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
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government’s plans to move Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers onto the Alpha Pensions Scheme from April 2019.
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 18 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many non-UK EU citizens are employed by the Armed Forces; and how many of those non-UK EU citizens are employed in the (a) STEM (b) hospitality field.
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 18 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many chefs are employed by the Armed Forces; how many of those chefs are non-UK citizens; and how many of those non-UK citizen chefs are EU citizens.
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 18 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made any changes to it's STEM recruitment policies since the vote on the UK leaving the EU.
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Catering
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the number of chefs in the armed forces of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 June 2018

The Ministry of Defence recognises that, given the number of non-UK employees in the catering and hospitality industry, any BREXIT impact in this sector could potentially affect the recruitment and retention of chefs in the Armed Forces.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence to the Public Accounts Committee on 4 June 2018, Q41 and Q135, for what reason his Department has not made any assessment of (a) the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the STEM ecosystem and (b) the potential consequential effect of changes in that ecosystem on recruitment to the armed forces; and what assessment his Department will now make of those issues.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 June 2018

Following the EU Exit referendum, as part of the formulation of Ministry of Defence strategy, an assessment was undertaken of the potential impact of BREXIT on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. It concluded that BREXIT was unlikely to impact directly on Armed Forces recruitment, given our nationality requirements, but there could be a secondary impact should BREXIT increase demand for scarce skills in the UK. This could, indirectly, impact on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. The Ministry of Defence is preparing its comments on the Public Accounts Committee transcript of 4 June and will provide an appropriate clarification to the Committee.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Warships: Sunderland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to secure an affiliation between a Royal Navy vessel and the city of Sunderland following the decommissioning of HMS Ocean in March 2018.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 12 June 2018

The Royal Navy will inform Sunderland Council in due course regarding a future affiliation with the city.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 05 June 2018
Treasury
Royal Bank of Scotland: Closures
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the RBS mobile banking service as a result of the closure of RBS branches; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 11 June 2018

The Treasury does not make assessments of branch closures, or alternative methods of banking, as these are commercial matters for banks. However, Government believes it is important the impact of branch closures on communities must be understood, considered and mitigated where possible.

The Government supports the industry’s Access to Banking Standard which commits banks to ensure personal and business customers are better informed about branch closures and the reasons for them closing. It also helps customers to understand the options they have locally to continue to access banking services, including specialist assistance for customers who need more help. The Access to Banking Standard is monitored and enforced by the independent Lending Standards Board.

Government also considers it important that all customers, wherever they live and especially those who are vulnerable, can still access over the counter services. That is why the Government supports the Post Office’s Banking Framework Agreement, which enables 99% of banks’ personal and 95% of banks’ business customers to withdraw cash, deposit cash and cheques, and make balance enquiries at a Post Office counter via its network of 11,600 branches.

The Government is committed to ensuring that communities across the UK are fully aware of the important services that remain available to them at their local Post Office, even if their bank branch is closed. The Post Office and UK Finance have committed to work together to raise public awareness of the banking services available at the Post Office for individuals and SMEs, which the Government welcomes.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 06 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the level of recruitment to the armed forces.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 11 June 2018

Following the EU Exit referendum, as part of the formulation of Ministry of Defence strategy, an assessment was undertaken of the potential impact of Brexit on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. It concluded that Brexit was unlikely to impact directly on Armed Forces recruitment, given our nationality requirements, but there could be a secondary impact should Brexit increase demand for scarce skills in the UK. This could, indirectly, impact on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. Given uncertainty over the nature of the final Brexit arrangements and the subsequent impact on the UK skills base there are a range of potential consequences which will inform future Armed Forces recruitment and retention policy.

Grouped Questions: 150752
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 06 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the ability of the armed forces to recruit STEM graduates after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 11 June 2018

Following the EU Exit referendum, as part of the formulation of Ministry of Defence strategy, an assessment was undertaken of the potential impact of Brexit on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. It concluded that Brexit was unlikely to impact directly on Armed Forces recruitment, given our nationality requirements, but there could be a secondary impact should Brexit increase demand for scarce skills in the UK. This could, indirectly, impact on Armed Forces recruitment and retention. Given uncertainty over the nature of the final Brexit arrangements and the subsequent impact on the UK skills base there are a range of potential consequences which will inform future Armed Forces recruitment and retention policy.

Grouped Questions: 150751
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 14 May 2018
House of Commons Commission
Parliamentary Estate: Recycling
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what proportion of disposable (a) cups, (b) food containers and (c) cutlery used on the parliamentary estate is recycled.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 21 May 2018

We do not receive a comprehensive breakdown of the totals of these wastes within either our mixed recycling or general waste streams.

Plastic cups can be collected as part of the dry mixed recycling scheme, enabling them to be recycled.

Food containers and cutlery are at present collected as part of our general waste stream due to potential contamination from food and liquids. Instructions for our general waste bins in Parliament are that the only items deposited in this waste steam are non-recyclables and contaminated waste.

Within the single-use avoidable plastics strategy announced on 15 May 2018, the House Authorities committed to replacing the existing catering disposables range, which is predominantly non-recyclable, for a compostable alternative. This will enable the entire range of disposable items provided by the House to be recycled.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 14 May 2018
House of Commons Commission
House of Commons: Packaging
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the House of Commons spent on (a) disposable cups, (b) disposable food containers and (c) disposable cutlery in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 17 May 2018

In each of the last three years the House of Commons spent the following amounts on disposable cups, disposable food containers and disposable cutlery:

2015

2016

2017

Disposable cups

£37,134

£40,771

£41,258

Disposable food containers

£29,862

£34,391

£37,536

Disposable plastic cutlery

£4,834

£4,631

£5,426

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 09 May 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on access to broadband in remote parts of Scotland.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 10 May 2018

We are keen to support the Scottish Government through its current procurement and continue to provide every assistance to deliver Superfast broadband along with new fibre networks to Scotland. The Secretary of State recently appeared before the Scottish Affairs committee to discuss digital connectivity in Scotland.

In addition, officials from the department have had regular meetings with their counterparts at the Scottish Government including providing technical advice and guidance to the Scottish Government programme team.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 25 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
Russia: Warships
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on (a) how many occasions and (b) which dates UK warships escorted Russian ships out of English territorial waters into international waters during 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 30 April 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbeldon), on 29 March 2018 to Question HL6834 in the House of Lords.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria her Department uses for appealing decisions by the first-tier tribunal to award personal independence payments.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 26 April 2018
Holding answer received on 25 April 2018

The Department will only seek to refer decisions of the First-tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal, in Personal Independence Payment cases as well as those of other benefits, where we contend that the First-tier Tribunal has made an error in law. Each case is considered on its merits.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is for a hearing by the Upper Tribunal of an appeal by her Department against a decision by the First-tier Tribunal to allow an award of personal independence payment.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 25 April 2018

The information requested is not held by the Department.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial safeguards his Department have put in place to protect vulnerable claimants in the event that their claim is delayed as a result appeals by her Department on the First-tier decision to award personal Independence payments.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 25 April 2018

At any time whilst payment is suspended as a result of a challenge to the tribunal judgement by the Secretary of State, a claimant can request that it is lifted on hardship grounds. Each case is considered on its merits and challenge will only be brought if we believe that a tribunal’s decision is erroneous in law.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 14 March 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the development of (a) Dounreay TrÍ, (b) Forthwind and (c) Kincardine offshore wind projects on the (i) the UK and (ii) Scottish economy.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 06 April 2018

The potential effect on the UK and Scottish economy would depend upon a number of factors including the size of the projects, their individual procurement plans and the levels of local content achieved. For example, it has been reported that equipment and components for certain elements of these projects could be sourced from a range of locations, including Europe and the Far East.

Whilst floating offshore wind is still at a relatively early stage of development, it could have a role in the long-term decarbonisation and contribute to our Industrial Strategy, if it can demonstrate that it can bring down costs and compete with other forms of low carbon generation.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2018 to Question 131729, on Ministry of Defence; buildings, what the average annual rent charged for those properties was.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 05 April 2018

The average annual rent charged for accommodation properties rented to non-military personnel living in Ministry of Defence owned properties is £10,944.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2018 to Question 131729, on Ministry of Defence: Buildings, the location of the accommodation properties owned by his Department which were rented to non-military personnel between January 2016 and January 2017.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 05 April 2018

Between January 2016 and January 2017, non-military personnel were accommodated for varying periods of time in County Antrim, County Down, Devon, Edinburgh, Fife, Hants and Warwickshire.

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