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
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 11 May 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to provide additional funding to support nursery schools beyond April 2020.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 16 May 2018

The government is committed to supporting maintained nursery schools (MNS); they play an important role in supporting some of our most disadvantaged children.

We are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million a year to enable local authorities to protect maintained nursery school funding until 2019-20. This provides MNS with stability whilst we develop a long-term solution for them. An important part of this will be understanding the value for money that they offer, and new research will report on this later in the year.

Budgets after 2019-20 will be set at the next Spending Review.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 30 April 2018
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of applicants have not had their 30-hours free childcare code validated.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 03 May 2018

The department published data regarding the number of 30 hours codes issued and validated for the summer term on 12 April in ’30 hours free childcare eligibility codes issued and validated: April 2018’, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility-codes-issued-and-validated.

The publication noted that, as of 9 April 2018, 327,558 (87%) of codes had been validated for summer out of a total 377,535 codes issued prior to 31 March 2018 – the deadline for summer applications. Therefore, 49,977 (13%) of codes had not been validated at this point in time.

As has been seen in previous terms, it is expected that the number and percentage of codes validated will continue to increase during the term as parents and providers confirm their childcare arrangements.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 30 April 2018
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the 30-hours free childcare scheme on trends in the (a) availability of childcare services, (b) proportion of well qualified childcare staff, (c) fees for non-funded hours and (d) providers' other free services.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 03 May 2018

The department is still in the first year of national delivery of 30 hours free childcare which rolled out in September 2017. 294,000 children benefited from a 30 hours place in the spring term which, representing 89% of those who received an eligibility code.

The independent evaluation of our early rollout areas showed that 83% of providers who were delivering the existing entitlements were willing and able to deliver 30 hours free childcare. According to the termly statistics published by Ofsted in March 2018, the number of places offered by providers on the Early Years Register (EYR) has remained stable at approximately 1.3 million since 31 August 2017. The number of places offered by non-domestic providers has increased slightly, while the number of childminder places has fallen slightly. The department will continue to monitor childcare provision going forward, via the Ofsted statistics and engagement with the profession.

The quality of childcare has remained stable with 94% of providers on the EYR judged to be good or outstanding as at 31 December 2017 – the highest ever percentage.

The independent evaluation reports of the early implementation and early rollout of 30 hours free childcare found no substantial adverse impact on the existing free entitlements. The department’s delivery support contractor, Childcare Works, has been working with providers and local authorities to promote the continued importance of the existing entitlements within the wider 30 hours free childcare delivery context.

Data will be collected on the proportion of staff qualifications in early years settings available in the annual Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers later in the year. In addition, the department is further enhancing its analytical programme to collect detailed research on childcare costs.

The department has commissioned an independent evaluation of the first year of national delivery of 30 hours, which will report findings in the summer. The evidence from this report will be used to inform future delivery.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 23 April 2018
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to increase the hourly rate to nursery providers under the 30-hours free childcare scheme.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 26 April 2018

By 2019-20, the government will be spending £1 billion a year to deliver 30 hours of free childcare and fund the increase in rates that we introduced in April 2017.

Our average hourly funding rate to local authorities for three- and four-year olds compares very favourably with published independent research into the hourly cost of childcare. We will continue to monitor delivery costs and have commissioned new research to provide us with robust and detailed cost data from a representative sample of early years providers.

The government requires all local authorities to pass through 95% of their three and four year old funding to early years providers. The government allows 5% of funding to be held back so that authorities can meet their statutory duty to administer our entitlements and for central services such as specialist support for special educational needs provision.

Grouped Questions: 136947
Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 23 April 2018
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans for all the money provided to local authorities under the 30-hours free childcare scheme to be passed on to childcare providers.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 26 April 2018

By 2019-20, the government will be spending £1 billion a year to deliver 30 hours of free childcare and fund the increase in rates that we introduced in April 2017.

Our average hourly funding rate to local authorities for three- and four-year olds compares very favourably with published independent research into the hourly cost of childcare. We will continue to monitor delivery costs and have commissioned new research to provide us with robust and detailed cost data from a representative sample of early years providers.

The government requires all local authorities to pass through 95% of their three and four year old funding to early years providers. The government allows 5% of funding to be held back so that authorities can meet their statutory duty to administer our entitlements and for central services such as specialist support for special educational needs provision.

Grouped Questions: 136946
Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 14 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
CAFCASS: Complaints
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many complaints have been made against the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the most recent period for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 19 March 2018

785 complaints were made against the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) in the period from 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2017.

The figure for the year 2016/17 was 988. This represents three complaints for every 1000 cases.

Figures for previous years can be found in Cafcass Annual Reports which can be accessed on the Cafcass website: www.cafcass.gov.uk/about-cafcass/reports-and-strategies/annual-reports/

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 14 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
CAFCASS: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much funding the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service received in each of the last six years.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has received total resource funding in respect of its statutory functions as follows:

Reporting year

Total funding received from central government

2012-2013

£ 127.472 million

2013-2014

£ 125.070 million

2014-2015

£ 117.144 million

2015-2016

£ 117.669 million

2016-2017

£ 115.046 million

2017-2018

£ 118.636 million

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 12 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Children in Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on outcomes for looked-after children.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 17 January 2018
Holding answer received on 17 January 2018

This Government has high ambitions for looked after children and care leavers.

The forthcoming corporate parenting provisions in the Children and Social Work Act will ensure high quality care and support for these vulnerable young people.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 12 January 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of residential and care home closures on the ability of local authorities to fulfil their statutory obligations to provide care.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 17 January 2018

High quality care is not just about care home beds. Of those aged 65 and over who need local authority support, 62% are cared for in their own home. Since 2010 there has been a growth in home care agencies of more than 3,140.

The total number of beds in care homes has remained broadly static since 2010.

We have given local authorities in England an extra £2 billion over the next three years to maintain access for our growing aging population and allow councils to sustain a diverse care market including care home places.

In addition the Government has announced we will consult on plans to improve the social care system and to put it on a more secure financial footing.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 12 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Services: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that adult social care is adequately funded.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The Government provided an additional £2 billion at the 2017 Spring Budget for adult social care, of which £1 billion was provided in 2017-18. This meant that by the start of this financial year, the Government had given councils access to £9.25 billion additional funding for adult social care over the next three years.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 12 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the local government finance settlement on the ability of local authorities to meet their statutory responsibilities.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The Government periodically assesses resourcing requirements for local government as part of each spending review, ensuring a sustainable basis for local authorities to discharge their functions.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 11 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the proportion of time spent dealing with individual local authority matters and combined authority matters by (a) all chief executives of local authorities which are part of a combined authority and (b) the Chief Executive of Walsall Council.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 16 January 2018
Holding answer received on 16 January 2018

The working patterns of council Chief Executives are entirely local matters which are the responsibility of the council concerned.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 12 January 2018
Department for Education
Children: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with local authorities to discuss their statutory responsibilities for children with disabilities.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The former Minister for Children and Families, my hon. Friend for Scarborough and Whitby (Robert Goodwill), wrote to the Directors of Children’s Services in all English local authorities on 12 September 2017 to remind them of their statutory duty to complete transfer reviews of Statements of Special Education Needs by 31 March 2018.

In addition, ministers from the Department for Education (DfE) have written to all local authorities whose areas have been inspected under the Ofsted/Care Quality Commission Special Educational Needs and Disability inspection framework, and have written again, after 12 months, to those areas identified by the inspections as having significant weaknesses. These letters follow up the key points raised in the inspection reports, including any that relate to statutory responsibilities for children with disabilities.

DfE officials, working closely with partners, including NHS England, have also engaged with local authorities, particularly those with significant weaknesses identified, to provide support and challenge on their statutory responsibilities in this area, and have seen a proactive and positive response.


Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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 July 2017
Department for International Trade
Overseas Companies: Burma
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what advice the Government provides to British companies which supply or are considering to supply the Burmese military or are considering entering into joint ventures or other business arrangements with military-owned or military-linked companies from that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 12 July 2017

British companies contacting the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation for advice or support relating to exports to Burma are made aware that there is currently an arms embargo and other restrictions in force, and are referred to the Gov.uk website for further information.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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 July 2017
Department for International Development
Burma: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding was provided to support the peace process in Burma in 2016-17; and which organisations were recipients of that funding.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 12 July 2017

In the financial year 2016-17 DFID contributed £4.2 million to the Peace Support Fund managed by the Nordic International Support Foundation. The Fund provides support to civil society, youth and women’s organisations working on peace.

The DFID Minister of State met representatives of the government and Burma’s ethnic groups during his visit to Burma in July 2017. The peace process was an important topic of discussion raised by the minister during his visit.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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 July 2017
Department for International Development
Burma: Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to address the shortfall in funding for internally displaced people in Shan State and Kachin State in Burma.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 12 July 2017

DFID has provided £25.8 million in humanitarian and health assistance to internally displaced and conflict-affected people in Kachin and Northern Shan States since 2012. The UK is one of the largest providers of assistance to the crisis in Kachin and northern Shan states. We will continue to respond to humanitarian need and will encourage other donors to play their part.

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