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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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
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Arrowe Park Hospital: Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the effect of the closure of five walk-in centres and minor injury units in Eastham, Wallasey, Birkenhead, New Ferry and Moreton in Wirral on the capacity of the A&E department at Arrowe Park Hospital.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 03 December 2018

NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently undertaking an Urgent Care Consultation until 12 December 2018, allowing it to consider the impact of suggested service changes on areas such as accident and emergency capacity. Proposals include the introduction of an Urgent Treatment Centre at Arrowe Park Hospital and more general practitioner extended access appointments across Wirral. This would replace walk in centre facilities located at the CCG’s current urgent care venues, but does not mean that these locations would close as they may deliver other services. The main consultation document is available at the following link:

www.wirralurgentcare.co.uk

Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is being provided with £2 million of winter capital funding this year to help improve its urgent and emergency care.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospital Beds
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of step-down beds in NHS hospitals that are staffed by private healthcare companies.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The requested information is not collected centrally.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Four Seasons Health Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value is of his Department's contract with Four Seasons Health Care; and what steps his Department is taking to measure the value for money of that contract.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The Department holds no contracts with Four Seasons Health Care.

Grouped Questions: 196763
Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Department of Health and Social Care: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what measures his Department has in place to identify suppliers with precarious financial situations during the procurement process.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The Department has detailed procurement strategies in place which guide procurement professionals through the steps at which suppliers financial standing should be identified and measured during a procurement process.

All procurement processes are undertaken in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/13 (Financial Risk Issues) and the Department is currently working with colleagues across Government on its replacement which will be released shortly. All recommendations from the revised Procurement Policy Notice will be fed back into the procurement strategy documents.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the financial health of companies that hold contracts with the NHS.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 03 December 2018

It is the responsibility of each National Health Service organisation to assess the financial health of suppliers of services or products throughout the life of the contract. The Department has contract management processes in place to monitor the financial standing of its own suppliers and ensure contracted services are delivered in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract.

Q
(Wallasey)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Four Seasons Health Care: Merseyside
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value is of his Department's contract with Four Seasons Healthcare in (a) Merseyside and (b) Wirral.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The Department holds no contracts with Four Seasons Health Care.

Grouped Questions: 196724
Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Childbirth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners gave birth in prison without a midwife present in the last year for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 23 November 2018

The information is not centrally held and could obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, all pregnant women in custody have an individual care and management plan that is communicated to all staff and all pregnant women are seen by a mid-wife at least fortnightly or as required. Healthcare in prisons is provided by trained medics and nurses, but we have also made training on dealing with pregnant women available to all prison officers.

We know it is extremely rare for a woman to give birth in prison - because every step is taken to get them to hospital - but those unique cases are invariably down to the unpredictability of labour.

Our new Female Offenders Strategy made clear that we want fewer women serving short sentences in custody and more remaining in the community, making use of women’s centres to address needs such as substance misuse and mental health problems.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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 November 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Theatres: Merseyside
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support theatres in Merseyside.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 19 November 2018

In Merseyside, Arts Council England (ACE) has increased their National portfolio funding by 14% for the 2018-22 funding period. This includes investment in a number of theatre organisations, such as Liverpool Everyman, the Unity Theatre, the Royal Court, Collective Encounters and 20 Stories High.

A new addition to ACE’s National portfolio for this period is Culture Liverpool, who have built on the legacy of European Capital of Culture 2008 to play a leading role in large scale outdoor and public art commissions. Culture Liverpool recently delivered the theatre production ‘Giant Spectacular’ which took place across Liverpool and the Wirral for a weekend, attracting over 1 million visitors.

In addition to ACE’s National portfolio investment, they have made 81 awards from the Lottery-funded Grants for the Arts and Project Grants schemes to support theatre projects across Merseyside since April 2015, with investment totalling more than £1 million. ACE will also administer a Treasury award of £5 million for the capital development of the Shakespeare North theatre in Knowsley.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 01 November 2018
Department for Transport
Bus Services: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2018 to Question 183872 on Bus Services: North West, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the decline in bus journeys in (a) the North West and (b) Merseyside.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 06 November 2018

The department has not made an assessment of the reasons for the fall in bus journeys in the North West and Merseyside.

It is important to consider the fall in bus journeys in the context of a broader decline in overall trips. Data from the 2017 National Travel Survey shows that trips have fallen 9% since 2002 in England.

There are a number of factors that may explain the fall in bus patronage on local bus services specifically.

These include:

  • Congestion
  • Levels of car ownership
  • Increase in online shopping
  • Reductions in local authority supported services

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 01 November 2018
Department for Transport
Bus Services: North West and Surrey
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department allocated to bus services serving (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wallasey constituency and (d) Surrey in each of the last eight years.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 06 November 2018

£250m of Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG) payments are made to bus companies and local authorities. BSOG spend figures have been published on Gov.uk annually since the 2010-11 financial year. Details can be found via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-services-grants-and-funding#bsog-spend

Up until 31 December 2013 Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) was paid directly to bus operators and was not split between commercially run or subsidised bus services. From 1 January 2014 local authorities have received funding equivalent to the level of BSOG which would otherwise have been paid to operators for running subsidised services in 2014. BSOG spend figures are only broken down to upper tier local authority level. It should also be noted that the local authorities listed in the tables are derived from the address given on the BSOG claim form. It does not follow that the services to which the claim relates were necessarily all or partly conducted in that area.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 01 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Convictions: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of trials in the North West resulted in a conviction in each year between 2010 and 2017.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 06 November 2018

Figures on convictions are published by defendants prosecuted, rather than trials that result in a conviction. The number of defendants prosecuted, convicted and the conviction ratio in the North West between 2010 and 2017 can be calculated from the Court Outcomes by Police Force Area data tool in the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733996/court-outcomes-by-pfa-2017-update.xlsx

  • To identify the published data that is North West specific, select ‘Cheshire’, ‘Cumbria’, ‘Greater Manchester’, ‘Lancashire’ and ‘Merseyside’ from ‘Police Force Area’.
  • For the number of prosecutions, filter ‘Court Type’ by ’02: Magistrates Court’.
  • For the number of convictions remove filtering from ‘Court Type’, and select ’01: Convicted’ from ‘Convicted/Not Convicted’.
  • To calculate the conviction ratio, divide the number of convictions by the number of prosecutions.

Figures for 2018 are planned for publication in May 2019.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of new universal credit claimants have waited longer than five weeks for initial payment in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside and (c) Wallasey constituency in each month since January 2018.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

I refer the hon Member to Question 177770 which provides national data for the period January to June 2018.

In many cases, where full payment is not made on time by the end of the first assessment period, this is as a result of unresolved issues such as: some claimants have not signed their Claimant Commitment or passed identity checks, and the others have outstanding verification issues, such as for housing and self-employed earnings. Whilst this verification is on-going, many of these claimants receive a part payment for those elements of the claim that have been resolved.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Transport
Bus Services: Wallasey
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many supported bus services have been provided in Wallasey constituency in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 01 November 2018

Up until 31 December 2013 Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) was paid directly to bus operators and was not split between commercially run or subsidised bus services. We are therefore unable to provide figures for this period. From 1 January 2014 local authorities have received funding equivalent to the level of BSOG which would otherwise have been paid to operators for running subsidised services in 2014. Details of the amounts paid to local authorities each year can be found on the “Payments to Local Authorities” tab of the relevant spreadsheets published at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-services-grants-and-funding#bsog-spend

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Transport
Bus Services: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of trends in the (a) number and (b) frequency of bus services serving (i) the North West, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) Wallasey constituency in each of the last eight years.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 01 November 2018

Data on vehicle miles on local bus services by local authority and regional area, including Merseyside and the North West region, is available for the years 2013/14 to 2016/17 in the data table BUS0208 in the Annual Bus Statistics for each respective year at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-statistics#published-in-2018 .

Bus operators must register their services with a Traffic Commissioner in the traffic area in which the service operates. The Traffic Commissioners’ annual reports provide information on the number of live local bus registrations in the North Western Traffic Area as at 31 March of each year; this information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/traffic-commissioners-annual-reports. The report for the year ending March 2010 can be found here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131113220328/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-commissioners-annual-reports

Figures for Wallasey constituency are not held.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 24 October 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the North West of (a) the UK leaving the EU without a deal and (b) the EU accepting the Chequers proposals.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 31 October 2018

We are committed to getting the best possible deal for the United Kingdom - a deal that works for all parts of the UK, including the North West. We do not want or expect a no-deal scenario and remain confident that we will secure a mutually advantageous deal with the EU. We continue to engage with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy, and all regions and nations of the UK, in order to inform our negotiations.

The Government is undertaking a wide range of ongoing analysis, across a range of scenarios, in support of our EU exit negotiations and preparations. Ministers have a specific responsibility, which Parliament has endorsed, not to release information that would reveal our negotiating position and so the Government will not provide an ongoing commentary on internal analytical work.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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
Department for Transport
Bus Services: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of bus journeys made in (a) the North West, (b) Mesrseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 30 October 2018

The table below shows the number of bus passenger journeys in each year since 2009/10 for the North West and Merseyside. In 2016/17, 408.5 million passenger journeys were made by local bus in the North West. In Merseyside ITA, there were 105.3 million bus passenger journeys made by local bus in 2016/17. Figures for Wirral and Wallasey constituency are not held.

Passenger journeys on local bus services for the North West and Merseyside ITA, from 2009/10

Year

North West

Merseyside ITA

2009/10

463.9

112.7

2010/11

457.0

110.8

2011/12

439.5

110.1

2012/13

434.5

109.2

2013/14

434.1

103.6

2014/15

426.9

103.0

2015/16

413.1

102.0

2016/17

408.5

105.3

Source: DfT Local bus passenger journeys, BUS0109a

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 24 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 October 2018 to Question 177186 on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, what evidence-based protocol on autism healthcare professionals employed by his Department are required to learn as part of their training.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Functional assessments are delivered on behalf of the Department by a range of suppliers.

The Department requires Health Professionals to have broad training in disability analysis, as well as awareness training in specific conditions. These include autism.

Health Professionals carrying out these functional assessments have access to training such as evidence based protocols, e-learning modules or case studies as well as keeping knowledge up to date through Continuous Professional Development. Health Professionals are not required to be an expert in a particular medical condition. They are expected to have a broad knowledge of different medical conditions and work with claimants to assess how these affect their daily life.

DWP are committed to ensuring claimants receive high quality, objective and accurate assessments. We continue to work extensively with providers to make improvements to guidance and training in order to ensure the quality of the services are continuously improved.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 24 October 2018
Ministry of Justice
Social Security Benefits: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the waiting times for (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payment tribunals in (i) the North West, (ii) London and (iii) England, in each of the last three months for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Information about the volumes and outcomes of appeals - including (i) Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and (ii) Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) is published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

Latest figures indicate that since PIP was introduced, 3.5 million decisions have been made up to June 2018, and of these 9% have been appealed and 4% have been overturned at Tribunals. For ESA, 3.5m ESA (post WCA) decisions have been made between April 2014 and March 2018 and of these 8% have been appealed and 4% have been overturned at tribunals.

SSCS appeals are listed into the hearing venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. The published csv files (which can be viewed at the link above) provide information about the outcomes of PIP and ESA appeals for hearing venues covering (i) the North West, (ii) London and (iii) England for the period April to June 2018, the latest period for which data are available.

Q
(Wallasey)
[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 October 2018
Department for Education
Further Education: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the level of funding was for 16 to 19 education in (a) the North West b) Merseyside and c) Wirral in each of the last eight years.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 25 October 2018

16 to 19 funding for all institutions including those in the North West, Merseyside and the Wirral is shown in the published allocations for each year, and allocations for the last 6 years from the period 2013 to 2014 onwards is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-funding-allocations#published-allocations.

Allocations for previous years are also available at the following link:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140107132325/https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/executiveagencies/efa/funding/fundinga/b00204972/16-19-allocations. However, they cannot be directly compared on a like for like basis with later years as the funding system changed in 2013.

We have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19 year olds for all types of providers until the end of the current spending review period in 2020. As with other areas of departmental spending, 16 to 19 funding for subsequent years will be agreed as part of the next Spending Review.

All 16 to 19 providers, including those in the North West, have a vital role to play in making sure young people have the skills they need. Our commitment to the 16 to 19 sector across England has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who are participating in education or apprenticeships.

We are currently considering the efficiency and resilience of the further education sector and assessing how far existing funding and regulatory structures meet the costs of delivering quality further education. We will continue to look carefully at funding for the sector in preparation for the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 182122 | 182123
Q
(Wallasey)
[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 October 2018
Department for Education
Further Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he will make it his policy to increase the 16-19 funding by five per cent a year for the next five years.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 25 October 2018

16 to 19 funding for all institutions including those in the North West, Merseyside and the Wirral is shown in the published allocations for each year, and allocations for the last 6 years from the period 2013 to 2014 onwards is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-funding-allocations#published-allocations.

Allocations for previous years are also available at the following link:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140107132325/https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/executiveagencies/efa/funding/fundinga/b00204972/16-19-allocations. However, they cannot be directly compared on a like for like basis with later years as the funding system changed in 2013.

We have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19 year olds for all types of providers until the end of the current spending review period in 2020. As with other areas of departmental spending, 16 to 19 funding for subsequent years will be agreed as part of the next Spending Review.

All 16 to 19 providers, including those in the North West, have a vital role to play in making sure young people have the skills they need. Our commitment to the 16 to 19 sector across England has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who are participating in education or apprenticeships.

We are currently considering the efficiency and resilience of the further education sector and assessing how far existing funding and regulatory structures meet the costs of delivering quality further education. We will continue to look carefully at funding for the sector in preparation for the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 182121 | 182123
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