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
Asked by Lord Warner
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health and Social Services: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what increases, in constant prices and on present funding plans, will be provided for (1) Public Health England, (2) local authority public health services, and (3) adult social care services, over each of the next five years; and what are the planned annual percentage increases for each of those service areas over that period.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Corrected on: 20 July 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 03 July 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The available figures are provided in the following table.

2019-20 budget

2020-21 budget

Public Health England: operating expenditure £ million

287 237

287 237

Increase (£)

-

£0

Increase (%)

-

0%

2019-20 planned

2020-21 planned

Public health funding for local authorities £ billion

3.13

3.13

Increase (£)

-

£0

Increase (%)

-

0%

Budgets for both Public Health England and local authorities beyond these years will be agreed as part of the next Spending Review settlement.

Spending decisions on social care, including annual increases, are a matter for local government which know their local areas best. Overall, the Government has given access to £9.4 billion additional funding for social care between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Funding allocations for local government beyond 2019-20 are subject to the Spending Review.

A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 03 July 2018

The available figures are provided in the following table.

2019-20 budget

2020-21 budget

Public Health England: operating expenditure £ million

287 237

287 237

Increase (£)

-

£0

Increase (%)

-

0%

2019-20 planned

2020-21 planned

Public health funding for local authorities £ billion

3.13

3.13

Increase (£)

-

£0

Increase (%)

-

0%

Budgets for both Public Health England and local authorities beyond these years will be agreed as part of the next Spending Review settlement.

Spending decisions on social care, including annual increases, are a matter for local government which know their local areas best. Overall, the Government has given access to £9.4 billion additional funding for social care between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Funding allocations for local government beyond 2019-20 are subject to the Spending Review.

Q
(Basingstoke)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Ministry of Justice
Sexual Offences: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2018 to Question 155217, if he will place details of the consultation with victims referred to in the Library.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 20 July 2018
Holding answer received on 04 July 2018

The offence at Section 33 of the Criminal Justice Act 2015 was introduced after engagement with interested persons, including victims and key stakeholders. This was swiftly conducted and a formal document was not produced or published. Feedback was used to inform the policy making process.

Q
Asked by Lord Boateng
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Ethnic Groups
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of patients referred through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme were from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 20 July 2018

The proportion of patients referred to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in 2016-17 who were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities is shown in the following table.

Number of IAPT referrals1 received by ethnicity group, England, 2016-17

Ethnicity

Count of new referrals received

Proportion of total referrals received2

Asian/Asian British

60,578

4%

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British

36,016

3%

Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups

29,150

2%

Other Ethnic Group

18,776

1%

White

1,016,523

73%

Not stated/not known

224,621

16%

Source: IAPT dataset, NHS Digital

Notes:

  1. Referrals with a referral received date in the year.
  2. Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.
Q
Asked by Lord Boateng
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on mental health services of the increase in the numbers of people presenting with practical problems as identified in the report by Citizens Advice, The road block to recovery, published in July.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 20 July 2018

NHS England recognises that many people who come to the attention of secondary community mental health services need support with practical problems such as housing and debt advice. As a result, its framework for community mental health services currently in development will emphasise the importance of integrated service models which can address such needs, for example through partnerships between the National Health Service, local authority and voluntary sector services.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services provide evidence-based psychological therapies to people with common mental health disorders. They are not designed to address practical problems, however, where appropriate, therapists may signpost patients to other local sources of help for those practical problems and, if necessary, where a practical problem is likely to impact negatively on treatment, defer treatment until the person is better able to benefit from that treatment.

Asked on: 09 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Diabetes: Medical Equipment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the decision to make the Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring system available on the NHS to diabetic patients, whether they will ensure that that system is available to all who require it in all parts of England.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 20 July 2018

Reducing variation in the management and care of people with diabetes by 2020 is an objective in the National Health Service mandate. The NHS RightCare diabetes pathway shows the core components of an optimal diabetes service, as well as evidence of the opportunity to reduce variation. Ultimately it is for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), who are primarily responsible for commissioning diabetes services, to meet the requirements of their population. In doing so, CCGs need to ensure that the services they provide are fit for purpose, reflect the needs of the local population, are based on the available evidence and take into account national guidelines. This includes determining whether specific technologies, such as flash glucose monitoring, form part of their service and if it is suitable for individual patients to support the ongoing management of their condition.

The Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee North has issued advice on the use of Freestyle Libre to support the CCGs in doing this, suggesting a careful start to its use and data collection to better understand the benefits for patients. The guidance Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee (RMOC) Flash Glucose Monitoring Systems Position Statement is attached.

Flash Glucose Monitoring Systems Guidance (PDF Document, 146.51 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Monks
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Department for Transport
Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to ratify the International Civil Aviation Organisation Montreal Protocol 2014 on disruptive passengers.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 20 July 2018

During this legislative cycle, the Government does not currently intend to complete the ratification of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Montreal Protocol 2014 on disruptive passengers. The majority of the provisions within this protocol are already part of UK law, and I am confident we can take necessary action in regard to disruptive passengers. For example, the UK already has state of landing and state of operator jurisdiction, which means that disruptive passengers on any flight that touches down within the UK can be charged and, if necessary, prosecuted.

Asked on: 10 July 2018
Department for Education
School Meals: Meat
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 4 July, what action they will take to ensure that parents can prevent their children in state schools from being fed meat from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 20 July 2018

Head teachers, governors and their caterers are best placed to make decisions about their school food policies. We expect schools to act reasonably and to provide choices that take account of cultural, religious and special dietary needs. We also expect schools to work with parents in making appropriate arrangements.

Q
Asked on: 10 July 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
UK Research and Innovation: Taxation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what tax liabilities UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has generated since its inception; what estimates they have of the extent of these liabilities in this financial year and the next; and whether such tax liabilities will reduce the funds available to UKRI for distribution via Research Councils.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 20 July 2018

Like many other non-departmental bodies, UKRI’s tax liabilities include VAT and business rates. As UKRI is a new body, we are working with HMRC and HMT to ensure it pays the necessary and appropriate levels of tax. While details are being worked out, UKRI is meeting all new costs centrally and there has been no impact on Research Council spending. UKRI estimates the potential additional tax impact on running costs, following the creation of UKRI, to be £15m per annum. Further to this, some of UKRI’s capital projects previously qualified for VAT relief, so the impact of UKRI’s new legal status on this is being assessed and will be factored into UKRI’s planning going forward. UKRI and BEIS remain focussed on maximising spend on frontline science and research.

Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Alternative Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department is making on (a) improving and (b) strengthening the quality of (i) teachers and (ii) leaders in alternative provision; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

Improving teacher quality is key to improving educational outcomes for pupils wherever they are in the country and within all forms of provision, including alternative provision (AP). High-quality teachers are the single most important factor determining how well pupils achieve in all schools.

On 16 March, the Government published ‘Creating Opportunity for All: Our Vision for Alternative Provision’. This sets out the Government’s vision to ensure that all AP settings provide high quality education, including by ensuring that staff within AP providers can access relevant opportunities for continuous professional development.

Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Alternative Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the outcome of the alternative provision strand of the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

On 14 June 2018, the Department informed all those invited to tender that there would be a delay in notifying potential suppliers whether they would be invited to contract for the second round of the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. The Department will publish the outcomes of this procurement in due course.

Grouped Questions: 163070
Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Alternative Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications for funding were received for the alternative provision strand of his Department’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund; and how many of those applications have been approved.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

On 14 June 2018, the Department informed all those invited to tender that there would be a delay in notifying potential suppliers whether they would be invited to contract for the second round of the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. The Department will publish the outcomes of this procurement in due course.

Grouped Questions: 163069
Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Alternative Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on building an evidence base for improving outcomes for children in alternative provision under his Department’s Alternative Provision Innovation Fund since September 2017 .
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

In March 2018, the Department launched an alternative provision (AP) Innovation Fund of £4 million focused on developing effective practice for improving outcomes for children who attend AP. The Fund will run from 2018 until 2020.

The Department is currently assessing bids and will publicly announce the outcomes of the grant application process in due course. The successful bids will be independently evaluated, which will inform our evidence base on effective practice in AP.

Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Pupil Exclusions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the level of school exclusions; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

The Government has launched an externally led review of exclusions practice, led by Edward Timpson CBE. The review will consider how schools use exclusion overall and how this impacts their pupils, and in particular, why some groups of pupils are more likely to be excluded from school. It will also consider practice in relation to behaviour management and alternative interventions schools take in place of exclusion.

Good progress has been made gathering evidence, including through a call for evidence which received a significant response from parents. The review will aim to report by the end of the year. The full terms of reference for the review can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-exclusions-review-terms-of-reference.

Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Pupil Exclusions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle the increase in off-rolling before examinations; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

A pupil’s name can only lawfully be deleted from the admission register on the grounds prescribed in regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended.

Schools can only exclude pupils, either permanently or for a fixed period, for disciplinary reasons. The Department supports schools in using exclusion where this is warranted. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort, in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy and where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

Following media coverage of inappropriate off-rolling last summer, the Department wrote to all secondary schools, reminding them of the rules surrounding exclusion. Ofsted recently issued guidance to inspectors, reminding them to be alert to this matter. The guidance makes clear that instances of off-rolling should be discussed with school leaders during the inspection, and should inform the evaluation of evidence for the effectiveness of leadership and management, and outcomes for pupils.

Q
Asked by Robert Halfon
(Harlow)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
Alternative Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) improve the quality of independent alternative provision and (b) ensure that unsafe alternative providers (i) close and (ii) are not commissioned by schools to provide services.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 July 2018

On 16 March, the Government published ‘Creating Opportunity for All: Our Vision for Alternative Provision’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-provision. This sets out the Government’s vision to ensure that all Alternative Provision (AP) settings provide high quality education.

If an AP provider is registered as an independent school it is subject to the regulatory regime for independent schools and must meet the independent school standards prescribed in regulations. If it does not do so, there is a process set out in the Education and Skills Act 2008 designed to ensure that such schools either improve or can be removed from the register of independent schools, which obliges them to close.

A consultation by the Department on regulation of independent schools, covering proposed guidance on the standards and an enforcement policy, concluded on 5 June and responses are still being considered.

In all cases, the local authority or school acting as the commissioner should assure themselves that the setting is registered where appropriate and that provision is delivered by high quality staff with suitable training, experience and safeguarding checks.

The Government will look closely at any relevant findings gathered and produced by the Education Select Committee as part of its inquiry into Alternative Provision.

Q
Asked by Paul Scully
(Sutton and Cheam)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Transport
Road Traffic: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of congestion on London’s international competitiveness.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 20 July 2018

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London and is delivered by Transport for London, which manages the Transport for London Road Network ('red routes'), and is responsible for London’s 6,000+ sets of traffic lights. It would therefore be for the Mayor to make any assessment of the effect of congestion on London’s roads, on its international competitiveness.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Ministry of Justice
Trials: Offences against Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary for Justice, what the average waiting time was from plea and trial preparation hearing to the first day of trial for sexual offences against children for each Crown Court in England and Wales in the last two years.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 20 July 2018
Holding answer received on 20 July 2018

HMCTS does not hold data on the average waiting time from plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH) to the first day of trial at Crown Court. Published statistics on timeliness of criminal proceedings set out the average number of days taken from sending to the Crown Court to main hearing in the Crown Court.

The table attached provides the average number of days taken from sending to the Crown Court to main hearing for Crown Court Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) offences in England and Wales for 2016 and 2017. CSA offences include both contact cases and image cases.

This table contains information for each Crown Court centre in England and Wales, including Manchester’s Crown Court centres (Crown Square and Minshull Street)

Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 125.63 KB)
Grouped Questions: 162991
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Ministry of Justice
Trials: Offences against Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary for Justice, what the average waiting time was from plea and trial preparation hearing to the first day of trial for sexual offences against children for each Crown Court in Manchester in the last two years.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 20 July 2018
Holding answer received on 20 July 2018

HMCTS does not hold data on the average waiting time from plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH) to the first day of trial at Crown Court. Published statistics on timeliness of criminal proceedings set out the average number of days taken from sending to the Crown Court to main hearing in the Crown Court.

The table attached provides the average number of days taken from sending to the Crown Court to main hearing for Crown Court Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) offences in England and Wales for 2016 and 2017. CSA offences include both contact cases and image cases.

This table contains information for each Crown Court centre in England and Wales, including Manchester’s Crown Court centres (Crown Square and Minshull Street)

Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 125.63 KB)
Grouped Questions: 162990
Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will place in the Library copies of the (a) business case and (b) impact assessment conducted on the affordable housing strategic partnerships agreed by Homes England announced on 3 July 2018.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 20 July 2018

The Government has secured eight Strategic Partnerships between Homes England and housing associations, which will use £587.7 million of funding from the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme to deliver an additional 14,280 affordable housing starts by March 2022.

This is a new way of working with housing associations and will accelerate the building of affordable homes, however it is using programme funding that has been announced previously. Therefore, the Department did not carry out a new impact assessment. The Department does not publish business cases for individual programmes.

The Affordable Homes Programme Budget was increased to £9 billion at Autumn Statement 2017. The fiscal impact of this increase on public finances was included as part of the OBR’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook November 2017, which can be found at: http://obr.uk/efo/economic-fiscal-outlook-november-2017/

Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Department for Education
ICT and STEM Subjects: Higher Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of pupils taking up STEM and ICT higher education courses in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 20 July 2018

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service publishes data on the number of applicants accepted to full-time undergraduate courses at UK higher education providers by subject group.

The number of UK domiciled 18 and 19 year olds accepted to full-time undergraduate courses in each science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject group is shown in the attached Table 1. It shows that total acceptances to STEM subjects for UK 18 and 19 year olds had increased by 24% between 2012 and 2017. This compares to an increase of 14% for all subjects over the same period.

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