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
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 June 2019
Treasury
Public Sector: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to oral contribution of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee meeting on 4 June what the selection process will be for the appointment of the delivery expert; and when that appointment will be announced.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 17 June 2019

The Treasury will conduct a zero-based review of capital at the next Spending Review. It will include an assessment panel of Chief Economists from across government departments, who will provide technical assistance and expertise to Treasury officials scrutinising capital spending bids. These top economists will bring significant experience and expertise in appraising investment in many different sectors, covering economic and social infrastructure. The panel will also draw on the IPA, and functional expertise built up since 2015.

The assessment panel will be formed ahead of the Spending Review.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cuba: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to improve diplomatic ties with Cuba since the appointment of Miguel Diaz-Canel.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The transition to the first non-Castro President of Cuba in decades was an historic moment, which I welcomed publicly.

While it is still early in President Diaz-Canel's time in office, the UK has already begun to engage the new administration. The Head of Latin America Department visited Cuba shortly after President Diaz-Canel's appointment to attend Cuba's Tourism Fair, for which the UK was named 'Country of Honour', and for meetings with the Cuban Government and civil society. He was clear about the UK's desire to continue improving the relationship between the UK and Cuba.

We look forward to continuing our constructive engagement with President Diaz-Canel and his new ministerial team to promote trade and investment at the same time as maintaining a broad political dialogue, including on human rights and the need for reform.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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: 26 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Defibrillators: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that rural communities have access to defibrillators.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 02 July 2018

Since the Department’s Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy was published in 2013, which highlighted the lives that could be saved by better cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and availability of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs), the NHS England-chaired Community Resuscitation Steering Group has taken a number of steps to address relevant issues, including in relation to community defibrillator access. These steps include:

- In order to further support the National Health Service and local communities, the Government provided £1 million in the 2015 Budget to increase the availability and accessibility of PADs and the numbers of people trained in CPR; in the March 2016 Budget, a further £1 million was made available to make PADs and CPR training more widely available in communities across England;

- The Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Arrhythmia Alliance have all undertaken campaigns to increase awareness of CPR and availability of PADs;

- The BHF has committed funds to implement the establishment of a national database of PADs and make this available to ambulance services, and two ambulance services are currently involved in determining the structure and function of the database. This database will later be offered to all services once shown to be safe and effective, and a key intention is to ensure that PAD location information is readily available when someone makes a 999 call.

Local ambulance trusts are thought to be best placed to know what is needed in their local area, and often offer advice to charities and the public on the operation and placement of PADs.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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: 26 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to safeguard the welfare of children who use social media.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The protection of children and young people from online risks remains one of this Government's top priorities. As part of its work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, the Government published the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in October 2017 and published its consultation response in May this year.

The consultation response included a draft statutory social media code of practice. This provides guidance to social media providers on appropriate reporting mechanisms and moderation processes to tackle abusive content. By setting out clear standards for industry, we will make sure there is improved support for users online, and that more companies are taking consistent action to tackle abuse.

E-safety is covered at all key stages in computing lessons at school, which is compulsory in maintained schools and used as a benchmark in academies and free schools.

DCMS is also working closely with the Department for Education (DfE) to develop the online aspects of new compulsory Relationship Education (primary age) and Relationships and Sex Education (secondary) curriculum in all schools in England from September 2019.

Earlier this year, DfE closed a call for evidence on age-appropriate content in the updated curriculum subjects. It also asked for views about the future status of PSHE. The responses to the call for evidence will be used to develop the draft statutory guidance and regulations which will be subject to a full public consultation.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 June 2018
Department for Education
Pupils: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle the increase in schoolchildren taking Xanax and fentanyl.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Schools have a statutory power to search for and confiscate prohibited items such as illegal and controlled drugs. Where they find other substances, which are not controlled drugs but a teacher believes them to be harmful or detrimental to good order and discipline, these can also be confiscated.

The department has produced advice for schools which makes it clear that school staff can search pupils or their possessions, without consent where there are reasonable grounds to do so. If a pupil refuses to be searched, the school may bar them from the premises. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279245/searching_screening_confiscation_advice_feb14.pdf.

Schools are not required to record and report instances involving drugs. However, when serious incidents involving the use of drugs occur, we would expect schools to record the incident and inform the parents of the pupil.

Statutory guidance to school governors on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions states that a child who has been prescribed a controlled drug may legally have it in their possession if they are competent to do so; that school staff may administer a controlled drug to the child for whom it has been prescribed; and that a record should be kept of any doses used and the amount of the controlled drug held.

The government is improving the mental health support available to children and young people, investing an additional £1.4 billion is specialist services between 2015 and 2020.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 June 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Mobile Phones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to tackle the problem of mobile phones into prisons.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The illicit use of mobile phones can pose a significant threat and undermine the safety and security of our prisons. For example, they can be used to convey other illicit items into prisons, such as drugs. We are taking urgent and decisive action to tackle this threat.

The Government is supporting the Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill 2017, a Private Members Bill introduced by Maria Caulfield MP, which will enable mobile network operators to support solutions to stop illicit phones working in prisons. The bill is due to have its remaining stages debated on Friday 6th July.

We have also invested £2 million in detection technology and conduct intelligence-led searches. We also continue to utilise Telecommunications Restriction Orders to block specific mobile phones being used in prisons.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 June 2018
Department for Transport
Bus Services: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to maintain rural bus routes.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The Government recognises the extra pressures placed on local authorities to provide services in more isolated areas. Where there is not enough demand for a bus route to be commercially viable in its own right, all local authorities have powers to subsidise bus services.

Since January 2014, £40m Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG) funding per year is paid directly to local authorities, rather than bus operators, in relation to the services that councils fund. This funding is ring-fenced to ensure that it is used to support bus services, but within that it will be for each local authority to decide how to use it.

Our Total Transport pilot projects encouraged local authorities to innovate by joining up the commissioning of publicly funded transport services so that available funding goes further. The lessons learned from these projects have been circulated and the Government encourage local authorities to explore these options.

The Bus Services Act 2017 also provides a number of tools to facilitate local authorities working together with operators and communities to provide improved bus services in rural areas.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Gift Aid
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much money has been paid out in Gift Aid in each of the past five financial years.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Statistical information about the amount of Gift Aid tax relief repayments to charities over the last five tax years is available on gov.uk - www.gov.uk/government/statistics/cost-of-tax-relief.

HM Revenue & Customs cannot disclose the names of Gift Aid tax relief recipients due to taxpayer confidentiality.

Grouped Questions: 128678
Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Gift Aid
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, who the top ten recipients of Gift Aid from single payments were in each of the last five financial years.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Statistical information about the amount of Gift Aid tax relief repayments to charities over the last five tax years is available on gov.uk - www.gov.uk/government/statistics/cost-of-tax-relief.

HM Revenue & Customs cannot disclose the names of Gift Aid tax relief recipients due to taxpayer confidentiality.

Grouped Questions: 128677
Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[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 February 2018
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding from the public purse was allocated to the international aid budget in each of the last 15 years; and what each amount was as a percentage of GDP.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 23 February 2018

In line with the reporting requirements of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) the 0.7% Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment is expressed as a percentage of gross national income rather than gross domestic product. The table below shows net ODA from 2002 to 2016, the latest year for which data is available, alongside of which is the ODA:GNI ratio for these years.

Year

UK Net ODA, £m

ODA:GNI ratio (%) Current methodology in given year

2002

3,281

0.31

2003

3,847

0.34

2004

4,302

0.36

2005

5,926

0.47

2006

6,770

0.51

2007

4,921

0.36

2008

6,356

0.43

2009

7,301

0.51

2010

8,529

0.57

2011

8,629

0.56

2012

8,802

0.57

2013

11,407

0.70

2014

11,700

0.70

2015

12,136

0.70

2016

13,381

0.70

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Lancaster: Investment
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what discussions he has had with the Duchy Council on the Queen's private estate being invested in a fund based in the Cayman Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Patrick McLoughlin
Answered on: 16 November 2017

As part of my role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster I meet with the Duchy Council who update me on issues on Duchy affairs.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Lancaster: Investment
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what discussions he has had with the (a) Prime Minister and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Queen's private estate being invested in a fund based in the Cayman Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Patrick McLoughlin
Answered on: 16 November 2017

No discussions have been held with the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Queen's private estates as these investments were made between 2002 and 2005.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Lancaster: Investment
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what information his Department holds on funds from the Queen's private estate being invested in a fund based in the Cayman Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Patrick McLoughlin
Answered on: 16 November 2017

Financial records are held by the Duchy of Lancaster. Details of the finances of the Duchy of Lancaster are published annually in a formal report. These are available on the Duchy of Lancaster website: https://www.duchyoflancaster.co.uk/financial/accounts-annual-reports-and-investments/

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