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
(Preston)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hedgehogs: Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to (a) designate hedgehogs as a protected species and (b) ensure that planning guidance takes into account the need to preserve hedgehog habitats.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 20 April 2018

Hedgehogs are listed under Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 so are protected from being killed using prohibited methods such as crossbows, traps and snares. We are committed, through the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, to creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife rich habitat for the benefit of species such as the hedgehog.

To designate hedgehogs as a protected species would require them to be listed under Schedule 5 of the Act. There are no plans to do so as protection of the hedgehogs’ habitat from destruction or disturbance, as defined in the Act, could mean that aspects of garden and land maintenance, or use, would constitute a criminal offence and this may have the unintended consequence of discouraging the creation of hedgehog habitat.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s policy on planning, and states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by minimising impacts on biodiversity, including by establishing coherent ecological networks. The accompanying planning practice guidance (www.gov.uk/guidance/natural-environment) provides further advice on how this should be achieved by local planning authorities. The Government is currently consulting on amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hedgehogs: Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March 2018 to Question 134095 on Department for Transport: Hedgehogs, what steps he is taking as species champion for the native hedgehog to make hedgehogs a protected species.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 20 April 2018

Hedgehogs are listed under Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 so are protected from being killed using prohibited methods such as a crossbows, traps and snares. The Government is committed, through the 25 Year Environment Plan, to creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife rich habitat for the benefit of species such as the hedgehog.

To designate hedgehogs as a protected species would require them to be listed under Schedule 5 of the Act. There are no plans to do so as protection of the hedgehogs’ habitat from destruction or disturbance, as defined in the Act, could mean that aspects of garden and land maintenance would constitute a criminal offence, and this may have the unintended consequence of discouraging the creation of hedgehog habitat.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans bring forward legislative proposals on statutory equine identification for a central equine database.
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: 13 April 2018
Treasury
Revenue and Customs: North West
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff were employed by HMRC at the Tax Credit Office in Preston as at 28 March 2018; and how many of those staff his Department (a) estimates will be employed at that Tax Credit Office by 1 January 2019 and (b) planned to offer redundancy to, make redundant or offer jobs at other HMRC offices in Lancashire, Merseyside or Greater Manchester to.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 18 April 2018

Around 1900 staff were employed by HMRC in Preston as at 28 March 2018.

At this stage HMRC has not agreed the Preston staffing position for January 2019. HMRC will keep staff updated as plans evolve.

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: 13 April 2018
Department for Education
Disabled Students' Allowances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the introduction of the £200 self-contribution for disabled students who are in receipt of disabled student allowances on (a) the take-up of the equipment needed to study independently and (b) trends in the level of participation of disabled students; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 18 April 2018

The most recent data show that, for full-time undergraduate students domiciled in England, 4,600 fewer students were in receipt of equipment Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) in 2015/16 than in 2014/15. The full data are available at http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. The main reason for this fall is that the £200 student contribution to the costs of computer hardware took effect from September 2015.

This government remains committed to supporting disabled students in higher education, both through DSAs and through supporting higher education providers’ efforts to improve the support they offer their disabled students. Alongside this commitment, we are keen to better understand the impact of DSAs on eligible students, including that of recent DSAs reforms. We have commissioned a research project to explore this – we will respond to the research findings when they are available in spring 2018.

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: 13 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Sugar: Soft Drinks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date did each NHS trust in the North West sign up to NHS England's voluntary scheme to reduce the sale of sugar sweetened drinks in NHS canteens, shops and vending machines introduced in 2018; and which NHS trusts in that region have yet to sign up to that initiative.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 18 April 2018

Of the 35 National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts in the North West region 27 are signed up to the scheme. They are below as follows, shown by the quarter by which they joined.

Q1 2017/18

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Q2 2017/18

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Q3 2017/18

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

East Cheshire NHS Trust

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust

Q4 2017/18

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The trusts and foundation trusts not signed up yet are:

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust

Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

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: 18 April 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134374 on Fire Prevention: Preston, what discussions his Department has had with Preston City Council on the external cladding installed on the exterior of properties in the (a) Fishwick, (b) St Matthews and (c) Town Centre wards under the Community Energy Saving Programme; and whether that cladding has made properties unsafe to reside in due to risk of fire or mould.
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: 18 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential benefits of vaginal seeding for children born by caesarean section.
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: 18 April 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's £60 million investment in the development of an aerospace engine by Reaction Engines Limited; and whether further investment is planned.
Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Women and Equalities
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans the Government Equalities Office has to promote Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May 2018; and what events she planning to (a) attend and (b) organise.
Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Department for International Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to promote Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May 2018; and what events she is planning to (a) attend and (b) organise.
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: 18 April 2018
Treasury
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 18 April 2018 to Question 135494 Revenue and Customs: North West, what the timetable is for HM Revenues and Customs to agree the Preston staffing position; and what assessment he has made of the staffing requirements for HMRC offices in Preston in after 2022.
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: 17 April 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department had with Preston City Council on the external cladding installed on the exterior of properties in the Fishwick, St Matthews and Town Centre wards under the Community Energy Saving Programme; and what assessment has been made of whether properties are unsafe to reside in due to risk of fire or mould.
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: 17 April 2018
Ministry of Justice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people (a) were convicted of, (b) received custodial sentences for and (c) received community orders for driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol at each magistrates court in Lancashire and Cumbria in each month of 2017.
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: 17 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reintroducing wolves into the UK; whether his Department has any plans to support the reintroduction of such animals; and if he will make a statement.
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: 17 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of people who will lose their homes as a result of the ending of the Support for Mortgage Interest for claimants in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance.
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: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of Crown Courts in England which have a copy of the Magistrates Courts' Sentencing Guidelines available in paper format.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The Magistrates’ Courts Sentencing Guidelines are no longer distributed to Crown Courts in paper format as they are available in digital format. Both Judges of the Crown Court and magistrates have eJudicary accounts which enable them to access the Sentencing Guidelines digitally.

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: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Fire Prevention: Preston
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Preston City Council on external cladding on buildings in Fishwick, Town Centre and St Matthews wards in Preston.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The Building Safety Programme has been working with local authorities and building owners across England to identify properties that might have potentially unsafe cladding systems.

For all of those high-rise buildings that have been confirmed as having Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding that does not meet the limited combustibility requirements set out in current building regulations guidance, the relevant fire and rescue service has been notified.

We have worked with local authorities, housing associations, fire and rescue services and building owners to ensure that immediate steps are taken to make buildings safe.

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: 27 March 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control: Preston
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment has been made of flood risk in areas along the River Ribble and River Darwen as part of the Preston and South Ribble Flood Management Scheme; what funding has been made available to improve flood defences in affected locations in those areas; what (a) meetings have taken place and (b) correspondence has been exchanged between the Environment Agency and Lancashire County Council to facilitate that work; and when that work will be completed in each of those locations identified as at risk of flooding.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The Environment Agency (EA) assessed and modelled flood risk from the rivers Ribble and Darwen in 2012, 2016 and 2018 to inform the current flood risk management scheme for Preston and South Ribble.

£3.2m of Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) funding has been made available and brought forward into the current EA 6 year programme. This will enable a scheme to be built more quickly than previously planned as long as suitable contributions in line with the funding formula can be found.

Meetings between the EA and Lancashire County Council have taken place since October 2015 with regard to the current Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management Scheme. These meetings have focused on securing additional funding from the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) and on preparing and submitting an application to this fund in line with the European Regional Development Fund timescales. Correspondence with regard to this submission has been exchanged.

Based on the current modelled assumptions and all funding being secured, a flood risk management scheme to provide improved flood protection to communities within Preston and South Ribble could be designed and constructed between 2019/2023.

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: 28 March 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Christians against Poverty: Jobclubs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to job clubs run by Christians Against Poverty; what the nature of that support is; and at which locations those job clubs are based.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The Department works in collaboration with a number of external organisations to ensure claimants are able to access the support they need.

We have been working with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) since April 2012, with CAP offering a wide range of free non contracted provisions that Work Coaches can signpost claimants towards. This includes job clubs, debt help and money management courses to help claimants overcome barriers to employment.

Relationships with CAP are managed at a local level across the Jobcentre network. Information on the local services provided by CAP is available to staff via our District Provision Tool. This digital tool lists local and national provision and support delivered by Jobcentre Plus, Skills Funding Agency, Skills Development Scotland, Careers Wales, other providers, local authorities, and independent and volunteer organisations.

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