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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(Hornsey and Wood Green)
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Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department holds information on the number of (a) Palestinian (i) civilians and (ii) militants and (b) Israeli (i) civilians and (ii) militants wounded in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the last year.
A
Corrected answer by: Alistair Burt
Corrected on: 21 June 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 06 June 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

​Public reports suggest that from June 2017 until 4 June 2018, 6 91 Israelis, 2 of them soldiers, and over 190 16,200 Palestinians have been wounded killed.

The British Government does not compile an independent assessment of whether those killed wounded could be classified as civilians or militants. We call on the relevant authorities to ensure that any incident involving loss of life is investigated thoroughly and transparently.

A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 June 2018

​Public reports suggest that from June 2017 until 4 June 2018, 6 91 Israelis, 2 of them soldiers, and over 190 16,200 Palestinians have been wounded killed.

The British Government does not compile an independent assessment of whether those killed wounded could be classified as civilians or militants. We call on the relevant authorities to ensure that any incident involving loss of life is investigated thoroughly and transparently.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department for Education
Pupils: Personal Records
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to inform schools that they no longer need to collect data on pupils' nationality and to remove any such information from their records.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 21 June 2018

School census requirements are published annually on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-census. The requirements for 2018/19 will be published shortly.

Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Timetables
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2018 to Question 148967, when it became apparent that Govia Thameslink Railway was unable to deliver all planned services according to the May 2018 timetable changes.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Govia Thameslink Railway informed Ministers after they had implemented final roster changes that they were unable to deliver all their planned services.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with energy providers on promoting renewable energy use in rural homes.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Ministers regularly discuss a range of issues with energy suppliers.

The Rural Community Energy Fund provides funding for feasibility studies for rural communities to develop, own and generate their own energy. The Feed-in Tariff scheme also remains open for projects across the UK, including community projects.

There remains up to £100m of support for small scale renewables through the Feed-in Tariff up to 2019. As we set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, we are currently considering options for our approach to small scale low carbon generation beyond 2019. We will make a statement on future support for small scale renewables in due course.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Pupils: Measurement
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they track the weight of school children between the ages of 12 and 16; if so, how this is done; and how the results are communicated to all the parents of the children so measured.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The weight of school children between the ages of 12 and 16 is not tracked nationally.

Data is collected on the height and weight of children aged 2-15 in the Health Survey for England (HSE). Around 2,000 children (aged 0-15) take part in the survey each year. Information is collected through an interview and, if participants agree, a visit from a specially trained nurse. In 2016 the sample contained 2,056 children of which 1,117 children had a nurse visit.

The HSE is a sample survey for the purposes of providing statistical information on the health and lifestyles of people across England. It is not designed to report back to parents on their child’s weight.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
EURATOM
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which components of Euratom's work programme will the UK participate in following the current negotiations; and whether those will include regulation, safety, energy coordination, and long term research and development of fusion and nuclear waste policies.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Government’s strategy is to seek a close association with Euratom, to the mutual benefit of the UK and the EU, and to provide maximum continuity for the civil nuclear sector. The components of this future relationship with Euratom are subject to negotiations with the EU. The UK will also seek to fully associate itself with the Euratom Research and Training Programme, including the Joint European Torus (JET) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and recognises that such an association would necessarily involve an appropriate financial contribution in line with other associated countries.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they are proposing to remove the term "social rent" from the glossary definition of affordable housing on their proposed new National Planning Policy Framework.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

In the draft National Planning Policy Framework we have consulted on a revised definition of affordable housing for planning purposes. The proposed definition does not remove social rent as a type of affordable housing. The Government’s rent policy sets out guidelines for rent setting for social rent properties and is specifically referenced in the proposed definition. We are considering whether any further amendments to the definition are needed in the light of the comments received, and intend to publish a final version this summer.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing Associations: Rents
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the annual one per cent rent cut on the ability of housing associations to deliver effective services to their tenants.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Government’s published Impact Assessment (attached) is available online: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/impact-assessments/IA15-006F.pdf. The 2017 Global Accounts (published by the Regulator of Social Housing) report that the housing association sector continues to be financially robust, with a total net surplus of £4.1bn - up from £3.3bn in the previous year.

Impact assessment (PDF Document, 63.81 KB)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Council Housing: Greater London
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the plans by the Mayor of London to provide grant funding to local authorities in London to build council housing.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Mayor has responsibility for housing delivery in London.

At Spring Statement 2018, the Chancellor announced that we will be providing London with an additional £1.67bn from the Affordable Homes Programme to support the Mayor to build a further 26,000 affordable homes. Two-third will be homes for rent, including at social rent. This has increased our investment in London to over £4.8bn for at least 116,000 affordable homes by March 2022.

We are providing the Mayor with the investment to deliver the affordable homes that London needs, working with Housing Associations and Local Authorities.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Home Office
Peers: Correspondence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Home Secretary will respond to my email of 27 May concerning the arrangements for the protection of Tommy Robinson in prison.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The safety of all prisoners under assessment, is a priority for this government, and where threats to a prisoner’s safety are identified, measures are taken to mitigate these.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of children in rural England who no longer have access to free school transport as a result of cutbacks to free transport services by local councils; and what is their policy on the provision of school transport in rural areas.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The government does not centrally collect data on the number of children who receive free transport.

Local authorities consistently spend approximately £1 billion per year on home to school transport.

Local authorities must provide free transport from home to school for eligible children. This includes transport for those who attend their nearest suitable school where it is beyond the statutory walking distances of two miles for children under eight years old and three miles for those aged eight to 16. They must also provide transport where there is no safe walking route. Approximately 60% of this funding is spent on transport for children with special educational needs.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Concessions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost to the public purse so far of the national pilot scheme for the 26–30 railcard; and what estimate they have made of the potential cost to the public purse of making the scheme available throughout England.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The 26-30 Railcard trial is being carried out by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), an association which includes all British rail companies and Network Rail. RDG are investigating the impact of the trial which will inform decisions moving forward regarding a potential roll out across Great Britain.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Concessions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what, if any, subsidy they provide to train operating companies for the operation of the 16–25 railcard scheme.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 21 June 2018

As set out in franchise agreements with train operators, the Department for Transport will receive a premium from them or pay out a subsidy based on a range of various measures that the franchisee is asked to deliver, of which railcards are one. It is not possible to disentangle all of the individual elements that contribute to a Train Operating Company’s subsidy.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Concessions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people who will apply for a 26–30 railcard once fully rolled out throughout England.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The 26-30 Railcard trial is being carried out by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), an association which includes all British rail companies and Network Rail. RDG initially made available 10,000 tickets for the first wave of this trial followed by a further 10,000 for the second wave. They are investigating the trial and evaluating its impact which will help inform the decision making process regarding a potential roll out across Great Britain.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department for Transport
First TransPennine Express
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have agreed to the use on some routes operated by TransPennine Express of trains which are not able to accommodate wheelchairs; and what assessment they have made of whether those trains are compliant with disability rights legislation.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Rail North Partnership team (which manages the franchise on behalf of the Department and Transport for the North) have been advised by TransPennine Express that they do not intend to operate Mk3 coaches in passenger carrying service.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Home Office
Police: Biometrics
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the annual report of the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material, published in March; and whether they intend to bring forward legislation to govern the use of automated facial recognition by the police.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Government published its response to the Biometrics Commissioner’s Annual Report on 5 June on the gov.uk website.

On the issue of legislation on police use of automated facial recognition, I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave to his question HL8083 on 4 June.

Asked on: 07 June 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 24 May (HCWS722), how many non-documented Commonwealth citizens, other than those from Caribbean nations, have been removed from the UK while claiming to have been settled here (1) on 1 January 1973, and (2) between 1973 and 1988.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Home Secretary has committed to regularly updating the Home Affairs Select Committee on the Department's review of all removals and immigration detentions, dating back to 2002, of Caribbean nationals now aged over 45 (i.e. born before 1.1.73), to establish whether any could have entered the UK prior to 1973 and therefore might be protected by the Immigration Act 1971.

We want to take stock of the emerging findings of this initial work before going further.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Children in Care
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children who entered the UK under (1) the Vulnerable Children's Resettlement Scheme, and (2) section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (a) have been placed in local authority care, and (b) remain in local authority care; and in which local authorities they were placed.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Unaccompanied children arriving in the UK through the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 are placed into the care of a local authority. Placements for these children are secured from local authorities voluntarily participating in the National Transfer Scheme.

However due to the inherent vulnerability and relatively small numbers of this cohort, the Home Office does not publish a breakdown of such children entering and leaving local authority care.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Employment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people granted refugee status were in employment in the UK (1) one year, and (2) five years, after refugee status was granted.
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Home Office does not collect the information required to calculate the total number of people granted refugee status who are in employment in the UK for any point in time.

We recognise the difficulties refugees can face when looking for work. We have funded a pilot project to provide additional employment support to refugees resettled through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and we will share the learning from this pilot with the Department for Work and Pensions and others. We continue to work closely with colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that refugees are aware of, and receive, the support they are entitled to.

Q
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Employment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of adult offenders were in employment one year after (1) a caution, (2) a conviction, and (3) release from prison, in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 21 June 2018

We do not currently hold the data as requested. We are working with HM Revenue and Customs and Department for Work and Pensions to capture this information in the future.

From a previous joint exercise between the Ministry of Justice, HMRC and DWP to analyse the links between employment, benefits and reoffending, we know that in 2011-12, one year after a:

- police caution: 40% of working age offenders were in P45 employment

- release from prison: 17% of working age offenders were in P45 employment

Securing employment after a sentence has a positive impact on rates of reoffending. Offenders who found P45 employment in the twelve months after release from prison had one year re-offending rates that were 6-9 percentage points lower than similar offenders who did not find employment.

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