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
(Wantage)
Asked on: 23 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Reservoirs: Abingdon
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Ofwat on Thames Water’s cost estimate for the proposed Abingdon Reservoir.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Secretary of State will consider and make decisions on the draft water resources management plan, following both Thames Water’s consultation and advice from the Environment Agency (EA). Ofwat will also scrutinise Thames Water’s published proposals to make sure they offer customers value for money through the price review process.

Defra, Ofwat and the EA discussed with Thames Water the need for further consultation on its draft plan, following the previous consultation earlier this year. Thames Water has now published a statement of response, which explains the views expressed in its original consultation and the reasons for it deciding to carry out further consultation on its draft plan.

Grouped Questions: 195038 | 195039 | 195040 | 195041 | 195056
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 23 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Reservoirs: Abingdon
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the additional costs to Thames Water consumers of the construction of the proposed Abingdon reservoir.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Secretary of State will consider and make decisions on the draft water resources management plan, following both Thames Water’s consultation and advice from the Environment Agency (EA). Ofwat will also scrutinise Thames Water’s published proposals to make sure they offer customers value for money through the price review process.

Defra, Ofwat and the EA discussed with Thames Water the need for further consultation on its draft plan, following the previous consultation earlier this year. Thames Water has now published a statement of response, which explains the views expressed in its original consultation and the reasons for it deciding to carry out further consultation on its draft plan.

Grouped Questions: 195038 | 195039 | 195040 | 195041 | 195055
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 21 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Property: Parking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to tackle unauthorised parking on private property; and what support is available to people who wish to remove unwanted vehicles parked on their property.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 28 November 2018

The Government is currently supporting Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill that is seeking to create a code of practice for the private parking industry. There are, however, no current plans to further strengthen powers to tackle unauthorised parking on private property.

Landowners can manage parking on their land under the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. They may also employ a parking operator to undertake enforcement on their behalf.

Councils currently provide the support to remove unwanted vehicles. They have a statutory duty to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including on private land such as car parks. There is no statutory definition of ‘abandoned’, and it is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned. Council officers may legally enter private land in order to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 21 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Legal Aid Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to consult specialist bereavement organisations on Government policy to support bereaved families in seeking legal aid.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 November 2018

As part of its review of legal aid for inquests, over the summer my Department carried out a call for evidence exercise, conducted surveys of key stakeholders, and officials met bereaved people as well as groups which represent their interests.

The Department is now considering the responses and other feedback. Any significant changes to policy will be presented in a public consultation as part of the final report, in which anyone interested in this issue including members of the public and specialist bereavement organisations will be invited to respond to this consultation exercise. We intend to publish the final report by the end of the year.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 November 2018
Department for International Trade
Design: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the economic contribution of (a) design and (b) design skills to UK exports.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 20 November 2018

The Government recognises and champions the significant contribution that design and design skills play within the UK economy, particularly as a key factor in the production of services and goods across a wide range of sectors.

The Design Council produced a report into the Design Economy in 2018 which estimated that in 2015 the total value of exports where design had made a key contribution was £48.4 billion. The report also found that gross value added generated by the design economy increased by 52% between 2009 and 2016, with over 1.69 million people employed in the design economy and over 78,000 design intensive firms operating in the UK in 2017.

DCMS estimates that the wider creative sector was worth £92bn in 2016 and is growing twice the rate of the economy as a whole. This was up from £85bn the previous year.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 November 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Digital Technology: Design
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the value of digital design to (a) the UK economy and (b) UK exports.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 November 2018

We recognise the significant contribution design makes to the UK economy,

particularly as a key factor in the production of services and goods across a wide range of sectors. According to DCMS economic estimates design and designer fashion exports in 2016 were £380m, a 9.6% increase from 2015.

The Design Council produced a report into the Design Economy in 2018 which estimates that in 2015 the total value of exports where design had made a key contribution was £48.4 billion. The report also found that gross value added generated by the design economy increased by 52% between 2009 and 2016, with over 1.69 million people employed in the design economy and over 78,000 design intensive firms operating in the UK in 2017.

Grouped Questions: 190416
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 November 2018
Department for Education
STEM Subjects: Design
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to promote and support the development of design skills as part of STEM education.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 November 2018

The Department has worked with organisations such as the James Dyson Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering to reform the design and technology (D&T) A level, GCSE and curriculum. The content emphasises the iterative design processes at the heart of modern industry practice. There is also more mathematical and science content that students must use and relate closely to D&T, and a much greater use of design equipment such as 3D printers and robotics. Under the new national curriculum, reformed in 2014, D&T remains a compulsory subject in all maintained schools from Key Stage 1 to 3. Maintained schools are also required to offer it as a subject at Key Stage 4. Academies can use the national curriculum as a benchmark for what they teach. The D&T GCSE counts towards the Progress 8 secondary accountability measure.

The new qualification will prepare students for further study and careers in design. To ensure the subject is taught well, the Department supports recruitment of D&T teachers through bursaries of up to £12,000 for eligible candidates.

For post-16 students, the Government is introducing T Levels, based on learning from the best international examples. Once fully introduced, many of the new T Level programmes will focus on core science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations, including in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Designed by employers, T Levels will give students access to high quality technical study programmes, which will prepare them for employment and higher level study in STEM occupations.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 November 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Design
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the contribution to the UK economy of (a) design and (b) design skills.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 November 2018

We recognise the significant contribution design makes to the UK economy,

particularly as a key factor in the production of services and goods across a wide range of sectors. According to DCMS economic estimates design and designer fashion exports in 2016 were £380m, a 9.6% increase from 2015.

The Design Council produced a report into the Design Economy in 2018 which estimates that in 2015 the total value of exports where design had made a key contribution was £48.4 billion. The report also found that gross value added generated by the design economy increased by 52% between 2009 and 2016, with over 1.69 million people employed in the design economy and over 78,000 design intensive firms operating in the UK in 2017.

Grouped Questions: 190418
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Home Office
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for his Department to respond to its consultation on the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill; and what the timetable is for further steps to be taken in relation to that Bill.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 June 2018

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

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Dental Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2018 to Question 145294 on Dental Services, in what format the information is held.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 13 June 2018

NHS England collects data for management purposes on expenditure including any underspend across a number of sectors including dental services. As management data this information is held in an unvalidated form.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 01 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Negligence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to review the three-year time limit on legal action for clinical negligence claims against the NHS.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 11 June 2018

There are no plans to review the three-year limit in medical negligence cases.

Under section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 a patient is able to bring a claim for damages for clinical negligence against a trust or any other healthcare provider within three years from the date of injury. However, this can be longer if:

- the patient is a child, when the three year period only begins on his/her eighteenth birthday;

- the patient has a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983 so as to be incapable of managing his/ her own affairs, when the three year period is suspended; and

- there was an interval before the patient realised or could reasonably have found out that he/she had suffered a significant injury possibly related to his/her treatment.

The ‘date of knowledge’ of an injury could be a number of years after the treatment. In recognition that there may be some cases where the prescribed period is inadequate, the Limitation Act 1980 also gives the court discretion to disapply the limitation period in respect of claims for personal injuries when it considers it just and equitable to do so.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 17 May 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Dental Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the underspend for NHS dentist services was in the (a) 2014-15, (b) 2015-16, (c) 2016-17 and (d) 2017-18 financial years.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 25 May 2018

The information is currently not available in the format requested.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 04 May 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commercial Broadcasting: Radio
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to implement commercial radio deregulation.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 15 May 2018

The commercial radio deregulation consultation closed on 8 May 2017 and the government response was published on 18 December 2017.

The next phase is for DCMS to begin the detailed work to develop the new legislative structure and to bring forward legislation prior to analogue licenses coming up for renewal in 2022. Legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Public Lending Right: Electronic Publishing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to lay statutory instruments before Parliament to extend the Public Lending Right to e-book loans.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 09 May 2018

Section 31 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA 2017), when commenced, will extend the Public Lending Right (PLR) to include the remote lending of e-books and audiobooks, where such lending takes place away from library premises. The Department intends to consult shortly with interested parties about amending relevant secondary legislation to ensure that it reflects section 31 of the DEA 2017. We intend to lay the necessary statutory instruments to amend relevant secondary legislation as soon as is practicable, following consideration of the responses to consultation.

Grouped Questions: 139447
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Public Lending Right: Electronic Publishing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Public Lending Right will be extended to e-book loans in time for the planned implementation date of 1 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 09 May 2018

Section 31 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA 2017), when commenced, will extend the Public Lending Right (PLR) to include the remote lending of e-books and audiobooks, where such lending takes place away from library premises. The Department intends to consult shortly with interested parties about amending relevant secondary legislation to ensure that it reflects section 31 of the DEA 2017. We intend to lay the necessary statutory instruments to amend relevant secondary legislation as soon as is practicable, following consideration of the responses to consultation.

Grouped Questions: 139446
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
International Broadcasting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions the Government has had with international broadcasters located in the UK as part of its negotiations on securing access to EU broadcasting markets.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The government has engaged extensively with key broadcasting stakeholders on the impact of our exit from the EU. Over the past year, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the leading department for broadcasting policy, has held a number of ministerial roundtables with broadcasters on the topic of exiting the EU and related issues. We have also liaised with financial teams from a variety of broadcasting groups regarding the implications of our exit from the EU for these companies. In addition, ministers and officials continue to hold meetings with individual stakeholders to understand their preferences and concerns.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Trade
Musicians: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether his Department plans to raise the relaxation of visa restrictions for UK musicians performing in the USA in negotiations on a potential trade deal.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 14 February 2018

It’s too early to say what would be covered in a future trading arrangement with the USA. We want an agreement that will help both UK and US businesses to trade with each other effectively. We will consider market access barriers across all sectors and identify where we can collaborate to promote trade.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 24 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what consideration the Government is giving to the delivery of place quality in its national housebuilding strategy.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 07 December 2017

The Housing White Paper sets out a number of measures to strengthen national planning policy on design. These measures include:

  • Planning reform to strengthen policy requirements for good design in the National Planning Policy Framework and in Local Plans.
  • Supporting wider use of Neighbourhood Planning.

  • Providing additional funding to authorities to help them plan for growth and improve design.

  • Working with Homes England to set quality criteria for funded housing programmes.

  • Highlighting examples of good practice in housing design through support for awards.

  • Highlighting best practice for community engagement, including the use of digital platforms to visualise designs.

I also launched a government commitment to raising design quality at a recent Design Quality Symposium hosted by the RIBA, attended by members of the housing industry, local authorities, professional bodies, academics and other government departments.

In a Written Ministerial Statement on 4 December, I set out provisions to support design skills, capacity and capability through the Planning Delivery Fund. This £25 million fund will help to support a step change in design quality of new development, as well as design advice and support to local authorities delivering growth.

The Planning Delivery Fund prospectus is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/planning-delivery-fund-prospectus

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Planning Authorities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local planning authorities follow the guidance in paragraph 62 of the National Planning Policy Framework which recommends that local design review arrangements are put in place to provide assessment and support to ensure high standards of design; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of local design review arrangements for implementing that recommendation.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 06 December 2017

The Government believes that good design is fundamental to creating attractive, safe and healthy places, where people genuinely want to live. Furthermore, high quality design is key to making development acceptable. The Housing White Paper published in February this year set out a number of measures to strengthen national planning policy on design.

Included in these proposals are measures to strengthen the role of design expectations and pre-application discussions on design. Local and Neighbourhood plans are an essential way to give communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing, and to influence the design of what gets built in their area. As part of the White Paper we also set out our ambition to make clear that design should not be used as a valid reason to object to development where it accords with clear design expectations.

Following the Housing White Paper consultation, we are now considering the responses to these proposals on design, with a view to publishing a revised National Planning Policy Framework for consultation in early 2018.

As a further measure to support increased design capacity within local planning authorities, we announced the Planning Delivery Fund on 4 December 2017. This £25 million fund will help to support a step change in design quality of new development, as well as design advice and support to local planning authorities delivering growth.

Grouped Questions: 115694
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Planning
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with local authorities on achieving the National Planning Policy Framework core planning principle that planning should always seek to secure high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings; and whether he has any plans to strengthen the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure high quality design for the built environment.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 06 December 2017

The Government believes that good design is fundamental to creating attractive, safe and healthy places, where people genuinely want to live. Furthermore, high quality design is key to making development acceptable. The Housing White Paper published in February this year set out a number of measures to strengthen national planning policy on design.

Included in these proposals are measures to strengthen the role of design expectations and pre-application discussions on design. Local and Neighbourhood plans are an essential way to give communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing, and to influence the design of what gets built in their area. As part of the White Paper we also set out our ambition to make clear that design should not be used as a valid reason to object to development where it accords with clear design expectations.

Following the Housing White Paper consultation, we are now considering the responses to these proposals on design, with a view to publishing a revised National Planning Policy Framework for consultation in early 2018.

As a further measure to support increased design capacity within local planning authorities, we announced the Planning Delivery Fund on 4 December 2017. This £25 million fund will help to support a step change in design quality of new development, as well as design advice and support to local planning authorities delivering growth.

Grouped Questions: 115693
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