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)
[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 December 2018
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to increase funding allocated to children's services in local authorities across England in the next Comprehensive Spending Review.
Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to introduce a maximum waiting time for treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Ovarian Cancer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 20 November 2018

Public Health England (PHE) has run a number of ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ (BCOC) campaigns to help improve early detection of cancer. In 2014 PHE ran a regional ovarian cancer campaign in the North West of England, and in 2017 a pilot which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of a number of cancers, including ovarian cancer was carried out in the East and West Midlands. PHE is currently undertaking new data analysis and research to determine the future direction of BCOC activity in 2019/20 and will take into consideration the outcomes of these previous campaigns. PHE will also consult with NHS England on the timings and location of any future campaigns.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Eating Disorders: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many inpatient deaths there were in (a) Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and (b) Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for which an eating disorder was the underlying cause of death in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 19 November 2018

This information is not available in the format requested.

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: 09 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
World War I: Anniversaries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what events he plans to attend to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Armistice.
A
Answered by: Gavin Williamson
Answered on: 15 November 2018

It was my very great privilege to attend the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance on Saturday evening and the Cenotaph Service and special Westminster Abbey Service on Sunday. These events were especially poignant for falling on the exact centenary of the Armistice and were a chance to honour all those who served their country.

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: 09 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Paper: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to (a) ban the sale of unrecyclable wrapping paper or (b) introduce a tax on such products.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 November 2018

We have no plans to ban “non-recyclable” wrapping paper. Retailers are encouraged to provide information on whether their wrapping paper can be recycled or whether it should be disposed of in residual waste.

Packaging materials, including wrapping paper sold with the product, are covered by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations which place a legal obligation on businesses that make or use packaging to ensure that a proportion of the packaging they sell is recovered and recycled.

This creates an incentive for companies to use less packaging and to ensure that their packaging can be recycled at end of life as it will reduce their costs in complying with the Regulations.

We have committed to exploring changes to the packaging producer responsibility scheme. This will look at all aspects of the regime, including mechanisms to encourage increased recyclability. More detail will be announced in the Resources and Waste Strategy, which will be published shortly.

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: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Anorexia and Asperger's Syndrome
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what studies his Department has conducted on a possible link between Asperger's syndrome and anorexia.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Medical Research Council is currently funding a study of adolescent anorexia nervosa patients with autism spectrum disorder symptoms: ‘The Triple A study (Adolescents with Anorexia and Autism): A search for biomarkers’. The research aims to identify vulnerable patients, at an early stage, who may be unlikely to respond to current treatment for anorexia, with the longer-term aim of shaping individualised support and treatment strategies. The study is led by King's College London and is due to conclude next year.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Eating Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many adult (a) male and (b) female inpatient facilities are available for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and other specified feeding or eating disorders in (i) Lancashire and (ii) England.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 November 2018

NHS England commissions 415 specialised adult eating disorder beds across England, 42 of which are in the North West: 10 in Preston, 18 in Cheadle and 14 within the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Data on the number of male and female beds is not collected.

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: 25 October 2018
Home Office
Lancashire Constabulary: Proceeds of Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much money Lancashire Constabulary was allowed to keep under section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and (c) 2017; what that money was used for; and to which organisations that money was donated.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 30 October 2018

The amounts returned to Lancashire Constabulary from cash forfeited under section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the relevant financial years is given in the table below.

2014/15

£308,066.04

2015/16

£313,404.91

2016/17

£289,835.26

The use of returned money is a matter for the individual agencies, but there is an expectation that it will be used for driving up asset recovery performance and for reducing harm; including community project funding. In monitoring the use of the money, we are aware that most of the amount returned to Lancashire Constabulary has been used to build and maintain a financial investigation capacity and capability.

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: 25 October 2018
Treasury
Affordable Housing: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much the Government has spent on affordable housing in the last (a) year and (b) five years.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 30 October 2018

The government funds affordable housing through the Affordable Homes Programme. It does not announce funding on a yearly basis. The allocations of funding are as follows:

  • Affordable Homes Programme 2011 – 2015 £4.5 billion

  • Affordable Homes Programme 2015 – 2018* £2.9 billion

  • Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016 – 2022 £9.1 billion (including £1 billion of commitments from the 2015 – 18 programme).

    (* In addition to the 2015 - 2018 programme we also announced the “Rent to Buy loan scheme” of £200 million funding to deliver Rent to Buy homes.)

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 September 2018 to Question HL9912 on universal credit, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the steps that the Government is taking to ensure the accuracy of the electronic verification of universal credit claimants who meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 25 October 2018

The Department works closely with the Department for Education (DfE) to assist it deliver its Free School Meals policy.

DWP has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with DfE over the transfer of data from the Universal Credit system to the Passported Benefits Eligibility checking system. Data is received from the Universal Credit system, on a daily basis. This means that the data is at most 23 hours and 59 minutes old, depending on when the claimant / agent last updated the record.

If a claimant has an open Universal Credit full service claim their take home pay is compared against the earning threshold. As a safeguard for claimants who have fluctuating earnings, the take-home pay is checked going back up to 3 months. In these cases, the take-home pay is aggregated to give an amount for use in the eligibility calculation.

DfE have processes in place to inform and deal with delays to ensure no claimants lose out as a result of this.

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 October 2018
Treasury
Credit: Interest Rates
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that payday lenders make individual assessments of the effect on people who have (a) gambling and (b) mental health problems of taking out a loan.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The Regulation of consumer credit is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Government has given the FCA strong powers to protect consumers.

FCA rules are based on the principle that money should only be lent to a consumer if they can afford to repay it. The rules set out what is expected of firms, and the sanctions if they lend irresponsibly.

The FCA also has comprehensive guidance for firms when lending to consumers with mental capacity limitations. Firms should take reasonable steps to ensure that they have suitable business practices and procedures in place for the fair treatment of customers who they understand, or reasonably suspect, have or may have a mental capacity limitation


Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 18 October 2018
Treasury
Credit: Interest Rates
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prohibit payday loan companies from advertising their services on television.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The Regulation of consumer credit is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Government has given the FCA strong powers to protect consumers.

The FCA has introduced a tough set of detailed rules regarding firms’ promotions and advertisements, with the fundamental requirement that all advertisements and other promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading. Payday loan adverts are also subject to the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) strict content rules. The ASA can ban irresponsible adverts, and has a strong track record of doing so.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Preston
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of delays in the payment of universal credit benefits on (a) food bank use and (b) child poverty levels in Preston.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 22 October 2018

Under the legacy system £2.4 billion of benefits did not get paid at all because claimants could not navigate the complexity of the system. Universal Credit puts this right, ensuring this money goes to 700,000 claimants who need it.

There are many and varied reasons why people use food banks and it is misleading to link this to any single cause. People on Universal Credit move into work faster and stay in work longer. Work offers families the best opportunity to move out of poverty and Universal Credit strengthens incentives for parents to move into and progress in work. There are 300,000 fewer children in absolute poverty compared with 2010 – a record low.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Education
Primary Education: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the new school funding formula on primary schools in Lancashire; and how many schools will receive (a) increased funding and (b) reduced funding compared with the 2017-18 financial year.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 18 October 2018
Holding answer received on 16 October 2018

Under the national funding formula (NFF) all schools, including primary schools in Lancashire, will attract at least 1% more funding per pupil in 2019-20 compared to 2017-18, up from 0.5% this year.

Based on 2019-20 notional NFF allocations, 372 primary schools in Lancashire will attract an overall increase in funding, and 110 schools will see a decrease. Because we update allocations based on the latest pupil data, including increases and decreases in pupil numbers, some schools attract less than in previous years.

Overall, primary schools in Lancashire will attract an average of £4,111 per pupil in 2019-20, which is an increase of 2.3% or an additional £92 per pupil, compared to 2017-18 funding levels.

To provide stability, local authorities continue to be responsible for distributing the funding they receive through the NFF to schools in their areas. This means the actual amount that schools receive may differ from the amount they attract through the NFF.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Home Office
Radicalism: Charities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure that charities suspected of extremist activities are not able to register with the Charities Commission.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 18 October 2018

The Government is determined to defeat extremism in all its forms and cut off the funding for it, which is why we conducted a review of the funding of Islamist extremism in the UK. The review found that the majority of Islamist extremist funding comes from private charitable donations in the UK; and that some extremist organisations seek to avoid regulatory oversight.

The Government’s response therefore includes working with the Charity Commission to increase the proportion of organisations registered as charities; and encourage the public to carefully consider the credentials of the organisations they donate to.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Home Office
Hate Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of reasons for the recent rise in recorded hate crimes; and whether the Government has plans to identify crimes committed against people from alternative sub-cultures as hate crimes.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 18 October 2018

The increases in recorded hate crime is thought to be driven by general improvements by the police in how they record crime, better identification of hate crimes, willingness of victims to come forward, and a genuine increase in these offences around certain events such as the EU Referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

We have recently published a refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan. As part of this, we have asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of the coverage and approach of current hate crime legislative provisions. This will include consideration of whether there should be additional protected characteristics, which could include alternative sub-cultures.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 09 October 2018
Cabinet Office
Food: Allergies
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) adults and (b) children have died as a result of a food allergy in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 17 October 2018

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA response (PDF Document, 81.46 KB)
Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Treasury
Retail Trade
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to take steps to prevent rental purchase retailers from charging in excess of twice the value of the goods sold over the contract period; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The Government has fundamentally reformed regulation of the consumer credit market, including high-cost credit, transferring regulatory responsibility from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 1 April 2014. This more robust regulatory system is helping to deliver the Government’s vision for a well-functioning and sustainable consumer credit market which is able to meet the needs of all consumers.

The Government welcomed the FCA’s update on it’s high-cost credit review in May. The FCA has identified a need to intervene to protect vulnerable consumers in the rent-to-own market, and is considering a cap on the cost of rent-to-own. The government will continue to work with the FCA to ensure that all high-cost credit customers are treated fairly.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications for community and industry-led wind farms in Lancashire have been received in the last three years; what the outcome of those applications was; and what progress has been made on delivering the agreed benefits to the local community of any such successful applications.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 16 October 2018

Three planning applications were submitted for onshore wind farms in Lancashire between October 2015 and October 2018 according to the Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD):

Table 1: Planning applications for onshore wind farms in Lancashire submitted between October 2015 and October 2017

Site name

Installed capacity (MW)

Planning application submitted

Status

Lower Alt Wind Farm

42

14/12/2015

Application Refused

Hameldon Hill Wind Farm

7.1

13/06/2016

Awaiting Construction

Hoddlesdon Moss (Resubmission)

2.7

29/06/2016

Application Withdrawn

The REPD tracks applications for renewable energy projects as they move through the planning system. It shows projects that have applied for planning permission in the previous month or earlier for projects with a capacity greater than, or equal to, 1MW. The REPD does not differentiate between projects that are community and industry-led.

Community benefits are a matter to be agreed between a project developer and the local community, and are not material considerations in any planning decision.

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