Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
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Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Bedouin
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Government of Israel on the demolition order against Khan al Ahmar village in the West Bank since the beginning of September; and (a) on what dates and (b) to whom those representations were made.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 18 October 2018

I raised our concerns about the proposed demolition of Khan al-Ahmar with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 11 October. ​Our Ambassador to Israel raised the issue with the Israeli authorities on 3 October. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 6 September.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on the decision to close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: International Criminal Court
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the US Administration’s relationship with the International Criminal Court on the work of that institution; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in examining recent events in the West Bank and Gaza.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the (a) definition and (b) status of refugees in the Middle East.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Breast Cancer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the levels of care and support available for women with breast cancer in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 10 September 2018

Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, advises that breast cancer patients in Birmingham have support from a clinical nurse specialist and have a health needs assessment, which can refer patients for services including prosthesis fitting, wig referral, psychology service and lymphoedema service. In addition, there are several third sector organisations that provide a range of support to breast cancer patients across the area.

NHS England is committed to transforming cancer care across England for all cancers, including breast cancer, aiming to reduce inequality and promoting equity of access to services. To support this ambition, NHS England has committed more than £200 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 to fund Cancer Alliances to accelerate early diagnosis of cancer, improve survival and enhance quality of life.

In February 2018, in partnership with the Department and NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) launched a Be Clear on Cancer Campaign focused on breast cancer in women aged over 70 to raise awareness of specific symptoms and encourage those with symptoms to visit their doctor.

To improve the uptake of screening, NHS England is continuing to invest in initiatives to help ensure equality of access, including through locally targeted interventions. These include text and general practitioner reminders and PHE’s new ‘Breast screening: easy guide’, which helps women decide whether screening is right for them.

NHS England agreed a Commercial Access Agreement with Roche for Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) which brought the confidential purchase price below the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence cost-effectiveness threshold, allowing approval in routine commissioning. This is offering breast cancer patients precious quality time with their families without damaging side effects.

Finally, we are committed to rolling out stratified follow-up pathways for breast cancer patients by 2020, to ensure patients get the right care after treatment, including information and support to spot signs and symptoms of recurrence or secondary cancer. As well as providing a better experience for patients and ensuring they have the information they need, stratified pathways can offer more effective use of resources by freeing up outpatient capacity. They can also ensure that in cases where there is recurrence or secondary cancer, patients are supported to return to care quickly and effectively.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Transport
Cycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of uptake for Cycle to Work Scheme; and what steps he is taking to encourage uptake of that scheme.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 September 2018

The Government has not undertaken any detailed assessment of the levels of uptake of the Cycle to Work Scheme. Bicycles provided under the cycle to work scheme are tax exempt, and so no data is reported to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The Department for Transport is currently in the process of updating the Cycle to Work Scheme guidance, and plans to make a further announcement later in the year.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Transport
Cycling: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Bikeability training places his Department funded in schools in each of the last two academic years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 September 2018

Since the start of the Bikeability training program more than 2.25 million children have been trained. The Department for Transport has provided funding to deliver approximately 350,000 Bikeability training places over the last two academic years.

Details of grant awards and delivery statistics can be found on the Bikeability website: https://bikeability.dft.gov.uk/publication.

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: 20 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of violence carried out by settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank; and what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on that violence.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 September 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is concerned by reports that settler violence has increased in 2018 compared to 2017. The Government condemns any violence by settlers against Palestinians. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised the issue of settler violence with the Israeli authorities on 22 May 2018. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to tackle settler violence, and urge thorough investigation of every instance to bring those responsible to justice. We have also stressed the importance of Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Out of Area Treatment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many out-of-area placements there have been for children and adolescents with psychosis in (a) England and (b) Birmingham in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data is not available in the format requested.

The Department and NHS England are committed to delivering the recommendations of 2016’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. By 2020/21, inpatient stays for children and young people will only take place where clinically appropriate, will have the minimum possible length of stay, and will be as close to home as possible to avoid inappropriate out of area placements.

To support the delivery of these targets, NHS England is funding 150-180 new Tier 4 specialist inpatient beds for children and young people in underserved parts of the country to reduce travel distances for treatment.

As part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, by 2020/21 at least 60% of people with first episode psychosis will start treatment in an Early Intervention in Psychosis service within two weeks of referral, with a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-recommended package of care focused on recovery.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people in (a) Birmingham and (b) England referred for early intervention in psychosis services received help within two weeks of being referred in the last twelve months.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data on performance against the two-week waiting time standard for early intervention in psychosis is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

According to the latest data for England in May 2018, 75.7% of patients referred to Early Intervention in Psychosis services started treatment within two weeks. This performance exceeds our target of 50%. A breakdown for the last 12 months can be found in the following table.

Month

Number of patients started treatment by week since referral

Total number of completed pathways (all)

% within 2 weeks

More than 0-2 weeks

More than 2-6 weeks

More than 6-12 weeks

12 weeks

June 2017

873

193

39

22

1,127

77.50%

July 2017

824

226

36

14

1,100

74.90%

August 2017

816

207

45

16

1,084

75.30%

September 2017

818

187

47

15

1,067

76.70%

October 2017

836

178

50

18

1,082

77.30%

November 2017

787

230

50

22

1,089

72.30%

December 2017

699

198

39

19

955

73.20%

January 2018

722

238

65

17

1042

69.30%

February 2018

807

185

36

24

1,052

76.70%

March 18

795

178

49

26

1,048

75.90%

April 2018

783

204

44

21

1,052

74.40%

May 2018

840

210

47

12

1,109

75.70%

Information for people in Birmingham is not available in the format requested. The number of patients who started treatment for Early Intervention in Psychosis and waited less than 2 weeks are displayed for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that cover Birmingham for last 12 months of published data, which cover June 2017 to May 2018. These CCGs are:

- NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham South and Central CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG (since April 2018); and

- NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG (all 12 months).

From April this year there are only two CCGs for Birmingham: NHS Birmingham and Solihull and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCGs.

These figures are attached and can be accessed in the monthly files at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

PQ167857 attached document (Excel SpreadSheet, 19.95 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Business: Weather
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department issues to businesses on their responsibilities as employers during periods of hot weather.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 04 September 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2018 to Question UIN 136530.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding levels for maintained nursery schools in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167860 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role of maintained nursery schools in improving educational attainment among children from families living in poverty.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from local authorities on supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools beyond 2020.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167860
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Gaza
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps is he taking to obtain a full response from the Government of Israel that the investigation into that country’s use of force against demonstrators in Gaza includes an independent element; and what steps he is taking to promote accountability for potential violations of international law should a suitable independent element not be found.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 27 July 2018

​The Prime Minster stressed the need for Israel to carry out a transparent, independent inquiry into recent protests in Gaza when she met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in London on 6 June. We have called for this investigation to include international members.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the creation of the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary for tackling (a) over-fishing, (b) plastic pollution and (c) climate change.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The UK is a global leader on Antarctic marine protection issues, including within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. CCAMLR ensures that fish stocks in the Southern Ocean are sustainably managed, as well as having committed to the development of a network of MPAs. There is currently no commercial fishing activity in the Weddell Sea; only small-scale, fully monitored, research fishing activities. Ocean plastic pollution is a global problem which the UK Government is actively working to reduce. Plastic pollution is monitored at a number of stations around Antarctica and through dedicated surveys. Plastic pollution is mainly arriving in Antarctica from outside of the region. Nevertheless, in addition to strict marine pollution regulations around Antarctica, UK flagged fishing vessels operating within the CCAMLR Convention Area have implemented measures to reduce or eliminate plastic microbeads from waste water. While MPAs will not tackle global climate change, one of the objectives for the Weddell Sea MPA proposal is to establish scientific reference areas to monitor the effects of climate change and to study, in particular, representative, rare, unique and/or endemic examples of marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity and habitats.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Eritrea
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the yearly variation in the number of applications granted for refugee status from refugees from Eritrea in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The Government takes its international responsibilities seriously and grants protection to those who qualify. In assessing claims decision makers must still consider the individual facts and merits of a particular case aswell as the objective country information.

The table below is taken from published statistics and shows that the grant rate in 2015 and 2016 fell. This was due to a change to the Country Guidance advice over that time.


Year Claims Decisions Grants Grant Rate
2013 1387 960 787 82%
2014 3233 2463 2155 87%
2015 3695 3191 1531 48%
2016 2230 1838 1237 67%
2017 1093 1415 1145 80%


The full set of published statistics can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2018-data-tables

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

I discussed plans to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza with the US Administration, during my visit to Washington D.C. on 12-13 July.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

​The former Foreign Secretary spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 16 May and raised his concerns about the humanitarian and political situation in Gaza, particularly in relation to protests taking place along the Gaza/Israel security fence. He noted that calm and restraint was required from all sides. Our Consul General in Jerusalem routinely discusses the humanitarian situation in Gaza with PA ministers, doing so most recently with the Minister of Health on 19 July.

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