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 on: 11 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Gambling: Surveys
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for reinstating the British Gambling Prevalence Survey.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Following the British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS) in 2010 it was decided to include questions about gambling participation and the experience of gambling problems in national health surveys. Since then, data from the 2012 and 2015 Health Surveys for England and Scotland as well as the Problem Gambling Survey Wales 2015 has been used to assess rates of problem gambling. The health surveys have a similar methodology to the BGPS and target the same population group, while also allowing for cross-referencing of health and demographic variables with those related to gambling. There are no plans to change this method of data collection.

The Gambling Commission also monitors gambling participation and prevalence through quarterly telephone and online surveys with people aged 16 and over in Great Britain, conducted independently by Populus. Each survey captures the past four weeks’ gambling behaviour, including problem gambling estimates, consumer awareness of gambling tools and perceptions and attitudes towards gambling. These are collated into annual gambling behaviour reports.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for International Development
Syria: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter from the Secretary of State for International Development to the Friends of Syria All-Party Parliamentary Group on 28 May, which are the 15 agencies funded by the Department for International Development to implement projects in Syria.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 21 June 2018

DFID is now funding 18 agencies implementing projects in Syria. These include UN agencies, international NGOs, and some private sector companies. Aside from the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, we have agreed with partners not to disclose publicly their identity because doing so could put their staff at risk.

Q
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their plans for delivering full-fibre to the premises broadband connections to the majority of homes and businesses by 2025; and what proportion of homes and businesses they plan to reach by (1) 2020, and (2) 2022.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, launched in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, will set out the regulatory and policy changes that are needed to support investment in full fibre networks and deliver on the Government’s ambition, as announced by the Chancellor in his CBI speech for fibre rollout: 15 million premises covered by 2025 with a national network by 2033. The Report is due to be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: HL8503 | HL8504
Q
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional investment will be available to deliver their plans for full-fibre to the premises broadband connections to the majority of homes and businesses by 2025.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, launched in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, will set out the regulatory and policy changes that are needed to support investment in full fibre networks and deliver on the Government’s ambition, as announced by the Chancellor in his CBI speech for fibre rollout: 15 million premises covered by 2025 with a national network by 2033. The Report is due to be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: HL8502 | HL8504
Q
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish a response to their Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review consultation which closed in January.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, launched in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, will set out the regulatory and policy changes that are needed to support investment in full fibre networks and deliver on the Government’s ambition, as announced by the Chancellor in his CBI speech for fibre rollout: 15 million premises covered by 2025 with a national network by 2033. The Report is due to be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: HL8502 | HL8503
Q
(Hayes and Harlington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will publish the names of the regulatory bodies that (a) report to and (b) are overseen by each Government department.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 21 June 2018

From summer 2017 all Departments are required to publish Accounting Officer System Statements containing the names of bodies operating at arm’s length from central government departments, including those with regulatory functions. These statements are to be reviewed annually and republished when there are any material changes.

The statements can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/accounting-officer-system-statements

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Regional Airports: Air Routes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) domestic and (b) international routes have ceased operating at regional airports since 2015.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Between 2015 and 2017 a) 18 domestic passenger routes and b) 51 international passenger routes have ceased operating at regional airports. These figures are based on scheduled flights departing from regional airports that operate at least weekly. With regard to domestic passenger routes, in the same period 18 routes have been created.

The proposed Airports National Policy Statement sets out an expectation that expansion at Heathrow will deliver an additional six domestic routes. Separately, the Secretary of State has set out a clear ambition that about 15% of slots made available from a new runway will be used for domestic routes.

Q
Asked by Helen Hayes
(Dulwich and West Norwood)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Network Rail: Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on small and medium sized businesses of Network Rail’s decision to sell its commercial property business.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Network Rail is one of Britain’s largest providers of commercial business space for small to medium sized businesses. Arches are increasingly popular for a range of uses and the majority of tenants are small independent businesses.

Once the business is sold, all current leases will transfer to the new buyer and all lease arrangements and protections will be unchanged.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the number of trains cancelled in April by Arriva Rail North has put it in default on its franchise obligations.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

There are a number of service recovery and force majeure claims that will have to be processed before officials are able to assess if Arriva Rail North is in contravention of the Franchise Agreement.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Train Operating Companies: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 15 May 2003 to Question 113237 on rail strikes, whether rail franchise agreements still contain clauses to allow train operators to claim reimbursement of revenues lost as a result of official industrial action.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

All franchise agreements contain a standard clause under which train operating companies may approach the Secretary of State with a request for compensation for net losses that arise out of industrial action.

Our records show no compensation payments under this clause have been made to train operating companies since 2006.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provision there is in the current Northern Rail franchise agreement for the train operator to be reimbursed by the government for revenues lost as a result of official industrial action.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

As provided for in all franchise agreements, the Secretary of State, in his discretion, may at any time decide to reimburse or ameliorate net losses of the Franchisee arising from Industrial Action (however caused and of whatever nature) in circumstances where the Franchisee has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State that it has taken all reasonable steps to avoid the Industrial Action and that, Industrial Action having nevertheless occurred, the Franchisee has taken all reasonable steps to mitigate its effects.

Our records show no compensation payments under this clause have been made to train operating companies since 2006.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Arriva Rail North has asked the Government to reimburse it for revenues lost as a result of industrial action; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Any such request would be a commercial matter between Arriva Rail North and the Secretary of State. However, no payments have been made under the relevant Franchise Agreement provisions.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Transport for the North or Rail North have agreed any claim by Arriva Rail North to reimburse it for revenues lost as a result of industrial action; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

This is a reserved matter for the Secretary of State. Transport for the North has no authority under the terms of the Partnership Agreement to agree to such a claim. Rail North Ltd has become part of Transport for the North. As stated in my answer of 21 June, UIN 152739, no payments have been made under the relevant Franchise Agreement provisions.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government is required to seek the agreement of (a) Transport for the North and (b) Rail North in the event that Arriva Rail North seeks reimbursement for revenues lost as a result of industrial action.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

This matter is reserved to the Secretary of State under the terms of the Partnership Agreement. Rail North Ltd has become part of Transport for the North.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Transport for the North or Rail North were consulted in respect of any request by Arriva Rail North to be reimbursed for revenues lost as a result of industrial action; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

This matter is reserved to the Secretary of State under the terms of the Partnership Agreement. Rail North Ltd has become part of Transport for the North.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on whom the cost of compensating passengers inconvenienced by the emergency timetable introduced on Northern Rail falls.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

We recognise that passengers have faced an unacceptable level of disruption in the North.

A special compensation scheme for inconvenienced passengers is being established and details will be announced by Transport for the North.

This is an industry funded scheme which Network Rail are paying for in full from within their existing operational budgets. Network Rail have accepted that their late completion of upgrades has led to the significant disruption.

Q
Asked by Rosie Cooper
(West Lancashire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of local authorities to meet their statutory duties for adult social care.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 21 June 2018
Holding answer received on 15 June 2018

As part of our oversight of local government expenditure, we consider the financial stability and service delivery of individual authorities, liaising with other departments, including the Department of Health and Social Care in relation to adult social care. On this basis, we have no immediate concerns on the ability of local authorities to fulfil their statutory duties. We recognise the pressures on local government which is why we have provided an additional £2 billion to adult social care over the three years to 2019-20.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Trees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many trees have been felled alongside rail lines since June 2017.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

With 20,000 miles of track and millions of trees along the railway, ensuring vegetation is managed and the railway continues to be safe and reliable for the millions of people who use the network every day is a full time job for Network Rail. In the last year, there were more than a thousand incidents where trees caused disruption to the network as a result of storms, rain and wind. Network Rail estimate that around 50,000 trees a year are felled to ensure the safe and reliable running of the railway. This equates to 0.8% of the 6.2 million trees on the Network Rail estate. However, we do recognise that there are concerns which is why I recently announced a review into Network Rail’s vegetation management, which will including looking at whether Network Rail has the capacity and capability to manage vegetation in a way that minimises harm to wildlife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Regulation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many regulatory agencies were operating in the UK in 2017–18; and what was the total annual running cost of those agencies.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 21 June 2018

61 Arm’s Length Bodies with regulatory functions are listed in the Cabinet Office publication Public Bodies 2017. Many of these bodies also have non-regulatory functions. This publication does not include regulators operating as part of Government departments, outside central government, in devolved or local government, nor those which remain unclassified. The running cost of these bodies is set out in Public Bodies 2017, but this includes the cost of non-regulatory functions – the running cost of regulatory functions is not separately identified.

Q
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for International Development
Burma: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to commission a transparent review of UK aid spending in Myanmar.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 21 June 2018

In the light of events in Rakhine State since 2017, DFID Burma has undertaken a full strategic review of all its programming. As a result, DFID Burma is shifting its approach to focus more on inclusion, conflict-affected areas and groups, displaced populations and a more robust engagement with government. These efforts continue to support the long-term democratic, peace and economic transitions. A summary of the DFID Burma programme will be published in July alongside the DFID Annual Report 2018-19. Details of all DFID Burma programmes are published on the Devtracker website.

Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
New Businesses: Females
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of funding for female entrepreneurs.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

This Government is committed to ensuring that all businesses and business owners have the right support. There are now approximately 1.2 million women-led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.

The Government’s assessment is that funding, both equity and debt, is widely available to support entrepreneurs regardless of their gender. The report Small Business Finance Markets 2017/18 published by the British Business Bank notes that the value of equity investment (up 79%), asset finance (up 12%) and peer-to-peer business lending (up 51%) used by smaller businesses all showed significant growth in 2017.

There are 38 Growth Hubs across England providing support to help businesses start-up and grow. The Business Support Helpline also provides information and guidance to people across England - 45% of users in 2015/16 were women.

The Government-backed British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans provide funding and support to new entrepreneurs, of which 39% have been issued to women. The British Business Bank is also conducting research to identify ways to overcome the specific barriers faced by female-led Businesses in accessing Venture Capital. In collaboration with the Enterprise Research Centre they are gathering data from over 50 VC firms and are now commissioning behavioural research in this area.

Q
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Travellers: Equality
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the publication of the End of Mission Statement of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance at the Conclusion of Her Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in May, what assessment they have made of the lack of teachers from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, the over-representation of GRT children in secure training centres, and the lack of data on the experience of GRT persons in the criminal justice system.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Government is concerned about the inequalities experienced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, particularly in health and education. The Race Disparity Audit identified that Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities are amongst the most disadvantaged groups in British society and we are committed to do more to make sure nobody in this country is excluded or left behind.

The United Kingdom has a close working relationship with United Nations bodies and a standing invitation to all Special Rapporteurs, and is committed to upholding the rule of law and the rules-based international system. The Government welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s visit, and will provide further information to the Special Rapporteur as necessary. We will respond to the Special Rapporteur’s country visit findings, conclusions and recommendations when these are presented to the Human Rights Council.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Govia Thameslink Railways trains that have been removed temporarily from the May 2018 timetable will continue to appear on (a) train platforms display boards, (b) the National Railways website and (c) the National Railways phone app; and whether passengers will be able to claim appropriate delay and repay compensation against those trains.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

These customer facing systems are managed by the Train Operating Companies and third party suppliers. Where trains have been removed from the timetable in advance, they generally should not appear on these systems, whereas trains cancelled on the day will appear as cancellations.

Passengers are encouraged to apply for Delay Repay. Delay Repay compensation is payable to passengers disrupted by 15 minutes or more on Govia Thameslink Railway services. Currently, compensation entitlements will be payable in relation to claims that are submitted either against the May 2018 timetable or in relation to the train service in place on the day of travel.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Breast Cancer: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Oral Statement of 2 May 2018 on Breast Cancer Screening, Official Report, column 361, whether there is a record of the number of women who came forward to say they had not received an invitation to breast screening before May 2018.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

There is no record held of the total number of women coming forward who have not received an invitation to breast screening before May 2018.

Public Health England contacted 195,565 women registered with a general practitioner in England in May 2018. In addition, all the affected women known to have moved to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland were also written to by 1 June.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Non-governmental Organisations: EU Grants and Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the ability of UK registered non-governmental organisations to apply for funding under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights 2014-2020, established under European Parliament and Council Regulation No. 235/2014 (a) during the transitional period and (b) after the UK has left the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Council Regulation No. 236/2014 on the common rules and procedures for the EU’s Instruments for financing External Action applies to the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (established under Council Regulation No 235/2014). The Common Implementing Regulation sets no nationality requirement to be eligible for funding under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Non-governmental organisations should be unaffected by UK Exit both during the Implementation Period and after the UK has left the EU.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Grants and Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to continue to contribute to the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights 2014-2020 budget after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 June 2018

​In the Withdrawal Agreement we have agreed to honour commitments made during the period of our European Union membership. This includes paying our share of any budgetary commitments made up until the end of our current budget plan.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Saudi Arabia: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his Written Ministerial Statement of 23 May 2018, HCWS716, whether the additional support to Saudi Arabia will include (a) military and (b) medical support.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The British Government is working with Saudi Arabia to mitigate the threat from missiles fired from Yemen across the border into Saudi Arabia. UK personnel are providing information, advice and assistance limited to this objective. For reasons of operational security further details of this support are not being provided.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Bahraini authorities on the Bahraini Court of Appeal's decision to uphold the sentence against the human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Our Embassy in Bahrain has closely monitored the trials of Mr Rajab. Officials from the Embassy regularly attend Mr Rajab's court hearings, including the latest appeal verdict hearing. We have raised this case at senior levels. I am aware that there is now an opportunity for Mr Rajab's legal team to apply to the Court of Cassation to hear an appeal on this latest sentence. Our officials will continue to monitor the case closely.

I expressed my concerns on the sentence in my written statement of 21 February. I also reiterated the UK's call for Bahrain to protect freedom of expression for all its citizens, in line with their international obligations.

Q
(Rotherham)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to question 136923 on Internet: Children, what criteria is planned to be used to define online services which are likely to be accessed by children.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 21 June 2018

It will be for the Information Commissioner's Office to determine what criteria is used to define online services which are likely to be accessed by children as they are responsible for developing the new age-appropriate design code.

Q
(Rotherham)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to question 136402 on HIV Infection: Drugs, if he will he make an assessment of the potential barriers to joining the PrEP Impact trial for women who are victims of domestic violence.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial Team works together with the Trial Community Advisory Board to address issues regarding barriers to recruitment. A number of workstreams are ongoing or planned to specifically address access to the trial by women. These include a review of risk factors and associated vulnerabilities among women recruited to the trial; interviews with women to explore the facilitators and barriers to accessing PrEP; and mapping of activities across the country relating to PrEP awareness-raising among key populations including women.

Through Public Health England’s HIV Prevention Innovation Fund, three PrEP initiatives have been funded that aim to raise awareness in underserved communities, including women.

Q
Asked by Norman Lamb
(North Norfolk)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Pneumonia: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many stakeholders the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has consulted on the revised schedule for the infant pneumococcal immunisation programme since its meeting of 7 February 2018.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

As part of a stakeholder consultation on the childhood pneumococcal vaccination schedule, responses were sought from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Meningitis Now, and the Meningitis Research Foundation. Additional responses were received from the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations, the International Federation of Ageing, and the International Longevity Centre.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Pneumococcal sub-committee considered the responses received on 10 May 2018. The sub-committee reported to the JCVI on 6 June 2018. The minutes of these meetings will provide the Committee’s response to points raised during the consultation and will be published on or before 18 July 2018.

Grouped Questions: 153219
Q
Asked by Norman Lamb
(North Norfolk)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Pneumonia: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will respond to all stakeholder submissions on the proposal to reduce the number of doses in the infant pneumococcal vaccination programme.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

As part of a stakeholder consultation on the childhood pneumococcal vaccination schedule, responses were sought from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Meningitis Now, and the Meningitis Research Foundation. Additional responses were received from the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations, the International Federation of Ageing, and the International Longevity Centre.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Pneumococcal sub-committee considered the responses received on 10 May 2018. The sub-committee reported to the JCVI on 6 June 2018. The minutes of these meetings will provide the Committee’s response to points raised during the consultation and will be published on or before 18 July 2018.

Grouped Questions: 153218
Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of effect of the Teacher Supply Model on teacher recruitment in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Department uses the Teacher Supply Model (TSM) to estimate, at a national level, the number of postgraduate trainee teachers required each year.

In 2017/18 more trainees were recruited than in the previous year, but despite our improved performance, we fell short of the TSM target by 10%.

The growing pupil population in recent years has seen targets rise; for 2017/18 the target grew by 6% from the previous year. The 2018/19 TSM target has increased further by 4%.

The Department recognises the scale of the challenge this presents, which is why generous tax-free bursaries and scholarships worth up to £28,000 for trainees in priority subjects continue to be offered for 2018/19. The Department has also expanded the number of subjects in which schools and universities can recruit without centrally imposed limits, meaning that no good candidate should be turned away owing to the lack of a place.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Nutrition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the five-a-day campaign to improve healthy eating.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The 5 A Day campaign was launched in 2003 and refreshed in 2016. Since then, evidence from dietary surveys suggest that consumption of fruit and vegetables increased slightly and peaked in 2006/07 but there has been little or no change in consumption since the late 2000s; further information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey

It is not possible to determine to what extent these changes in consumption are due to the 5 A Day campaign compared to other factors such as price and availability, which are likely to have an influence. Due to these and other factors influencing food choice, it is difficult to assess the direct effect of single measures such as the 5 A Day campaign.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Exercise
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on health outcomes of the British Heart Foundation's 30 minutes of exercise per day campaign.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Department has not made an assessment of the impact of the British Heart Foundation exercise campaigns. The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines recommend that physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day for adults is beneficial for good health.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Tobacco: Packaging
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging on smoking.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 came into force on 20 May 2016. It is too soon to effectively evaluate the impact of this legislation. However, the Government is committed to completing and publishing a full post-implementation review before 20 May 2021 and to publishing subsequent reports at intervals not exceeding five years.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress he has made on deploying trade envoys to (a) the Middle East, (b) Asia, (c) Latin America, (d) North America, (e) Africa and (f) the Caribbean.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys do an extremely important job and make a vital contribution on a voluntary basis. They support UK companies to win business, as well as promoting the UK as a destination of choice for inward investment.

There are currently 30 Trade Envoys covering around 60 markets including in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa and the Caribbean. Trade Envoys are deployed regularly to their respective markets to promote British trade across the world and in the last financial year (17/18) made 52 official overseas visits.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Musculoskeletal Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of days which have been lost nationally in the workplace due to poor musculoskeletal health in each year for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 21 June 2018

In 2016, there were 30.8 million working days lost due to musculoskeletal problems (including back pain, neck and upper limb problems). This represents just over a fifth (22.4%) of all working days lost in that year.

The following table presents Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for the number of days lost through sickness absence as a result of musculoskeletal problems, for all people in employment in the United Kingdom aged 16 and over from 2009 - 2016. A day is defined as 7.5 hours.

Year

Total days lost (millions)

2009

39.3

2010

39.4

2011

35.4

2012

33.8

2013

30.6

2014

35.6

2015

32.8

2016

30.8

Source: Sickness absence in the labour market; ONS March 2017


https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2016#toc

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether there has been an under-spend in the budget for teacher bursaries in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Department for Education has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Forces Help to Buy Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to extend the Forces Help To Buy Scheme beyond December 2018.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 21 June 2018

It is anticipated that the Forces Help To Buy scheme will continue beyond December 2018.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of (a) specialist cancer nurses, (b) chemotherapy nurses, (c) palliative care nurses, (d) cancer support workers and (e) other diagnostic staff in the NHS.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Health Education England (HEE) published its first ever Cancer Workforce Plan in December 2017, which commits to the expansion of capacity and skills, including 200 clinical endoscopists and 300 reporting radiographers by 2021 and increasing the expansion of clinical nurse specialists so that every patient has access to a clinical nurse specialist or other support worker by 2021 by developing national competencies and a clear route into training. The 200 clinical endoscopists are in addition to the 200 by the end of 2018.

Phase 2 of the Cancer Workforce Plan is being developed by HEE for consultation over summer 2018 and will take a longer-term view with a horizon of around 15 years.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

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

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

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

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

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

Q
Asked by Andy McDonald
(Middlesbrough)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Network Rail
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Office for Rail and Road in (a) monitoring and (b) regulating the performance of Network Rail in (i) 2017 and (ii) 2018.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is independent of government and accountable directly to Parliament. Within this framework, Ministers and senior officials of the Department for Transport meet with ORR’s Chair and Chief Executive regularly to discuss the measures ORR is taking to monitor and regulate the performance of Network Rail, including the Network Rail Monitor, which provides a comprehensive assessment of the company’s performance.

Q
Asked by Andy McDonald
(Middlesbrough)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department in its monitoring of the performance of (a) Arriva Rail North and (b) Govia Thameslink Railway; and whether he has plans to improve mechanisms for that monitoring.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

At the request of the Secretary of State for Transport, a full independent inquiry is being undertaken by the Office of Rail and Road, chaired by Professor Stephen Glaister and a final report is due by the end of 2018. The Department will take account of any recommendations the review makes to improve the functions and effectiveness all the key rail bodies, including the Department for Transport. In parallel with this inquiry, the Department will assess whether its franchisees have met their contractual obligations in respect of planning and delivering timetable change. Where franchisees are found to be materially in breach of their contractual obligations the Department will take the appropriate enforcement action against them.

Q
Asked by Andy McDonald
(Middlesbrough)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Rail Delivery Group: Membership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much (a) Network Rail and (b) Direct Rail Services have spent on Rail Delivery Group membership fees since October 2016.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Network Rail’s membership fee to Rail Delivery Group is determined on an annual basis. The fee for the last two years are:

2016/17 £2.695m

2017/18 £2.760m

Direct Rail Services do not pay membership fees.

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