue Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has of trends in the comparative number of (a) incidents attended by fire services and (b) fire-fighters in (i) the West Midlands and (ii) England.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Home Office collects and publishes firefighter and incident attended statistics. The former are currently available to March 2017 and the latter to September 2017 and can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables in tables FIRE0102 and FIRE1101.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General on Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, published on 26 January 2018, what discussions he has had with his counterparts at the UN about the three companies identified in that report as involved in activities in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and what discussions he has had with representatives of any of the three companies identified in that report.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 February 2018

Neither the Foreign Secretary nor I have had any discussions with counterparts at the UN about the three companies identified in that report, and have had no discussions with representatives of any of the three companies identified in that report.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: EU Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on (a) the establishment of the European Commission's €42.5m assistance package to the occupied Palestinian territories and (b) the allocation of funding from the the assistance package to projects in East Jerusalem.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 February 2018

The €42.5 million package is financed by the European Commission with the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) which is one of the main sources of support from the European Union (EU) to the Palestinians. All decisions on the allocation of ENI funding go through the ENI Committee in Brussels, at which the UK is represented by officials. The ENI Committee discussed the allocation of €42.5 million to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the allocation of €14.9 million of this to projects in East Jerusalem, on 29 September 2017. Additionally, the EU held discussions on this new package of support with representatives from EU Member States in Jerusalem, including the UK.

We regularly discuss support to the OPTs with EU institutions and other Member States in the relevant Council working groups, including the Council working party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) and the Mashreq/Maghreb Working Party (MaMa).

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 21 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on sustainability reporting for UK businesses.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 28 February 2018

Currently, all UK registered companies, except those entitled to the small companies exemption, are required to file a strategic report as part of their annual report.

This must include, to the extent necessary for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the company’s business, information relating to environmental matters. Quoted companies are also required to report, within their strategic reports, on:

  • the impact of the company’s business on the environment, and
  • social, community and human rights issues.

Many UK companies choose to go further than this within their annual reports which the current flexible company law framework supports.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Right to Buy Scheme: Birmingham Northfield
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will list the housing associations within Birmingham Northfield constituency that are eligible for the regional pilot of the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 28 February 2018

The Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot will give thousands more housing association tenants the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of home ownership. The Government is currently engaging with the National Housing Federation and housing associations in the Midlands, and more details on the pilot will be announced in due course.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Government of Israel on the approval of permits for Palestinians seeking medical treatment outside Gaza in 2017.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 27 February 2018

Our Embassy to Tel Aviv raised the issue of medical permits for Gaza with the Israeli authorities on 21 February. As I informed the House on 20 February, we have previously raised concerns about ambulance and permit delays with the Israeli authorities, and we will continue to do so. We have also, consistently urged the Israeli Government to ease movement and access restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Government of Israel on WHO reports on the number of Palestinian patients who have died while awaiting permits to travel outside Gaza for medial treatment.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 27 February 2018

While we have not raised this specific aspect, our Embassy to Tel Aviv raised the general issue of medical permits for Gaza with the Israeli authorities on 21 February. As I informed the House on 20 February, we have previously raised concerns about ambulance and permit delays with the Israeli authorities, and we will continue to do so. We have, also, consistently urged the Israeli Government to ease movement and access restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We are supporting the UN Access Coordination Unit to work with the Israeli Government, Palestinian Authority and aid agencies to facilitate humanitarian access in the OPTs.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 21 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environmental Protection: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Guidance for business on environmental key performance indicators, published by his Department on 25 July 2012, whether he intends to publish his Department's findings from that consultation.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 27 February 2018

The guidance “Environmental Reporting Guidelines: Including mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting” was published in June 2013 and is available on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/environmental-reporting-guidelines-including-mandatory-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reporting-guidance.

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: 22 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent representations he has received from Birmingham City Council on funding to carry out extensive works to 213 tower blocks on the advice of West Midlands Fire Service; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 27 February 2018

The Department has received and responded to several letters from Birmingham City councillors about general works they are undertaking to enhance the safety of their residential blocks.

If any local authority has carried out assessments and identified essential measures to address building specific issues, then they should get in touch with the Department with further details. This will allow Department officials to discuss the position and work with them on the way forward.

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: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of British citizens currently detained in Sudan following the protests that began on 7 January 2018.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 27 February 2018

Our Embassy in Khartoum is aware of two dual British-Sudanese nationals that have been detained following recent protests in Sudan. We continue to press the Government of Sudan to allow consular access to these two individuals, as well as to one dual Australian-Sudanese national as part of the UK’s agreement to provide consular assistance to Australian nationals in Sudan.

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: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of access to legal advice for detainees in Sudan following the protests that began on 7 January 2018.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 27 February 2018

We understand that many of those detained following recent protests have had some access to legal advice. We continue to make clear to the Government of Sudan our expectation that all detainees will be treated in accordance with international standards, which includes full access to legal advice.

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: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Burmese Government on allegations of the bulldozing of Rohingya mass graves; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 27 February 2018

During his visit in February 2018 to Burma the Foreign Secretary saw first-hand Rohingya villages which had been razed. The FCO accepts that has been ethnic cleansing. The Foreign Secretary expressed his deep concern over the human tragedy of the Rohingya to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting in Naypyidaw on 11 February. He lobbied that Burmese authorities carry out a full, credible and independent investigation into the violence in Rakhine and hold to account those responsible for human rights violations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Prime Minister
Hong Kong: Elections
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, whether she discussed the disqualification of candidates from Hong Kong elections with the Government of China during her recent visit to that country.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 26 February 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the press release issued on 1 February following my meeting with President Xi and which is available on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-meeting-with-president-xi-1-february-2018.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Hospitals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment her Department has made of the provision of fuel for hospitals in Gaza; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 26 February 2018

We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. In January 2018 the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed that power shortages are placing an increasing burden on the health sector, and has recently reported that some hospitals and clinics have been partially closed in order to rationalise fuel. The UK will continue to monitor the effect electricity shortages are having on the health sector and is tracking the UN’s emergency indicators. We urge all parties to take the necessary practical steps to improve conditions, including restoring the availability of electricity as a matter of urgency. The UK is supporting approximately 1 million Gazans by addressing critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza, including basic health care.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Department for International Development
Rohingya: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the levels of education available for Rohingya refugee children.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 26 February 2018

The UK recognises that there is a pressing need to improve education in the Rohingya camps. DFID is one of the largest contributors to the Education Cannot Wait initiative, investing £30m between 2016 and 2018. It has already committed US$3 million (£2.2 million) for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to help cover emergency educational needs. DFID is also supporting education experts and organisations to work with the Ministries of Education in Bangladesh and Burma to agree a curriculum and certification process for Rohingya children in Cox’s Bazar.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Borders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect on health outcomes of the time taken to grant exit permits for Palestinians in Gaza seeking medical treatment elsewhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territory or abroad; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently reported that 2017 saw the lowest rate of approvals of security permits for patients wishing to access healthcare outside of Gaza since WHO began monitoring in 2008, with 54% of patient applications approved on time. They report this has resulted in delays in care for patients, with potentially life threatening consequences. We continue to monitor the situation in Gaza closely and call on the Israeli government to ease restrictions further and for Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt to work together to ensure a durable solution for Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Borders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the number of humanitarian and development items that have been delayed in entering or denied entry to Gaza by the Israeli authorities in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Department is aware of delays and denials of entry of items into Gaza. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is not currently consolidating data on these delays. We have requested UN OCHA to establish a mechanism for the collection of this data. DFID enables reconstruction efforts in Gaza through our support to the Materials Monitoring Unit of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism to monitor the import, storage, supply and use of construction materials. We welcome recent Israeli announcements to ease restrictions on the importation of material into Gaza for much needed infrastructure projects such as the proposed Central Gaza Desalination Plant and other waste water plants under construction, which many international donors are supporting.

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: 20 February 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the reduction of bilateral funding from her Department to the Occupied Palestinian Territories from £83,358,000 in 2014 to £22,729,000 in 2016.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The figures quoted in the question are from the Statistics for International Development (SID) publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-on-international-development). SID publishes the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) on a calendar year basis in line with the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation, Development Assistance Committee’s definitions. However, DFID allocates budgets on a financial year basis (1 April – 31 March). This can result in some discrepancies between financial data presented according to the calendar year compared to the financial year.

In 2014 and 2015 DFID’s spend in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) spiked due to our provision of immediate humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014 and subsequent early recovery and reconstruction assistance. In the 2016/17 financial year DFID provided over £68 million in funding to the OPTs to help build Palestinian institutions, deliver essential services and support economic development. We remain committed to providing support to the OPTs.

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: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN Human Rights Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government’s priorities are for the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2018.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The UK is strongly committed to the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide. As such, the government's priority for all sessions of the UN Human Rights Council is to ensure that it holds to account those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, that it effectively addresses threats to human rights, and strengthens safeguards and protections for the future.

At the 37th session, the UK will again table a resolution on Syria and host a panel event considering the impact of attacks against schools on access to education, and will negotiate resolutions on Burma, Iran, DPRK, Libya, South Sudan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, among others. Thematic resolutions will include texts on privacy, torture, and freedom of religion or belief.

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: 20 February 2018
Department for International Development
Disaster Relief
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions her Department has had with the Start Network on humanitarian emergencies and the (a) financial and (b) logistic support needed to address them.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Start Network manages the Start Fund, a pooled fund for humanitarian response that focuses on rapid response to underfunded, and small-medium scale emergencies. Since the START Network’s inception, DFID has been the largest donor to the Start Fund, contributing £46 million since 2014, and has helped the START Network grow in size and influence.

DFID sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of the START Fund Council which provides strategic oversight of the fund. The Department attended the most recent Start Fund Council meeting in the Hague in November 2017.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the civil war in Syria on civilians in Idlib and Ghouta.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

​An estimated 400,000 people (including 200,000 children) trapped in Eastern Ghouta are suffering from indiscriminate airstrikes and artillery shelling which, as well as destroying many homes, have struck schools and medical facilities. Over 700 people are reported to remain in need of urgent medical treatment. Over 2.5 million people live in the Idlib area, including over 1.1 million Internally Displaced People. Intensification of hostilities has displaced approximately 270,000 people within Idlib since 15 December 2017. Already this year the UN report at least nine attacks on medical facilities, in some cases hospitals which were treating casualties wounded in attacks on other medical facilities were then struck. We call on the regime to end these attacks and allow full humanitarian access.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: International Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which multilateral projects in the Gaza Strip her Department helps fund; and how much is disbursed from the public purse for each such project.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 22 February 2018

In Gaza, the UK has provided £1.9 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support approximately 1 million Gazans by providing clean water, rehabilitating sanitation facilities and promoting hygiene standards to stop the spread of disease. Additionally, the UK is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza. In 2017/18 we have so far provided around £50 million to UNRWA across the region.

The European Union (EU) is currently supporting six development projects in Gaza through multilateral bodies including UNICEF and UNRWA, totalling over €58 million. The EU is also supporting a number of humanitarian projects in Gaza. The UK’s financing share of EU expenditure varies year on year but has been approximately 15%.

The UK also provides core un-earmarked contributions to multilateral bodies such as UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross and is a shareholder in a number of major international financial institutions, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, which are working across the West Bank and Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Demolition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Israeli Government on the demolition of EU-funded structures in the village of Abu Nuwar in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 20 February 2018

​Officials from our Embassy to Tel Aviv most recently discussed the issue of demolitions of Palestinian property with the Israeli authorities on 19 February. On 6 February, the EU released a local statement expressing strong concerns about demolition by the Israeli authorities of parts of the school of the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar. Demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; call 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.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Education
Children: Loneliness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle loneliness and social isolation among school-aged children.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 February 2018

On 17 January the Government announced that my hon. Friend, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society will lead a cross-government group which will take responsibility for driving action on loneliness. The Department will work as part of the group looking at what can be done to tackle loneliness and social isolation, especially for the most vulnerable children.

The Department is funding a £700,000 pilot investigating ways to set up effective peer support for mental health and wellbeing in schools, and is also providing £1.5 million to support anti-bullying projects, such as the Diana Award Ambassador programme.

The Department is currently conducting a thorough engagement process on the scope and content of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education, which will be made statutory in primary and secondary schools respectively.

The Government is also consulting on the green paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’ which includes further proposals to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, supported by over £300 million of funding. The green paper is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 29 January 2018
Department for International Development
Yemen: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to improve the effectiveness of the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 February 2018

The UK is providing £1.3 million to the UN’s Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) this financial year (2017/18) to facilitate commercial shipping into Yemen’s Red Sea ports and provide assurances against weapons smuggling. We have seconded UK experts to UNVIM in Djibouti to increase the number of inspections of commercial vessels.

Yemen imports 90% of its food and fuel, so it is essential that the Red Sea ports of Hodeidah and Saleef remain fully open to commercial and humanitarian imports to help the millions of people who don’t have enough to eat. We continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to allow full and unhindered commercial and humanitarian access for food, fuel and medical supplies throughout Yemen.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Hunting: Prosecutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions there have been for hunting foxes with hounds in each local authority area in England and Wales in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 07 February 2018

This information is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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