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
(Easington)
[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: 16 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Housing Benefit: Durham County Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much she allocated to Durham County Council for Discretionary Housing Payments in each of the last five years; and what information she holds on how much of that allocation is unspent.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 19 July 2018

Allocation and expenditure of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) by Local Authorities (LAs) is publically available via the following official statistics series:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/discretionary-housing-payments-statistics

The financial returns section of the data tables, in the financial year releases, shows DHP financial expenditure and Government contribution by LA.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 16 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long on average her Department took to respond to correspondence from an hon. Member in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 19 July 2018

Information about the performance of Departments and Agencies on handling correspondence from Members is published annually by way of a written statement by the Cabinet Office.

The statement, covering 2017, was made on 26 June 2018, Official Record Vol. 643 HCWS22.

The statement, covering 2016, was made on 11 July 2017, Official Record Vol. 627 HCWS35.

The statement, covering 2015, was made on 21 July 2016, Official Record Vol. 613 HCWS118.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 19 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what powers are available to local authorities to require (a) organisations and (b) individuals to (i) clear and (ii) tidy industrial sites where anti-social behaviour is having a detrimental effect on local residents.
Q
(Easington)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has he made of the financial effect on the NHS of the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation.
Q
(Easington)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the NHS has taken to maintain patient records in a suitable format to reduce the time it takes staff to comply with subject access requests resulting from the General Data Protection Regulation.
Q
(Easington)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2018 on Question 163539 on Jobcentres: Peterlee, if he will undertake a review of the Peterlee Jobcentre Physical Security Survey in relation to (a) data protection and (b) the suitability of the open plan office.
Q
(Easington)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's key performance indicators are to assess whether the universal credit system is functioning effectively.
Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what is the cost was of changing branding and livery to LNER following the collapse of Virgin Trains East Coast.
Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentres: Peterlee
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2018 to Question 153800 on Jobcentre Plus: data protection, if he will publish the Physical Security Survey relating to Peterlee Jobcentre.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 17 July 2018

DWP treats the safety of employees and individuals on its premises as paramount and therefore will not publish any Physical Security Survey in case this led to exposure of identified security vulnerabilities at a particular site; which in turn could be exploited to the detriment of DWP staff, individuals visiting the premises, and delivery of services to customers

Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the access and disability assessments for the premises used by the (a) Independent Assessment Services and (b) Centre for Health and Disability Assessments to carry out health assessments for people living in the Easington constituency.
Q
(Easington)
[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: 10 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2018 to Question 158224 on Universal Credit, whether her Department collects information on the average waiting time to process a revised decision notice and amend a universal credit claim.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 16 July 2018

Revised decisions as a result of a Mandatory Reconsideration are held on different systems depending upon whether the claim is a Universal Credit Live Service or Full Service one. To obtain the data for Universal Credit Full Service would incur disproportionate cost. For Universal Credit Live Service claims, although data on decision making is held, this does not include the average clearance time for a Mandatory Reconsideration or time taken to implement the revised decision.

Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2018
Department for Transport
Road Traffic Control: Seaham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions Highways England has had with Durham County Council on traffic management on Seaton Lane, Seaham, and its effect on road safety and congestion on the A19.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 July 2018

Highways England is aware of queuing on A19 southbound off slip for Seaham, but do not consider that it raises safety or wider operational concerns at present.

They have, however, been liaising with Durham County Council, developers and other key stakeholders to help improve traffic management at Seaton Lane, Seaham. As part of the planning process for proposed developments in the area, improvements to the local road network will need to be implemented.

Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2018
Department for Transport
Road Traffic Control: Seaham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make funding available to improve road safety and relieve traffic congestion at Seaton Lane, Seaham.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 July 2018

Seaton Lane is part of the local road network and is the responsibility of Durham County Council. The Department for Transport funds local road improvements by providing an annual integrated transport block grant to local authorities and by contributing about £7 billion towards the £12 billion Local Growth Fund, which Local Enterprise Partnerships can use to fund highway improvement schemes. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are working with Sunderland City Council to develop its bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund. If successful, this would support the delivery of around 3,000 additional homes in South Sunderland and Durham, and will include funding for Durham County Council to improve the junction of the B1404 Seaton Lane and the B1285 Stockton Road.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 05 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to revise Section 9 of the Social Security Act 1998 to allow payment of benefit when a decision under appeal is revised prior to a hearing, without the claimant having to lapse their appeal.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The Department currently has no plans to revise Section 9 of the Social Security Act. The current approach ensures that claimants can receive increased awards at the earliest opportunity, whilst protecting their appeal rights.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Land: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps local authorities may take to tackle public safety concerns on unregistered land.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 09 July 2018
Holding answer received on 06 July 2018

Local authorities have a range of powers to intervene where there is a risk to public saftey.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners: Easington
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs in Easington constituency are due to retire in the next five years.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 09 July 2018

The data requested is not available as there is not a mandatory retirement age for general practitioners.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the reasons that deprived communities are unable to (a) recruit and (b) retain GPs.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 09 July 2018

In December 2015 NHS England published a research document ‘Looking to the future: the recruitment, retention and return of GPs’ which considered the issues around in general practitioner (GP) recruitment and retention. This is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/01/gp-retention-return-imp-summary-rep.pdf

Following publication, a number of national GP recruitment and retention schemes have been put in place including the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme and GP intensive support sites.

The Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme is a national incentive scheme which funds a £20,000 salary supplement to attract GP trainees to work in areas of the country where GP training places have been unfilled for a number of years which may include deprived communities. 238 places were filled in 2016 and 2017. 265 places have been made available in 2018.

In June 2018 NHS England announced the launch of the GP Retention Intensive Support Sites. Seven areas across the country have been selected which are struggling the most with GP retention. The sites will bring interventions together at different levels – personal support for GPs, practice support and system support/improvements – to achieve the greatest possible impact on the engagement and retention of local GPs.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: County Durham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will conduct a quality review of health services in County Durham.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 09 July 2018

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England and has a key responsibility in the overall assurance of safety and quality of health and adult social care services.

Under section 48 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 the Secretary of State can request the CQC to conduct special reviews or investigations into the provision of National Health Service care, adult social services or the exercise of functions by English health authorities. However, there are currently no plans to request a review of the health services in County Durham.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 03 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners: Easington
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to (a) reduce the number of locum doctors and (b) recruit additional permanent GPs in Easington constituency.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) advises that its primary care strategy outlines a general practice five point plan. This includes support for general practitioners (GPs) considering retirement to encourage them to stay in general practice longer; giving GPs the flexibility of working across many sites; incentivising GPs to work in this alternative model across several practices as opposed to being a locum; and the GP Career Start initiative aimed at attracting GPs who are looking for the opportunity to take up a post in general practice at an early point in their career and recruiting new GPs from Europe. This strategy is currently being implemented.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 03 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making General Practitioners NHS employees.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 06 July 2018

The recent report ‘Better Health and Care for All’ recommended the establishment of a new ‘right to NHS employment’ for all general practitioners currently working for the National Health Service. The report also recommended allowing all existing holders of the general practice contract to continue under these arrangements if they wish.

We will consider this recommendation with others contained in the report.

The report can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/better-health-and-care-for-all

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