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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 94
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Community Protection Notices have been issued for littering in England in each year since the enactment of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 51 of the Government's 2017 Litter Strategy, what progress his Department has made on working with HM Prison and Probation Service to involve fly tipping offenders in clearing fly tipped waste.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[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: 17 July 2018
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 57 of the Government's Litter strategy, published in April 2017, the number of partnerships Highways England has entered into with local authorities in relation to co-operation in tackling roadside litter.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[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: 17 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the outcome has been of the activities of the working group on roadside litter referred to on page 56 of the 2017 Litter Strategy for England.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what changes have been made to the performance specification for Highways England to reflect the goal of improving litter cleaning set out on page 58 of the 2017 Litter Strategy for England.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 58 of the 2017 Litter Strategy for England, whether a revised Key Performance Indicator has been introduced for Highways England relating to litter cleaning.
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 60 of the 2017 Litter Strategy for England, what progress the Government has made in reviewing the mechanism by which councils and other land-managers are held to account for maintaining their land to the standards set out in the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse.
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Waste
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of plastic pollution on flora and fauna in oceans.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 16 July 2018

A five-year-long Defra-funded study found that microplastics can cause harm to marine life. In response to this evidence, we introduced one of the world’s strongest microbead bans. We are continuing to look at other sources of microplastics, and have a monitoring programme running looking at microplastics in sediment and biota.

The UK has a widely respected UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme in place. This scheme investigates the causes of death of stranded cetaceans around the UK coast, improving our understanding of, and ability to tackle, key threats. In the UK, ingestion of marine litter has been implicated in the death of one individual (a Cuvier’s beaked whale in 2015) since the inception of the UK strandings programme in 1990 (this covers the examination of 3586 individuals over that time period).

Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 20 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Roads: Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Transport, (b) Highways England, (c) the Road Haulage Association and (d) the Freight Transport Association on preventing and removing roadside litter.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 26 June 2018

The Litter Strategy for England contains commitments to work with Highways England and others to tackle litter on the roadside, and to work with local councils, ports and the haulage industry to improve facilities for hauliers, fishing vessels and others to dispose of their litter and waste.

Defra Ministers have met their Department for Transport counterparts to discuss these issues and agree measures to reduce and remove litter from the Strategic Road Network. Highways England was also represented at these meetings.

Defra Ministers also raised the issue of litter at a meeting with the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association in January this year, and the Department has written to both organisations following the introduction of new local authority powers to tackle littering from vehicles in April this year.

Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 20 June 2018
Department for Transport
Roads: Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Highways England on the removal of litter from the edge of the roads for which that organisation has responsibility.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The Secretary of State for Transport and the Roads Minister discuss issues affecting Highways England regularly with the Chief Executive of Highways England, and these discussions are continued at official level. Issues covered include the provision of litter collection by the side of the Strategic Road Network and progress on delivery of commitments set out in the Government Litter Strategy 2017.

Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 20 June 2018
Department for Transport
Roads: Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the (a) Freight Transport Association and (b) Road Haulage Association on measures to prevent litter from being blown off open lorries and left as litter on the roadside.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has published guidance on securing loads carried on vehicles. The guidance states that tarpaulins or netting/sheeting should be used on tippers, bulk containers and skips to stop loose items from falling.

The Litter Strategy for England 2017 sets out the commitment of the Government and Highways England to a range of measures to reduce roadside litter on motorways and a small number of all-purpose trunk roads. The responsibility for litter clearance on the rest of the trunk road network lies with the relevant local district and borough councils.

Q
Asked by Dan Carden
(Liverpool, Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rodents: Pest Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the powers available to local authorities to tackle (a) rodent and (b) rat infestations in urban areas.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

No specific assessment of the effectiveness of the powers available to local authorities to tackle rat and mice infestations in urban areas has been made.

The Secretary of State has not had to use powers available to him under section 12 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to empower persons to exercise rodent control functions on behalf of an authority which has been judged to have unsatisfactorily performed those functions.

In 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) published estimates of the proportion of houses where mice and rats were present in England. This can be viewed at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15723-9

Higher prevalence was consistently observed in older and rented houses, when litter was present around a dwelling and when pets or livestock were present. The household and regional factors included in the analysis explained some, but not all, of the variation in rodent prevalence over time. This suggests that other factors not included in APHA’s models might also influence prevalence. The level of rodent control effort made by householders also varied over time, probably as a response to changes in rodent prevalence.

Defra has not received any representations from local authorities on rodent or rat infestations in urban areas in the last three years.

Grouped Questions: 154804 | 154805
Q
Asked by Dan Carden
(Liverpool, Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rodents: Pest Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of (a) rodent and (b) rat infestations in urban areas.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

No specific assessment of the effectiveness of the powers available to local authorities to tackle rat and mice infestations in urban areas has been made.

The Secretary of State has not had to use powers available to him under section 12 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to empower persons to exercise rodent control functions on behalf of an authority which has been judged to have unsatisfactorily performed those functions.

In 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) published estimates of the proportion of houses where mice and rats were present in England. This can be viewed at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15723-9

Higher prevalence was consistently observed in older and rented houses, when litter was present around a dwelling and when pets or livestock were present. The household and regional factors included in the analysis explained some, but not all, of the variation in rodent prevalence over time. This suggests that other factors not included in APHA’s models might also influence prevalence. The level of rodent control effort made by householders also varied over time, probably as a response to changes in rodent prevalence.

Defra has not received any representations from local authorities on rodent or rat infestations in urban areas in the last three years.

Grouped Questions: 154803 | 154805
Q
Asked by Dan Carden
(Liverpool, Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rodents: Pest Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations his Department has received from local authorities on (a) rodent and (b) rat infestations in urban areas in the last three years.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

No specific assessment of the effectiveness of the powers available to local authorities to tackle rat and mice infestations in urban areas has been made.

The Secretary of State has not had to use powers available to him under section 12 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to empower persons to exercise rodent control functions on behalf of an authority which has been judged to have unsatisfactorily performed those functions.

In 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) published estimates of the proportion of houses where mice and rats were present in England. This can be viewed at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15723-9

Higher prevalence was consistently observed in older and rented houses, when litter was present around a dwelling and when pets or livestock were present. The household and regional factors included in the analysis explained some, but not all, of the variation in rodent prevalence over time. This suggests that other factors not included in APHA’s models might also influence prevalence. The level of rodent control effort made by householders also varied over time, probably as a response to changes in rodent prevalence.

Defra has not received any representations from local authorities on rodent or rat infestations in urban areas in the last three years.

Grouped Questions: 154803 | 154804
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Litter Strategy for England, issued in Aril 2017.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 21 June 2018

We have made good progress in delivering the commitments set out in the Litter Strategy, including improving councils’ enforcement powers and launching the Litter Innovation Fund. The first annual report on progress will be published shortly.

Q
Asked by Laura Smith
(Crewe and Nantwich)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made on implementing the 36 tasks in the Litter Strategy for England, published in April 2017.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 13 June 2018

We have made good progress in delivering the actions set out in the Litter Strategy, including bringing into force new Regulations to improve local authority enforcement powers, launching the Litter Innovation Fund, and consulting on improved guidance on enforcement.

We have committed to reporting annually to Parliament on our progress with the actions set out in the Strategy: the first report is in preparation and will be published shortly.

Q
(Kettering)
[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 June 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information he holds on the amount of litter that was dropped in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England in the last year for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 07 June 2018

Defra does not hold data on the amount of litter collected, either locally or at a national level.

Further to the commitments given in the Litter Strategy, earlier this year we published a new ‘dashboard’ of indicators which, taken together, help us to understand the extent of litter and littering in England. The dashboard can be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/litter-and-littering-in-england-2016-to-2017/litter-and-littering-in-england-2016-to-2017.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[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: 22 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to increase the amount of recycling of materials; if he will protect the level of recycling credits for local government; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 04 June 2018

As stated in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan we are committed to supporting comprehensive and frequent waste and recycling collections, and want to ensure that products are recycled as much as possible, returning high quality materials back to the economy. We will set out plans to increase recycling in the Resources and Waste Strategy to be published later this year. This will include taking forward our commitment in the Litter Strategy to work with stakeholders to explore how cost‑sharing arrangements (including recycling credits) for waste and recycling can work most effectively, especially in areas of two-tier authorities.

Q
Asked by Lesley Laird
(Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Asked on: 10 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Seas and Oceans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent plastic waste from entering the seas around the UK.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 01 June 2018

Nine billion plastic carrier bags have been taken out of circulation since the introduction of our 5p carrier bag charge in 2015. A beach clean survey in 2016 reported a 40% reduction in the number of plastic bags found since the charge was introduced. Furthermore, research published by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in February has shown that there has been a decrease in the number of plastic bags found on the UK’s seabed. In March, we worked with two trade bodies to launch an industry led initiative to encourage their members to extend the carrier bag charge on a voluntary basis. This initiative will further reduce usage, and we will set out our next steps in due course to extend the charge further.

Single use plastic items make up a large part of marine litter and are frequently in the top 10 of items found during beach cleans. The Treasury is currently conducting a call for evidence seeking views on how the tax system or charges could reduce the waste from single use plastics.

We will introduce a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and reduce littering, subject to consultation later this year. We will also ban plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers, subject to consultation and with exemption where use is required for medical reasons.

As marine litter is a transboundary problem we also work productively with other countries to address it, particularly through the Oslo and Paris Conventions for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), G7, G20 and the UN Environment Programme. Through OSPAR we are working to develop and promote best practice in the fishing industry to address the issue of marine litter.

We published the Litter Strategy for England in April 2017, setting out our aim to clean up the country and deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation. The Litter Strategy brings together communities, businesses, charities and schools to bring about real change by focusing on three key themes: education and awareness; improving enforcement; and better cleaning and access to bins.

Tackling litter on land will help to reduce the amount of material (including plastic) reaching the marine area, where it is much more difficult to remove.

Q
Asked by Julian Sturdy
(York Outer)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support local authorities to roll out recycling bins on streets.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 21 May 2018

Local authorities are best placed to deliver the recycling services in their area with householders, including the provision of on street recycling bins, and the management of litter. The Government has supported Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to provide tools and resources to support local councils to improve their services, including guidance on collection of waste and recycling, reducing contamination and approaches to material sales.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our commitment to make it even easier for people to recycle and increase the quantity and quality of materials collected. Further measures to improve recycling will be set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy to be published later this year.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 94
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100