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 John Spellar
(Warley)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 09 October 2018
Home Office
Passports: Lost Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passports were lost by his Department's Immigration Section in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Data on lost passports in the last 12 months is not captured and consolidated across the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System. To find this information would require interrogation of individual case records and therefore could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

From November 2018, the majority of immigration applicants who apply to confirm or extend their stay in the UK, or apply for citizenship, will be managed by the Home Office’s new commercial partner Sopra Steria on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration. As part of this new service, for the first time, applicants will be able to retain their passport and supporting evidence as part of the application process

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 29 October 2018
Home Office
Drugs: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress he has made on the implementation of the Drug Strategy, published in July 2017.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Nationally, the Government is already delivering a range of actions through the 2017 Drug Strategy to prevent drug misuse in our communities, support people to recover from dependence on drugs, and support enforcement partners to tackle the illicit drug trade. We have established a Home Secretary-chaired Board which includes representation from Government departments and wider partners that are critical to drive implementation of the commitments in the 2017 Drug Strategy.

However, we recognise there is still further to go to tackle the problems caused by drugs.,That is why, on 8 February, the Home Secretary appointed Professor Dame Carol Black to lead a major review that will look into the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence.

First announced in the Home Secretary’s conference speech in October, the initial stage of the wide-ranging review will look at who drug users are, what they are taking, and how often in order to build the most in-depth and comprehensive picture of this issue to date.

The review, which will build on existing Government strategies to combat drugs, serious violence and serious and organised crime, will examine the harms that drugs cause and the best ways to prevent drug-taking.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
[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: 19 November 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what is the longest period spent in immigration detention by a detainee who left an Immigration Removal Centre between June 2017 and October 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Home Office publish data on the number of people leaving detention by year and quarter, broken down by length of detention. The latest data is available in tables dt_06 and dt_06_q of the immigration statistics, year ending June 2018: Detention tables.

Figures for July to September 2018 will be released on 29 November 2018 in Immigration statistics, year ending September 2018, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 01 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Neighbourhood Development Plans
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Neighbourhood Plans have been adopted since 2011; and of those, how many have applied to unparished areas.
Answered on: 15 February 2019

While we do not formally monitor the production of neighbourhood plans, our records suggest that over 700 neighbourhood plans have been adopted (made) since 2011. Of these around 40 were for unparished areas.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Sales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government working group on mortgages and insurance to report.
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) working group have produced an agreed definition of MMC to ensure consistency across the sector and make it easier for all stakeholders to identify particular MMC typologies. These definitions will be launched in the coming weeks.

The group continue working to finalise details of the unified quality assurance platform. This platform will better integrate existing quality assurance and warranty processes to provide a single assurance process for assessing all new technologies used for homes built using MMC and ensure these homes can access insurance and mortgages on the same basis as traditionally built homes. The single assurance platform is expected to be launched in the Spring.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 01 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Electric Cables: Planning Permission
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what planning requirements apply to the installation of telegraph poles outside homes.
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Proposals for new telecommunications infrastructure require planning permission, either through nationally set permitted development rights or through a planning application to the local planning authority. In England, telecommunications operators are able to install new ground-based infrastructure such as telegraph poles and mobile masts under permitted development rights, subject to various size limits. These rights are subject to a prior approval process (except for infrastructure relating to fixed-line broadband) under which the local planning authority can consider the proposed siting and appearance of the infrastructure. Infrastructure not covered by permitted development rights will require full planning permission, and are assessed against a range of planning criteria as well as policies set out in an adopted development plan, such as a Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 04 February 2019
Department for International Development
UNRWA: Schools
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware of reports that Israel intends to remove United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East schools in East Jerusalem; and whether they intend to make representations to the government of Israel in this regard.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 15 February 2019

UK Officials have contacted UNRWA following media reports surrounding the future of UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem. UNRWA stated that they have not received any official indication that there will be any change to their operation in East Jerusalem.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 04 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Department for International Trade: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2019 to Question 211704 on World Economic Forum: Advertising, how many contracts his Department has signed in the past two years with advertisers or advertising suppliers; and how many of those contracts include a non-disclosure or confidentiality clause of the kind referred to in that Answer.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The activity referenced in Question 211704 was composed of contracts which prohibited the release of their contents to a third party.

The Department has signed three contracts with media buying agencies in the last two years and all of these contain standard clauses relating to transparency which do not fetter our ability to disclose appropriate information. Individual business units within the department have delegated authority to spend up to £10,000 on local contracts without central recording and the terms of these contracts are not held centrally.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Turkey
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to the government of Turkey about that government reportedly removing olives and olive trees from Afrin Province in Syria to Turkey; and whether they will publish any responses received.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, has had a number of recent conversations with his Turkish counterparts over the conflict in Syria, as have his ministerial colleagues and the Prime Minister. We are closely monitoring the situation in North East Syria. Whilst we recognise Turkey's legitimate interest in the security of its borders, it remains in our shared interest to focus on achieving a political settlement that ends the war and suffering, provides stability for all Syrians and the wider region, and secures the enduring defeat of Daesh.

We are aware of the media reports regarding the removal of olives and olive trees, and are currently working to ascertain the validity and veracity of the allegations.

Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
INF Treaty
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, and what diplomatic steps they have taken, following the suspension of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the governments of the United States and Russia.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

We have been discussing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the US for a number of years as part of our continuous dialogue on security issues. The US also initiated a series of meetings on INF with close Allies in 2017 and 2018, during which we discussed the US approach and exchanged detailed information on the Russian violation and how we might best achieve our shared policy objectives.

NATO Allies first expressed concerns about Russian non-compliance with its INF Treaty obligations in 2014. In the last two years, there has been an intensification of Allied activity to encourage Russia to return to compliance.

We, along with NATO Allies, support the US decision to suspend its participation in the INF Treaty and start the treaty's formal withdrawal process. A situation whereby the US was fully aiding by the INF Treaty and Russia was not, was not sustainable. Following the US announcement, NATO issued a statement declaring full support for US action and urging Russia to use the six month withdrawal period to return to full and verifiable compliance to preserve the INF Treaty.

Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Undocumented Migrants: Mediterranean Sea
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they did not agree to take in migrants from Sea-Watch 3 following the collapse of that boat on 19 January.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The UK does not participate in relocation efforts. The UK Government's approach is instead to resettle refugees directly from source and transit countries, to avoid creating a pull factor. The UK has a strong record of providing protection to the most vulnerable through our resettlement schemes.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Department for Education
Further Education: Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of teaching staff in further education colleges do not have a teaching qualification.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The ‘College staff survey 2018’, attached, indicated that 7% of teachers in general and specialist further education (FE) colleges did not hold a teaching qualification. Some of these teachers were studying for a teaching qualification at the time of the survey, which is shown in the attached table.

There is no requirement for teachers in FE colleges to hold a teaching qualification. FE providers have the flexibility to recruit and deploy teachers who have a range of skills and industry expertise.

College_staff_survey_2018_main_report (PDF Document, 2.55 MB)
HL13473_teaching_qualifications_table (Word Document, 57 KB)
Q
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hebron
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Israel’s decision not to renew the mandate of the International Monitoring Force in Hebron.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

We are concerned by Israel's decision not to extend the mandate for Hebron's international monitoring mission. The mission has been in Hebron for over 20 years and fulfilled an important role in reducing tensions in the city between Israeli settlers and Palestinian communities. Our Ambassador to Israel raised our concerns over this decision with the Israeli authorities on 29 January. The Minister for the Middle East discussed our concerns with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 30 January and also expressed these concerns in a Tweet on the 2 February.

Asked on: 05 February 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Vocational Guidance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many publicly-funded schools have complied with the obligation introduced with effect from 1 September 2018 to publish (1) details about the careers programme they deliver to pupils from Year 8 until Year 13, and (2) contact details for their careers leader; when they intend to review the information published by those schools; and how they measure the success of careers programmes in schools.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The department has published statutory guidance that explains what schools must do to comply with the new duty to publish information about the careers programme and to name their careers leader and contact details on their website from September 2018. The guidance, which is attached, is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/careers-guidance-provision-for-young-people-in-schools.

Information about the number of schools that are compliant with the statutory guidance is not held centrally.

The success of careers programmes in schools is monitored through the progress that schools and colleges are making against the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance. The Careers & Enterprise Company publish an annual ‘State of the nation’ report showing this progress. The attached 2017-18 report, published in November 2018, shows that the average school or college is now fully achieving 2.13 Benchmarks.

We expect the support that we are putting in place, including Careers Hubs and Careers Leader training, to result in significant progress over the next twelve months. Ofsted also takes account of this statutory guidance when developing its approach to assessing careers provision. Ofsted’s current school inspection handbook, which is attached, sets out that inspectors take into account careers guidance provided by secondary schools when making their judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils.

HL13484_Careers_guidance_provision (PDF Document, 741.25 KB)
HL13484_State_of_the_nation_report_2018 (PDF Document, 2.56 MB)
Q
(Southampton, Test)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Climate Change Convention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 211608 on Climate Change Convention, if he will publish his formal application to host COP26 in 2020.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

This will be placed in the libraries of the House.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Philippines: Drugs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the proportion of overseas development and aid funding they provide to the Philippines which is spent on the public health effects of drug use and abuse, in particular in prisons and detention centres; and what estimate, if any, they have made of the amount of funding that has been provided by international and multinational funds for such purposes.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Official Development Assistance spend allocated to our Embassy in Manila in 2017-18 was £230,000. Of this between £40,000 - £50,000 is being spent on projects relating to public health effects of drug use and abuse. This does not include the Newton Agham Programme or the Prosperity Fund which are not focused on health.

The projects are not specifically aimed at prisons and detention centres, although our Embassy in Manila does make regular consular representations on prison and detention centres in the Philippines.

In addition to bilateral spend, in 2016, the Philippines received £8.36 million of UK aid through multilateral organisations. This included funding on the health sector.

We do not have an estimate of spend by international and multinational funds for such purposes.

Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the number of vacancies in leadership positions in the government of the United States requiring Senate confirmation and the number of leadership positions filled by officials serving in an acting capacity is having any detrimental impact on UK–US bilateral initiatives and joint activities.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

We understand that there are a number of nominees for positions in the US Administration still awaiting Senate confirmation. Many of those are currently filled by other individuals in an acting capacity. We have close working relationships with these individuals. Additionally, we are in regular contact with US and British government counterparts across the breadth of our relationship.

Q
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: INF Treaty
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Statement on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 5 February (HL Deb, cols 1495–9), what is their response to the government of Russia's non-compliance with that Treaty; and what assessment they have made of reports of INF Treaty non-compliant launchers being moved onto Europe's eastern borders with Russia.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

NATO first expressed concerns about Russian non-compliance with its Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty obligations in 2014. We now fully support the assessment that Russia's covert testing, production and fielding of the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile system is a material breach of the INF Treaty.

We, along with NATO Allies, support the US decision to suspend its participation in the INF Treaty and start the treaty's formal withdrawal process. A situation whereby the US was fully aiding by the INF Treaty and Russia was not, was not sustainable. Following the US announcement, NATO issued a statement declaring full support for US action and urging Russia to use the six month withdrawal period to return to full and verifiable compliance to preserve the INF Treaty.

Q
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
INF Treaty
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Statement on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 5 February (HL Deb, cols 1495–9), what assessment they have made of whether (1) Germany, (2) Hungary, (3) Poland, (4) Bulgaria, (5) Slovakia, and (6) the Czech Republic have destroyed or dismantled any INF Treaty missiles they hold; and if so, whether they are concerned by those countries' actions in that regard.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Only the US, Russia and a small number of other Soviet successor states are bound by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Treaty initially eliminated all of their intermediate-range (500km-5,500km) ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles. By 1991, all US and Soviet Union missiles covered by the Treaty had been eliminated.

All NATO Allies support the finding of the US that Russia is now in material breach of the Treaty, citing its covert testing, production and fielding of 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems. We are working closely with Allies to review the security implications of Russian intermediate-range missiles and will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of the Alliance's overall deterrence and defence posture.

Q
Asked by Laura Smith
(Crewe and Nantwich)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to exempt people with diagnosed long-term mental health illnesses from prescription charges.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Department has no current plans to amend the list of medical conditions that provide exemption from National Health Service prescription charges, as extensive arrangements are in place to ensure that people, including those with mental health illnesses, can access affordable prescriptions.

Q
(Salford and Eccles)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Children: Greater Manchester
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of looked after children, child protection plans and children in need throughout (a) Salford and (b) Greater Manchester in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The department publishes information on looked after children, child protection plans and children in need in local authorities, including those within the Greater Manchester area, in the Local Authority Interactive Tool. This can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-interactive-tool-lait.

There are a range of factors that contribute to trends in demand for children’s social care including deprivation in different local authorities. The most deprived local authorities have more looked after children (per 10,000 0-17 year olds), and these rates have grown faster, than the least deprived local authorities. The most common factors that present themselves in children’s social care assessments are domestic abuse and mental health. Data on this is available in Table C3 of statistical release ‘Characteristics of children in need 2017-18’ at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2017-to-2018.

In preparation for the Spending Review, to help ensure decisions are based on the best available evidence, the government is working with the sector to develop a sharper and more granular picture of demand for children’s services.

Q
Asked by Keith Vaz
(Leicester East)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if his Department will estimate the number of UK citizens residing in EU countries who will return to the UK after 29 March in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020, in the event of the UK leaving the EU (i) with a Withdrawal Agreement and (ii) without a deal.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Withdrawal Agreement includes protections for the rights of citizens including UK nationals currently living in the EU, which will allow them to continue living their lives broadly as they do now in the countries where they currently live.

The Government has been clear that we do not want or expect a no deal scenario. However, we will continue to do the responsible thing and prepare for all eventualities. This includes the potential impact of a no deal scenario on UK nationals currently resident in the EU.

The Office for National Statistics calculates there are approximately 780,000 UK nationals who currently live in the EU, excluding Ireland. Some of them could decide to return to the UK depending on a range of factors including action by EU member states and personal circumstances.

On 19 December, the European Commission reconfirmed their commitment to putting citizens’ rights first and called on Member States to take a generous approach to the rights of UK nationals in the EU. The majority of Member States, including France, Spain and the Netherlands, have set out their no deal plans and provided reassurances that the rights of UK nationals will be protected. The Government hopes that other Member States will set out the detail of their plans to protect the rights of UK nationals, in line with our assurances to EU citizens living in the UK, so there should be no need for them to leave.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: China and Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on investment in UK property by citizens of (a) China and (b) Russia; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 February 2019

We do not hold data on property ownership by national citizenship. However the Government recognises that purchases of homes by residents not in the UK can contribute to inflating house prices. Foreign nationals making overseas purchases of UK property have made it more difficult for UK residents to purchase a home of their own. That is why HM Treasury are consulting on the details of a Stamp Duty land tax surcharge for foreign non-resident buyers.

We continue to welcome overseas investment in the UK housing market which continues to make an important contribution towards the Government's target of building 300,000 homes per year by the mid 2020’s.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Pupils: Per Capita Costs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much was spent per pupil in each local authority area in the most recent period for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The attached table shows the funding the department have allocated per pupil to every local authority in England through the schools block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2019-20. This covers pupils aged 5 to 16.

An amount per pupil was calculated by dividing a local authority’s total schools block allocation (including funding through the premises, mobility and growth factors) by their primary and secondary pupil head count.

In addition to schools block funding, local authorities also receive funding from separate funding streams and additional grants, such as the early years, central schools services, and high needs blocks of the DSG, and the Pupil Premium.

Local authorities continue to be responsible for distributing funding to schools in their local area, and information on spending per pupil by local authorities can be found in their Section 251 returns.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Home Office
Cannabis: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory custodial sentence for people charged with repeated possession of cannabis.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 15 February 2019

There are no plans to introduce mandatory custodial sentences for those charged with possession or supply of a Class B drug (including cannabis).

The police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest. It is for the courts to decide the sentence in each case subject to the maximum sentence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and any relevant guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council.

Grouped Questions: 218192
Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Home Office
Hate Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cases of hate crime there have been in each police force area in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of Hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. Data at the Police Force Area level are published in Open Data Tables and can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749319/prc-hate-crime-open-data.ods

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
European Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, which Member State has most often been on the losing side in votes within the European Council since 2004.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The European Council does not keep a formal record of votes held and HMG does not track this. However, the Council of the EU keeps a record of voting results, which is available to the public here:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/general-secretariat/corporate-policies/transparency/open-data/

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Home Office
Drugs: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory custodial sentence for people repeatedly convicted of trading class B drugs.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 15 February 2019

There are no plans to introduce mandatory custodial sentences for those charged with possession or supply of a Class B drug (including cannabis).

The police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest. It is for the courts to decide the sentence in each case subject to the maximum sentence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and any relevant guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council.

Grouped Questions: 218184
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Human Papillomavirus: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will consider making it a priority of his Departmental to extend the HPV vaccination programme to include male boys.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Department announced on 24 July 2018 that it is extending the human papillomavirus girls’ vaccination programme to boys and is working with Public Health England and NHS England to roll this out as soon as possible during the 2019/20 academic year.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Human Papillomavirus: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Department has made of the effectiveness of extending the HPV vaccination programme to male boys to reduce incidents of cervical cancer in women.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

In its review of the modelling of the impact and cost effectiveness of vaccinating adolescent boys the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) noted that by vaccinating boys as well as girls, additional cases of cervical and non-cervical cancer will be prevented in women.

The JCVI statement, including a review of the evidence, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-statement-extending-the-hpv-vaccination-programme-conclusions

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Cervical Cancer: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will consider making cervical screening available on the NHS for women under the age of 25.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

In 2012 the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) which advises ministers and the National Health Service in all four countries about all aspects of screening policy, recommended that the age of the first invitation for cervical screening should be age 25. This was based on evidence that there is little benefit for screening women below this age.

Cervical cancer in women under the age of 25 is very rare with 2.6 cases per 100,000 women and younger women often undergo natural and harmless changes in the cervix that screening could identify as cervical abnormalities, and in most cases these abnormalities resolve themselves without any need for intervention.

Further, the vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), introduced in 2008, is now routinely recommended for all girls aged 12 to 13 years and the first cohort of teenage girls to receive the HPV vaccination in year 8 (those born since September 1996) will turn 23 this year and become eligible for routine screening in two years’ time. The impact the vaccination will have on the number of abnormalities detected through routine cervical screening will be carefully monitored.

If a woman of any age including those under 25, has unusual symptoms, usually abnormal bleeding, they should consult their general practitioner immediately. They will be treated under the NHS and initially offered a speculum examination in accordance with the guidance for primary care on the management of young women who present with gynaecological symptoms.

Q
(Blackpool South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment has been carried out into (a) the experience that health care professionals carrying out assessments for personal independence payment have of the medical conditions of claimants and (b) other aspects of the suitability of those professionals.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 15 February 2019
Holding answer received on 12 February 2019

Health Professionals that carry out PIP Assessments on behalf of DWP must have the following qualifications and experience:

  • are an occupational therapist, nurse (level 1), physiotherapist or paramedic. Doctors support assessments as part of the overall clinical assurance process but do not currently undertake any PIP assessments.

  • are fully registered with the relevant licensing body (doctors must have a licence to practise).

  • The licensing body has not placed restrictions on the healthcare professional’s registration.

  • at least 2 years post full registration experience or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual agreement with the Department.

It is DWP’s policy that Health Professionals who meet this criteria will have appropriate experience to complete a functional assessment.

Assessment Providers are required to ensure Health Professionals have knowledge of the clinical aspects and likely functional effects of a wide range of health conditions and impairments. All Health Professionals employed to conduct PIP assessments are required to complete Continuous Professional Development to keep their knowledge up to date.

In addition, Assessment Provides have Mental Function Champions available to provide relevant advice and support to Health Professionals about mental health conditions and cognitive impairments.

Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on implementing the recommendations accepted by the Government in its response to the Science and Technology Committee's Seventh Report of Session 2017-19 on E-cigarettes, HC505.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government published its response to the Science and Technology Committee on the 10 December 2018. Good progress is being made on implementing the report’s recommendations: for example, Public Health England will publish its latest annual evidence review on e-cigarettes by the end of March 2019 and NHS England is developing guidance on e-cigarettes for mental health trusts. The Department will continue to monitor progress as part of its monitoring of the delivery of the Tobacco Control Plan for England.

The Government believes in proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes, recognising that they are not risk-free. Through the European Union Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU (TPD), transposed into United Kingdom law by the UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), we have introduced measures to regulate e-cigarettes to reduce the risk of harm to children, protect against any risk of renormalisation of tobacco use, provide assurance on relative safety for users, and give businesses legal certainty. This has enabled the UK to implement appropriate standards for products whilst allowing smokers to move to e-cigarettes should they wish.

While the UK Government is a member of the EU it will continue to comply with the requirements of the EU’s TPD. The Government has made a commitment to review the TRPR by May 2021 to consider its regulatory impact. In addition, as announced in the Tobacco Control Plan the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.

Grouped Questions: 218246
Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Seventh Report of Session 2017-19 of the Science and Technology Committee on E-cigarettes, HC505, what steps he has taken to ensure that the regulatory system for e-cigarettes is risk-proportionate.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government published its response to the Science and Technology Committee on the 10 December 2018. Good progress is being made on implementing the report’s recommendations: for example, Public Health England will publish its latest annual evidence review on e-cigarettes by the end of March 2019 and NHS England is developing guidance on e-cigarettes for mental health trusts. The Department will continue to monitor progress as part of its monitoring of the delivery of the Tobacco Control Plan for England.

The Government believes in proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes, recognising that they are not risk-free. Through the European Union Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU (TPD), transposed into United Kingdom law by the UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), we have introduced measures to regulate e-cigarettes to reduce the risk of harm to children, protect against any risk of renormalisation of tobacco use, provide assurance on relative safety for users, and give businesses legal certainty. This has enabled the UK to implement appropriate standards for products whilst allowing smokers to move to e-cigarettes should they wish.

While the UK Government is a member of the EU it will continue to comply with the requirements of the EU’s TPD. The Government has made a commitment to review the TRPR by May 2021 to consider its regulatory impact. In addition, as announced in the Tobacco Control Plan the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.

Grouped Questions: 218245
Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Department for Education: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

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 Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Over 80% of Defra’s agenda is affected by the UK’s departure from the European Union and as a result many roles across the Defra group are now supporting work related to our departure from the EU, either directly or indirectly. We are unable to disaggregate between ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ planning work.

Q
(Stockton North)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether companies are prevented from (a) encouraging smokers to switch to vaping and (b) advertising price reductions for e-cigarettes.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The United Kingdom Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) covers the regulation of e-cigarettes transposed from the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive. Regulation 38 of the TRPR covers product presentation requirements and defines what can be written on a unit packet and any container pack of the electronic cigarette or refill container. Products may not for example suggest that a particular electronic cigarette or refill container is less harmful than other electronic cigarettes or refill containers; has vitalising, energising, healing, rejuvenating, natural or organic properties; or has other health or lifestyle benefits. These regulations also prohibit price reductions.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is responsible for monitoring the marketing and advertising of non-broadcast communications for electronic cigarettes. Section 22 of the ASA Committee of Advertising Practice Code concerns the regulation of marketing communications for electronic cigarettes. The code does not allow for medicinal claims but provides advice on how health claims can be made for marketing purposes that are not restricted by regulation.

The Government has made a commitment to review the TRPR by May 2021 to consider its regulatory impact. In addition, as announced in the Tobacco Control Plan the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has created approximately 550 EU Exit roles in the UK and overseas to work on a range of issues including Deal and No Deal scenarios and EU Exit planning. We have used these roles to strengthen our diplomatic network in the UK and across Europe so that we are better able to represent and promote British interests and engage with our European partners in support of a successful EU Exit. In addition, other staff are also engaged on EU Exit planning as part of their wider responsibilities. The FCO continues to keep its EU Exit staffing levels under constant review to ensure that they are appropriate to deliver the Government's objectives.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 15 February 2019

It is the top priority of the Government to leave the EU with a deal, but it is also the responsibility of Government to prepare for all scenarios, including the prospect of a no deal. The Civil Service is focused on delivering the Government's most pressing priorities, so it is only sensible that we make use of the resources and expertise we have available to make sure the UK is prepared for all Brexit scenarios on exit day. This includes Departments sharing staff and working together on joint projects. The number of staff being seconded from the Ministry of Defence as part of a coordinated exercise is yet to be determined.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

A number of central teams have been established within the Department to lead and manage the work required to prepare for the UK's exit from the EU. These teams have been built up in a phased and gradual manner to reflect the increase in work associated with our exit from the EU. Until recently approximately 60 staff were deployed to this work, which covers all exit scenarios including a no deal scenario. We have however now redeployed a further 30 staff from their previous role to work on these central teams. Other staff from across the Department will have been redeployed within their Directorates to support or undertake work which will involve preparations for the UK's exit from the EU in all scenarios.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Ministry of Justice 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 Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Police: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of police officers injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on a motorbike in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Police: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of police officers injured in a road traffic accident while mounted on a horse in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Police: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of police officers injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on a bicycle in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Paramedical Staff: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of paramedics injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on a bicycle in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Paramedical Staff: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of paramedics injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on a motorbike in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Police: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of police officers injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on foot in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Delivery Services: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of couriers injured in a road traffic accident while travelling on a bicycle in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218380 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Police: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of police officers injured in a road traffic accident while travelling in a car in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218381 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Paramedical Staff: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of paramedics injured in a road traffic accident while travelling in an ambulance in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218382
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Postal Workers: Small Claims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of an increase to the small claims limit on the ability of postal worker injured in a road traffic accident while travelling in a postal van in the course of their employment to access free legal representation.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The increase in the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims will apply to the occupants of a motor vehicle. The increase will apply to all such claimants, whether they are driving, or a passenger in, a motor vehicle, and whether or not they were injured in the course of their employment.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders will not be covered by the increase.

The Government’s reforms do not impact on access to justice and all claimants affected by this increase will be supported by a new easy to use IT Portal which will help enable the effective resolution of their claim pre-court and without the need for legal representation. Claimants will still be able to bring their claim in the low cost small claims court process, which is designed to be both accessible and uncomplicated, should they need to progress their claim through the courts.

Grouped Questions: 218373 | 218374 | 218375 | 218376 | 218377 | 218378 | 218379 | 218380 | 218381
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Home Office
Fife Migrants Forum: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding his Department has provided to Fife Migrants Forum.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 February 2019

According to our financial records the Home Office has never made a payment to Fife Migrants Forum.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to rollover the EU Free Trade Agreement with Canada in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

In the event of leaving the EU without a deal, the UK is seeking continuity for our existing EU free trade agreements, including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. Both Prime Minister May and Prime Minister Trudeau have agreed to working towards a ‘seamless transition’ of CETA. Discussions are at an advanced stage.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Home Office
Fire and Rescue Services: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of firefighters are (a) female, (b) from a black, minority or ethnic background and (c) female and from a black, minority or ethnic background in the most recent period for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Home Office publishes annual figures on fire and rescue service staff diversity by protected characteristics, including gender and ethnicity. These can be found in tables FIRE1103 and FIRE1104, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#workforce-and-workforce-diversity

These are aggregate data, collected separately for each characteristic, so it is not possible to say how many staff are both female and from a black and minority ethnic background.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Ophthalmology: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what replacement funding will be available for the National Ophthalmology Database audit when its current funding from the Health Quality Improvement Partnership ceases in August 2019.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Most National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP) contracts, including the National Ophthalmology Database audit, are commissioned on a contract that allows three years of funding and a further extension of two years, up to a maximum period of five years.

Following an expert evaluation panel in 2017, it was agreed to extend the National Ophthalmology Database audit for two further years, providing a total of five years funding, the maximum allowed under the current contract.

Advice received from NHS England confirms there are currently no plans to continue funding the National Ophthalmology Database audit, under the NCAPOP, after its current funding ceases in August 2019.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Treasury
Public Houses: Non-domestic Rates
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will announce a review of the business rates system for pubs.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government keeps all taxes under review. Pubs currently benefit from a £1,000 discount on their business rates bills, and many small pubs also benefit from 100% Small Business Rate Relief and Rural Rate Relief. Pubs will be significant beneficiaries of the business rates discount announced at Budget 2018. This is a bill cut of one-third for retailers and pubs with a rateable value below £51,000, subject to state aid limits and eligibility for other reliefs.

All ratepayers will benefit from the switch from RPI to CPI indexation of the multiplier, worth £5bn over the next five years.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Mobile Phones: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the telecommunications industry on the introduction of roaming charges after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Ministers and officials have carried out extensive engagement on EU exit with representatives of the telecommunications industry, trade bodies, consumer bodies and the regulator Ofcom. In the event of no deal, the government has published a technical notice on mobile roaming. This is available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal. Some mobile operators (3, EE, O2 and Vodafone - which cover over 85% of mobile subscribers) have already said they have no current plans to change their approach to mobile roaming after the UK leaves the EU.

Q
(Lewisham, Deptford)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the situation in Sudan since demonstrations began on 19 December 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The UK is concerned by the Government of Sudan's violent response to recent protests, including the use of lethal force and arbitrary detentions, and the targeting of medical facilities. On 8 January, alongside Troika (UK, USA, Norway) partners and Canada, we released a statement urging the Sudanese Government to respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, to ensure those responsible for the deaths of protestors are held to account, and calling for the immediate release of those held in detention without charge or trial. We continue to monitor the situation and raise our concerns at the highest levels. During a meeting with the Sudanese Foreign Minister on 22 January I conveyed the UK concern about the Sudan Government response to protests and emphasised the importance of rule of law and human rights.

Q
(Altrincham and Sale West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Treasury
Duty Free Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on his policies of the EU returning to duty free arrangements in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and whether the UK will reciprocate to ensure a parity of arrangements for UK businesses.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The issues around duty-free are complex, with a range of possible approaches. The government is clear that tax is a sovereign matter and that it will be open to the UK government and Parliament to decide to change its policy in the future, subject to any negotiations with the EU.

The Chancellor made clear at the Treasury Select Committee on 5 November that there are no plans at the moment to review the duty-free situation, when asked about the possible reintroduction of duty-free after March 2019.

Q
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the responses to Annex A of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Request for Information submitted by (a) Pro-Force Limited and (b) Concordia UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Defra has no plans to publish the responses to the Request for Information, as this could potentially harm the commercial interests of the parties who responded to it.

Q
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who his Department consulted in assessing responses to Annex A of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Request for Information.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The responses to the request for information (RFI) were assessed by a panel of Defra officials, against the criteria set out in the RFI. The review process included assessment by commercial and finance specialists. The Pilot was designed by Defra and the Home Office, with input from industry.

Asked on: 07 February 2019
Cabinet Office
Electronic Government: Proof of Identity
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have signed up to use GOV.UK Verify; and how many use each identity provider.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The number of GOV.UK Verify accounts (historic and current) is published on the GOV.UK website and is regularly updated. As of 10 February 2019, there were 3,617,585 GOV.UK Verify user accounts. Details of the number of GOV.UK Verify user accounts with each identity provider is commercially sensitive information and cannot be released.

Asked on: 07 February 2019
Cabinet Office
Electronic Government: Proof of Identity
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Royal Mail has ceased to be an identity provider for GOV.UK Verify; and why Royal Mail is listed on the GOV.UK Verify website.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 15 February 2019

In the Written Ministerial Statement of 9 October 2018 on the GOV.UK Verify programme, it was confirmed that contracts had been signed with a number of private sector identity providers.

Royal Mail had previously been one of the GOV.UK Verify private sector identity providers. However, Royal Mail did not sign the new contract. Users are therefore unable to create a new GOV.UK Verify account with Royal Mail.

Royal Mail remain listed as a previous identity provider while users who hold an existing account with Royal Mail remain able to sign into GOV.UK Verify with this account. If a user does not have a GOV.UK Verify account, they are not offered Royal Mail as an identity provider to verify their identity.

Q
Asked by Lord Trees
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Veterinary Medicine: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to build capacity in the Higher Education system to address the shortage of veterinary surgeons in England.
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The government recognises the importance of ensuring there are sufficient skilled graduates to meet industry demand. We are working with different veterinary sector stakeholders, to look at ways of increasing veterinary school capacity and the number of graduates in all UK vet schools going forward.

The government also subsidises the costs of teaching high-cost subjects such as veterinary medicine, where tuition fee income does not meet the costs of teaching. This is supported through the teaching grant allocated annually to providers via the Office for Students.

In 2018/19, the recurrent teaching grant provided by the government totals £1,290 million, of which £681 million is specifically targeted at supporting high-cost subjects, including veterinary science. This is currently around £10,000 per veterinary science student.

English higher education providers are autonomous institutions. Their institutional autonomy, which includes decisions as to what they teach, is protected by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

However, the lifting of student number controls in 2015/16 means that there is no longer an artificial cap on the numbers of students that higher education providers are able to recruit, including for veterinary science courses.

There has been progress in the sector in increasing places for veterinary students. The first cohort of students to graduate with the University of Surrey's new veterinary degree is scheduled for July 2019, thereby bringing more domestically trained vets in to the profession. Alongside this, the new Harper and Keele Veterinary School will be commencing its new 5 year degree course in 2020.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Asked on: 08 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that British citizens can access medical treatment in EU countries (a) for free or (b) at a reduced cost after 29 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The United Kingdom Government appreciates the importance of retaining reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the European Union and has been clear in the negotiations that it wants to protect the rights of UK citizens in the EU.

Subject to the Withdrawal Agreement being agreed by Parliament, during the implementation period the current rules on reciprocal healthcare will continue until December 2020. The rights of UK nationals living in the EU, and who fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to be protected after December 2020, for as long as these individuals remain in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

In the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal, EU citizens resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and continue to access in country benefits and services, including healthcare, on broadly the same terms as now. This demonstrates the UK Government’s ongoing commitment to citizens and removes any ambiguity over their future. We are engaging with EU counterparts to urge them to make the same commitment to protect the rights of UK nationals in the EU. The UK Government is seeking agreements with Member States, so that no individual will face sudden changes to their healthcare cover.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 08 February 2019
Ministry of Defence
France: Military Alliances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2019 to Question 212337, when his Department plans to nominate the Type 45 Destroyer which will escort the French Aircraft Carrier, Charles De Gaulle when it departs for its operational cruise of the Indian and Pacific oceans.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 15 February 2019

As stated in my answer of 29 January 2019 to Question 212337, this remains subject to confirmation through the Departmental planning process.

Q
(Coventry South)
[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: 08 February 2019
Department for International Trade
European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Governments of EEA and EFTA member states on the future of trade with those countries in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

As we leave the EU, the UK remains committed to continuing our close trading relationships with our EEA and EFTA partners. The Government is working to ensure there is no disruption to our trading relationships, including maintaining the effects of our existing preferential trade arrangements with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Most recently, the Secretary of State signed trade agreements with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Ministers and officials in the Department for International Trade continue to work closely with counterparts in the EEA States to put in place new arrangements should the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Fully replicating the effects of the existing arrangements will be challenging if we do not reach a deal with the EU due to the high degree of alignment with the EU internal market.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Stoats: Pest Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to control stoat numbers.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 February 2019

While the Government regulates the management of wildlife it is not directly involved in the control of stoats. Responsibility for management lies with the landowner or occupier.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Salmon
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to increase stocks of (a) wild and (b) farmed salmon in the UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The management of wild salmon populations, freshwater fisheries and salmon farming is devolved.

In England, the Government is collaborating with industry on the “Salmon Five Point Approach” to address the pressures that cause salmon numbers to fall, such as water quality, migration barriers, marine survival and exploitation. In 2018, the Government introduced National Salmon and Sea Trout Protection byelaws which restrict recreational and net fisheries in England, to reduce exploitation and conserve adult salmon enabling them to spawn successfully.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Birds of Prey: Theft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent birds of prey being stolen to order.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government takes wildlife crime, including the illegal taking of birds of prey, seriously. All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with strong penalties for those committing offences against birds of prey including up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Birds of prey are listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which controls trade in endangered species through a permitting system. This protects species from the risk of extinction due to unsustainable trade. The Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 2018 means that anyone committing CITES offences, including trying to trade in birds of prey taken from the wild, could face up to five years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

Raptor persecution and CITES issues are two of six UK wildlife crime priorities. Local police and Border Force are responsible for wildlife crime enforcement. The National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is co-funded by Defra and the Home Office, provides intelligence to support police and Border Force enforcement activities.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage young people into farming.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Having a skilled workforce in place and attracting young talent into agricultural careers is vital for the future of UK food and farming. The Government is working with industry bodies, such as the Food and Drink Sector Council, to improve access to the talent and skills required by the industry and raise awareness of agriculture as an exciting and attractive career path.

The Government is reforming post-16 technical education to provide clear routes to skilled employment in agriculture and other sectors. A key part of this is the introduction of new T levels programmes, which alongside apprenticeships, will sit within 15 routes, including an Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care route.

The Government published a Policy Statement in September 2018, alongside its landmark Agriculture Bill. This sets out how we will help facilitate structural change to open up more opportunities for new entrants to farming by delinking Direct Payments from the land during the agricultural transition period. This will give farmers freedom over how they use funding from Direct Payments. Some may use the money to invest in their business. Others may choose to use the money to diversify their activities or decide to stop farming altogether and use the payment to contribute to their retirement. It should increase the ease with which new entrants, and those existing farmers wishing to expand, could acquire land.

We are also exploring how to help Local Authorities who want to invest in their Council Farms, so that they offer real opportunities for new farmers to start a foundation business and gain the experience they need to progress onto a larger unit.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2019 to Question 216933, Trade Agreements: Israel, on which borders are the (a) pre-existing agreements and (b) Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel based.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The EU-Israel Trade Agreements apply to the State of Israel. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Israel Agreement. The UK does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of the State of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Trade Agreements, nor by the UK-Israel Agreement.

The EU-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement applies to the territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement, which is due to be signed in the coming weeks.

Q
(Nottingham East)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
EU External Trade: Trade Agreements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which Departments are responsible for each of the EU free trade agreements that the UK is seeking to roll-over.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The task of ensuring continuity of EU free trade agreements is a cross-government programme with the Department of International Trade’s Trade Policy Group (TPG) working closely with other government departments, alongside the Department for International Development (DFID), the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Q
(Preston)
[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 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fuel Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many households have been classified as being in fuel poverty; and how many of those households include (a) children and (b) people aged over 60 in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019
Q
Asked by Mike Amesbury
(Weaver Vale)
[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 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Business
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encouraging businesses to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out our ambition to enable business consumers to reduce their energy usage by improving energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030, potentially reducing carbon emissions by 22MtCO2e over the fifth Carbon Budget.

At Budget, in November 2018, we announced up to £315M for an Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to support businesses with high energy use to invest in energy efficiency and decarbonisation measures. We also announced we would publish a call for evidence in 2019 on introducing a new Business Energy Efficiency Scheme, focused on smaller businesses.

We have introduced a more streamlined energy and carbon reporting framework to help businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and associated energy costs, which will come into force on 1 April this year. Under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), all large businesses are required to audit the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. We are undertaking a comprehensive assessment of the impact and effectiveness of ESOS and will consider future reforms when the current phase ends in December 2019.

The Climate Change Agreements Scheme incentivises a wide range of industrial sectors to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in return for a significant discount on the Climate Change Levy. And we have recently launched a new £18 million Industrial Heat Recovery Support Programme that supports the recovery and re-use of waste heat from industrial processes, and committed £8.8 million to promote innovative approaches to energy management using smart meters.

We are taking steps to build capacity and capability in the energy services market including through a £5.6 million competition to encourage innovation in aggregating and scaling up smaller energy saving projects across commercial and industrial buildings.

We are also working to ensure that those who lease premises to businesses continue to refurbish and improve the performance of their buildings. This included bringing new regulations into force in April last year which set a minimum energy efficiency standard for non-domestic rented buildings. On current plans, we will consult on proposals to go further in 2019. In parallel, we are clear that all new commercial and industrial buildings should be more energy efficient and are planning to review Part L of the Building Regulations in 2019.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[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 February 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Exiting the European Union: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) permanent and (b) contracted staff in his Department in each of the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The number of staff employed by the Department for Exiting the European Union is published, each month, on gov.uk as part of our transparency reporting. It can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-exiting-the-european-union-monthly-workforce-management-information-for-2017-and-2018

The figures set out the number of payroll staff employed at the end of each month and the number of non-payroll staff (contingent labour and consultants/consultancy). The data for January is due for publication at the beginning of March.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's target time-frame is for its decision letters to reach claimants from the date on such correspondence.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Our correspondence, including decision letters, is issued via 2nd class post in keeping with our responsibility to efficiently use public funds; so we expect it to arrive within three working days, including Saturdays.

There are no plans to change the start date of the period to apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration or make an appeal. The extension of that period can include the consideration of any postal delay.

Grouped Questions: 219488
Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending the time-frame for mandatory reconsideration and appeal submissions to run from the expected date of receipt of the decision letter by the claimant.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Our correspondence, including decision letters, is issued via 2nd class post in keeping with our responsibility to efficiently use public funds; so we expect it to arrive within three working days, including Saturdays.

There are no plans to change the start date of the period to apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration or make an appeal. The extension of that period can include the consideration of any postal delay.

Grouped Questions: 219487
Q
(Slough)
[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 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to increase awareness of the option to request more frequent universal credit payments.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 15 February 2019

We will be running various pilots in jobcentres from Spring 2019 to actively explain and promote more frequent payments to claimants at the outset of their Universal Credit claim. The overall trial will last for four weeks, followed by a period of evaluation. This analysis will take place over a 3-month period to track the trial cohort to identify take up rates, effects on payment timeliness, effects on phone calls and reversion rates. These outcomes will be expected in the Summer. This evidence will then inform our approach to the delivery of more frequent payments going forward, in order to ensure that the claimants who need these arrangements receive them.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Education
Heavy Goods Vehicles: Apprentices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many road haulage apprenticeships at each level were started in each of the last three years for which data is available; how many of those apprenticeships were completed; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The attached table shows the number of apprenticeship starts and achievements by each academic year for road haulage-related apprenticeships. These figures are published in the apprenticeships data library, which can be accessed at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships.

219438_apprenticeships_table_attachment (Excel SpreadSheet, 58 KB)
Q
(Dover)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Ambulance Services: Kent
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average ambulance response time to emergency calls is from (a) Dover and (b) Deal.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Information is not available in the format requested. National and individual ambulance National Health Service trust level performance is available and is published monthly by NHS England. This can be found online at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ambulance-quality-indicators/

Q
Asked by Mary Creagh
(Wakefield)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ramsgate Port: Dredging
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer on 15 January 2019 to Question 207205 on Dredging of the Port of Ramsgate, whether the Marine Management Organisation have granted a license to the Port of Ramsgate for the dredging of the port as part contingency planning for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Under section 75 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, certain activities by a harbour authority (or on behalf of one), within their area, are exempt from requiring a marine licence if they have a local act or a harbour order (the Ramsgate Corporation Act 1934 is the relevant local act in this case).

As a result of the dredging activity, referenced within the answer provided on 15 January 2019 to Question 207205, no arisings are being physically excavated during the dredging work and there is no material which requires disposal. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has not therefore granted a licence for the specific works being undertaken.

The MMO did issue a separate marine licence (L/2016/00086/2) on 18 March 2016 for ongoing maintenance and navigational dredging to the Port of Ramsgate which licences activity at the port until 2026.

Q
Asked by Darren Jones
(Bristol North West)
[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 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tidal Power and Wave Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the economic benefits of the UK's wave and tidal stream energy sectors.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Wave and tidal energy are still at a pre-commercial stage of development. A report published by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in February 2018[1] estimated that if cost competitive, wave energy had the potential to add a net positive contribution to the UK economy but the sector lagged around ten years behind the tidal sector.

[1] https://ore.catapult.org.uk/?attachment_id=6260

Q
Asked by Darren Jones
(Bristol North West)
[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 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tidal Power and Wave Power: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of the potential export market for the UK's wave and tidal stream energy technologies.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

Wave and tidal stream technologies are still at a pre-commercial stage of development. A report published by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in 2018[1] estimated that, if the technologies can reduce their costs sufficiently to compete with other forms of generation, the by 2050 the global market for tidal stream energy could be up to 101GW installed capacity and for wave energy, 236GW.

[1] https://ore.catapult.org.uk/?attachment_id=6260

Q
Asked by Darren Jones
(Bristol North West)
[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 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tidal Power and Wave Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the UK's wave and tidal stream energy sector.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government has a long history of supporting the development and deployment of wave and tidal stream technologies in the UK. Since 2010, various bodies across Government have made almost £80m of grant funding available to the wave and tidal sectors. Wave and tidal stream projects are eligible to enter the forthcoming Contract for Difference allocation round.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which EU agencies his Department plans to seek continued membership of after the UK has left the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 15 February 2019

During the Implementation Period, the terms of the UK’s participation in EU agencies and bodies will be as set out in Article 128 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Following our exit from the European Union, we are committed to maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the EU. Our future partnership is a matter for the next phase of negotiations and we look forward to constructive discussions with the EU.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Exiting the European Union: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, which EU agencies his Department plans to seek continued membership of after the UK has left the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 15 February 2019

During the Implementation Period, the terms of the UK’s participation in EU agencies and bodies is as set out in Article 128 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Following our exit from the European Union, we are committed to maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the EU. Our future partnership is a matter for the next phase of negotiations and we look forward to constructive discussions with the EU.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which EU agencies his Department plans to seek continued membership of after the UK has left the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 15 February 2019

During the Implementation Period, the terms of the UK’s participation in EU agencies and bodies will be as set out in Article 128 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Following our exit from the European Union, we are committed to maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the EU. Our future partnership is a matter for the next phase of negotiations and we look forward to constructive discussions with the EU.

Q
(Lanark and Hamilton East)
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Children: Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the merits of introducing a statutory definition of day-to-day care for the purpose of determining whether there is a requirement for either parent to pay child maintenance when they have equal shared overnight care.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Service’s definition of a day-to-day care for the purpose of establishing the receiving parent is broadly aligned with that of Child Benefit, where an overall care test is used to determine entitlement. Entitlement to receive Child Benefit is used as an indicator at the application stage. There are currently no plans to change the process of establishing maintenance liability.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fisheries: Quotas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will remove the existing fishing quotas in 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Government is planning for all scenarios including leaving the EU without a deal. We have published a technical notice on arrangements for UK fisheries should we leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement. UK fisheries administrations would advise UK quota holders what their allocation will be for the remaining months of 2019 after we leave the EU.

Q
(Wirral South)
Asked on: 15 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many nominated members of staff there are employed in Job Centres across the UK whose role it is to liaise with women's refuges in their local area.
Q
(Wirral South)
[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: 15 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps are being taken as part of the long-term programme that has been developed to reposition Salisbury after the Novichok attack last year; and what the objectives of that programme.
Q
(Portsmouth South)
[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: 15 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the revoking of the arrest warrant for Brigadier Priyanka Fernando.
Q
Asked by Ronnie Cowan
(Inverclyde)
Asked on: 15 February 2019
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an estimate of the level of seizures required to put a successful drug trafficker of (a) heroin, (b) cocaine, (c) cannabis and (d) ecstasy out of business.
Q
Asked by Dan Jarvis
(Barnsley Central)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[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: 15 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the letter from the Secretary of State to the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region of 12 February 2019, if he will publish the Government’s devolution criteria.
Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[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: 15 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how bodies in receipt of funding from the European Regional Development Fund can apply for further funding after the UK leaves the EU.
Q
(Lanark and Hamilton East)
Asked on: 15 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of lowering the age limit for pensions auto-enrolment to 18.
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 15 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2019 to Question 217570 on Syphilis, when Public Health England plans to publish its Syphilis Action Plan.
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 15 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2019 to Question 217568 on Syphilis, what steps his Department is taking to improve the detection, surveillance and clinical management of syphilis.
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[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: 15 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2019 to Question 217569 on Abortions, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor and (b) address the trend of increased abortion rates for women aged 30-34.
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