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
(North West Leicestershire)
[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: 22 May 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to made an assessment of the potential merits of revising the Council Tax Formula Grant to allow compensation for student discounts in respect of Parish and Town Councils.
Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 13 May 2019
Department for Transport
Driving: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in the event that a UK driving test is taken and failed before a 12 month international licence expires, whether that international licence is revoked in the UK.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 21 May 2019

In Great Britain, the law allows new residents with valid driving licences issued by countries outside the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) to drive for up to one year from the date they become a resident. Driver licensing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.

In order to be able to take a driving test here, new residents must apply for a provisional GB licence. However, the law does not allow for their original, third country driving licence to be invalidated if they do not pass the test. This means they can continue to drive using the third country licence until the one year period expires.

If a driver has not passed a test here within the one year period, they must then stop driving once this has elapsed. Although they can continue to drive as a GB provisional licence holder, provided that they adhere to the rules applying to provisional licences.

Driving licences issued by EU and EEA member states are mutually recognised and can be exchanged without the need to take a test.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Presidents
Commons
What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the status of the presidency in Venezuela.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

On 24 January, the Foreign Secretary discussed Venezuela with Vice-President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington, and further discussed Venezuela at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Bucharest on 30 January.

On 26 January, I represented the UK at the UN Security Council where I discussed Venezuela with European and regional counterparts. On 4 Feburary, I went to Ottawa for the meeting of Lima Group countries, where I discussed Venezuela with regional and Foreign Ministers.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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: 04 February 2019
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the most recent assessment is of the benefit cost ratio for phase 2B of HS2; and whether an assessment has been made of the potential merits of running 14 trains an hour at 195mph.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 07 February 2019

HS2 Phase 2b is estimated as delivering high value for money, with a Benefit-Cost Ratio including Wider Economic Impacts (WEIs) of 2.6 and a BCR excluding WEIs of 2.1. This analysis was presented in the Phase 2 Economic Case in 2017.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/634196/high-speed-two-phase-two-economic-case.pdf

The business case for Phase 2b assumes that up to 18 trains per hour will run on the HS2 core network at speeds of up to 225mph (360km/h). HS2 Ltd is working to the scope of the project as set out by Government. If any changes were made to these requirements then there would be an assessment of the potential impact on the business case and this work would be published.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 17 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Nurses: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the forthcoming long-term plan for the NHS will include the matter of investment in nursing higher education.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 21 December 2018

The National Health Service runs on the dedication of its workforce and ensuring we have the right staff in the right place when they are needed is fundamental to this. Workforce will be at the heart of the NHS long-term plan, supporting our drive to ensure the NHS has, not only the nursing workforce it needs but other key groups too to deliver excellent, safe care for patients.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Department for International Trade
Solar Power: Import Duties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans the Government has to remove external tariffs on technical parts and components required for solar technology once the UK has left the EU.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The Department for International Trade published a call for evidence on the 28 November 2017 with the aim of identifying which UK businesses produce goods currently subject to anti-dumping, or anti-subsidy measures, or to on-going investigations related to these.

It asked those businesses to state whether they support, are neutral to, or oppose the maintaining of those measures, when the UK begins to operate its independent trade remedy framework. It asked for data about those businesses’ production and sales, and total UK production and sales.

Measures which meet the criteria set out in the call for evidence will be maintained once the UK begins to operate its independent trade remedy framework. Measures which do not meet the criteria will be terminated – cutting unnecessary costs for UK businesses and consumers.

The Call for Evidence closed on 30 March 2018. However, we continue to invite other interested parties to provide relevant information for measures of interest to them. This will enable us to make an accurate assessment of applications to maintain measures.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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: 08 June 2018
House of Commons Commission
Angus Sinclair
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the redundancy payment paid to Angus Sinclair was in line with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme rules.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The exit payment made to Angus Sinclair was in line with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme rules. The House of Commons was not a member of the Civil Service pension arrangements until 2014, but prior to this date it had a ‘by-analogy’ scheme that followed the same rules.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 06 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Charities: Bullying and Harassment
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what safeguards are in place to protect volunteers employed in the charity sector from workplace bullying and harassment.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 14 June 2018

The Government expects charities to take robust action against any bullying and harassment relating to employees or volunteers.

Charity employees have some protection in law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 from detrimental treatment or victimisation from their employer if, in the public interest, they report concerns about serious wrongdoing at their charity to the Charity Commission, provided that the concerns they report meet the conditions in the Act for a ’protected disclosure’. There are other mechanisms for volunteers to report such concerns to the Charity Commission, although they are not covered by the Act.

Government, regulators and the charity sector are working together to reaffirm the importance of safeguarding as a governance priority for charities, and to agree and commit to actions jointly and individually to strengthen the safeguarding capability and capacity of charities working across the UK. The Charity Commission has already announced a suite of measures to help ensure charities learn the wider lessons from recent safeguarding cases revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen protection from harm for charity beneficiaries, employees and volunteers. This includes a review of its whistleblowing processes and guidance.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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 May 2018
House of Commons Commission
House of Commons: Redundancy Pay
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the Commission has made of cost to the public purse of redundancy payments over and above the statutory contractual requirement for house staff since 2009.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 06 June 2018

Redundancy payments for employees of the House of Commons Commission are paid in line with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme rules. These offer an enhanced redundancy payment compared to the statutory requirement but provide specific rules that the House and other “Schedule 1” employers who are part of the Civil Service Pension Arrangements must follow when calculating redundancy payments. House of Commons employees have a contractual entitlement to redundancy payment on these terms and no redundancy payments have been made over and above the Civil Service requirements since 2009. That includes Speaker’s Office staff who are employees of the Commission.

Grouped Questions: 147444
Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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 May 2018
House of Commons Commission
House of Commons: Redundancy Pay
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the Commission has made of the cost to the public purse of redundancy payments over and above the statutory contractual requirement for house staff working in the Speaker's office since 2009.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 06 June 2018

Redundancy payments for employees of the House of Commons Commission are paid in line with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme rules. These offer an enhanced redundancy payment compared to the statutory requirement but provide specific rules that the House and other “Schedule 1” employers who are part of the Civil Service Pension Arrangements must follow when calculating redundancy payments. House of Commons employees have a contractual entitlement to redundancy payment on these terms and no redundancy payments have been made over and above the Civil Service requirements since 2009. That includes Speaker’s Office staff who are employees of the Commission.

Grouped Questions: 147443
Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: East Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the number of stopping services at East Midlands Parkway to support the growth of (a) the East Midlands Airport and (b) the economy in that region; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of specifying an increase in the number of stopping services at that station in the upcoming tender for that franchise in order to better serve passengers using East Midlands Airport.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The Government and rail industry are investing in the biggest improvement in rail travel since the Victorian era, including through the upgrade of the Midland Main Line. This programme will improve rail journeys for passengers using the Midland Main Line to travel into London St Pancras.

In developing the specification for the next East Midlands franchise it is important that airport passenger services are properly considered. We are considering options for future rail services to and from East Midlands Parkway and my Department has engaged with East Midlands Airport to understand their proposals. In our public consultation, held last summer, we asked stakeholders how the train service could be better at meeting the needs of passengers travelling to and from airports within the East Midlands.

The consultation closed on 11 October 2017. All options for rail services in the next franchise are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and the outcome of our consultation with stakeholders. Thus, no decisions have been made on rail services that will be specified for the next franchise. Any outcome will seek to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer and be in the best interests of rail passengers.

The next franchise is planned to start in August 2019. Invitations to Tender (ITT) are due to be issued to potential bidders later this year. The ITT will set out the minimum requirements and provide the baseline that we expect the next franchise to build on.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 16 March 2018
Treasury
Cryptocurrencies: Regulation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with its international counterparts on developing regulations for crypto-currencies.
A
Answered by: Andrew Bridgen
Answered on: 20 March 2018

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given on 1 March 2018 to PQ UIN 129437.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[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 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners' Transfers: Gender Recognition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were transferred from a male to a female prison after reassigning their gender in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and (c) 2017, and how many of those prisoners in each of those years had been convicted of sex-related offences.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Department of Health
Endoscopy: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of additional NHS endoscopies that will be performed annually by 2020 as a result of the additional number of clinical endoscopists in training under the accelerated training programme.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 15 November 2017

Health Education England estimates that the additional 200 clinical endoscopists being training through the accelerated training programme will result in approximately 225,000 additional procedures a year.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Department of Health
Endoscopy: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many clinical endoscopists have been trained as part of the accelerated training programme.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 13 November 2017

To date, 48 clinical endoscopists have completed Health Education England’s (HEE) accelerated training programme, of which 17 completed training in 2017. A further 40 clinical endoscopists are currently in training across two cohorts and are due to complete the programme in December 2017 and April 2018.

HEE plan a further three cohort intakes in 2018.

Training of endoscopists outside of England is a matter for each of the devolved administrations in that country.

Grouped Questions: 111916 | 111917
Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Justice
Package Holidays: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on plans to tackle bogus holiday sickness claims.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 18 October 2017

The Government is committed to taking action to address the issue of package holiday personal injury claims and announced a package of measures on 9 July 2017. As part of this, we published a Call for Evidence on 13 October 2017, the responses to which will inform future decisions. In addition, the Claims Management Regulator and the Solicitors Regulation Authority have taken significant steps to deal with abuses in this area. The travel industry itself also has a vital role to play and is taking steps to address the issues around package holiday claims.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Ministry of Justice
Family Courts: Perjury
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women were prosecuted for perjury in the family court in 2016.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 09 October 2017

10 men and 6 women were prosecuted for perjury in the family court in England and Wales in 2016.

This information was obtained from a manual review of court case files that centrally held data indicated may be relevant, and as such has not been through the same quality assurance processes as for routinely published data.

These figures relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Department for Education
Construction Industry Training Board
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to increase the level of transparency of the Construction Industry Training Board's administration of levy income and grants.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 12 September 2017

The department is reviewing the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as part of the Post-16 Skills Plan in July 2016. Along with ministers in DCLG and BEIS, I published an open letter to the Chair of CITB in July 2017 which confirms government support for CITB, conditional on reform and industry support during the vote taking place on the levy rate during summer 2017. It is my intention to publish the Industry Training Board (ITB) Review in October 2017.

The CITB produces and publishes information regarding the administration of its grant scheme as part of its Annual Report, which was laid before Parliament on 29 June 2017. CITB also published a funding impact report on 1 September 2017, which set out how CITB grants are used to support training in industry.

CITB have recently developed and publicised significant plans for reform, including plans to automate and digitalise the payment of grants to employers that will reduce administrative burden, particularly for small business. These reforms will supplement and reinforce any proposals to help increase the transparency of CITB’s decision making, and accountability to industry, made in the ITB Review.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Ministry of Justice
Family Courts: Perjury
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been prosecuted for perjury in the family court in each year since 2007, by gender.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 11 September 2017

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Home Office
Police: Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will assess the potential merits of people widowed to police officers prior to April 2015 being entitled to a widow's pension in the event of their re-marriage.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 18 July 2017

Survivors of officers who were members of the 2006 and 2015 police pension schemes are, since 2006, paid survivor pensions for life.

On 18 January 2016, the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 and the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 were amended to allow widows, widowers and civil partners of police officers in England and Wales who have died on duty and who qualified for a survivor pension after 1 April 2015 to continue to receive their survivors’ benefits for life. Successive governments have been clear that we have a general presumption against making retrospective changes to public service pension schemes. However the Government believes that the arguments for making this change in respect of police officers who died on duty are sufficiently compelling to allow a limited exception in this case.

There are no plans to make any further changes to survivor benefits for police pension schemes.

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