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
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Knives: Crime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the findings of the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime that rising knife crime is linked to cuts in youth services, what are their plans to introduce a national youth strategy; and who will be responsible for its implementation.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 21 May 2019

No report has yet been issued by the APPG on Knife Crime and statistics published to date are interim ones pending further responses from Local Authorities. We will make a full assessment of those findings once a report is published.

The government recognises that the causes of knife crime are complex and are often tied to local factors and we are committed to taking a multi-agency approach to tackling serious violence.

Last month following the Prime Minister’s summit on serious youth violence, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced that the Government will be developing a new Youth Charter, which will set out our vision for young people over the next generation and beyond. We will be working closely across government, and alongside young people themselves, the youth sector, and other partners.

My department will also continue to work closely with the Home Office on the implementation of the Serious Violence Strategy.

Q
Asked on: 25 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Birds: Pest Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when Natural England expects to introduce new licences for bird control.
A
Answered on: 13 May 2019

The Secretary of State has taken over ultimate decision making powers for general licences relating to the purposes covered by the three revoked general licences. The Secretary of State will consider the present situation with intensity and urgency; his priority is getting this right. The Government has issued a call for evidence https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defra-launches-call-for-evidence-on-decision-to-revoke-general-licences to help our consideration of the issues of new general licences.

Q
Asked on: 25 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Birds: Pest Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional resource Natural England will require for the allocation of new licences for bird control.
A
Answered on: 10 May 2019

Natural England (NE) is working at pace to assess individual licences to allow lawful control of these bird species to continue. NE is ensuring that this urgent work is appropriately resourced whilst minimising impact on delivery of other services. Since the revocation of the licences by NE the Secretary of State has taken over ultimate decision making powers for general licences relating to the purposes covered by the three revoked general licences, recognising the scale of interest and concern that has been generated by the decision to revoke. The Secretary of State will consider the present situation with intensity and urgency.

Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Museums and Galleries: Fees and Charges
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce entrance charges for overseas visitors to visit national museums and art galleries.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Free entry to museums is government policy; indeed, retaining free entry to the permanent collections of our major national museums and galleries was a 2017 manifesto commitment. There are no plans to change this position.

We are proud that our world-leading museums are open to all; free entry is vital to participation, removing a financial barrier to experiencing collections which have been left to the nation in perpetuity. Since the introduction of the policy of free entry to the DCMS-sponsored museums, we have seen visitor numbers rise dramatically, particularly among young people, hard to reach groups, and overseas visitors.

Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: North Yorkshire
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of superfast broadband coverage in North Yorkshire.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 29 October 2018

According to Thinkbroadband, 90.75% of premises in North Yorkshire currently have access to Superfast Broadband. Further premises will be connected through both the Department’s Superfast roll-out and commercial delivery.

Grouped Questions: HL10640
Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: North Yorkshire
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of dwellings in North Yorkshire have access to superfast broadband.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 29 October 2018

According to Thinkbroadband, 90.75% of premises in North Yorkshire currently have access to Superfast Broadband. Further premises will be connected through both the Department’s Superfast roll-out and commercial delivery.

Grouped Questions: HL10639
Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Mobile Phones: North Yorkshire
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of North Yorkshire has geographic mobile network coverage.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Ofcom publishes mobile coverage data at the local or unitary authority level. Its latest report, published on 2 October 2018, shows geographic mobile coverage in the North Yorkshire area, split by local or unitary authorities. This can be found in the attached table.

North Yorkshire Mobile Network (PDF Document, 17.92 KB)
Q
Asked on: 18 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ivory: Sales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the potential loss of value that will be experienced by UK owners of legitimately acquired sculpted ivory as a result of the proposed ban on the sale of such items; and what plans they have to compensate the owners of such items for any loss of value which they experience.
A
Answered on: 05 February 2018

Through our public consultation we have sought views and evidence on the effect of the proposed ban on UK ivory sales, including on those individuals who own ivory; how the ban could be enforced; and the proposed scope of carefully targeted exemptions.

The consultation invited views on a possible exemption for items of genuine artistic, cultural or historic value. Items in this category could be exempted from a ban because their value lies in their artistry, cultural significance or historic provenance, as opposed to their ivory content. The consultation made clear that any exemption of this kind would need to be strictly defined to include only the rarest and most important items.

The consultation ended on 29 December 2017 and responses are currently being analysed, including any evidence provided on these issues. This analysis will inform our policy development and we will publish a response shortly. Until these results are analysed, the department has not arrived at a view concerning compensation.

Q
Asked on: 18 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ivory: Sales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have that the proposed UK ban on historically sculpted ivory sales will (1) deter poachers in Africa, and (2) reduce the demand for sculpted ivory in Asia, India or the Middle East.
A
Answered on: 31 January 2018

In October 2017, the Government launched a consultation on proposals for a total ban on UK ivory sales that could contribute either directly or indirectly to the continued poaching of elephants, with certain narrowly defined and carefully targeted exemptions. These proposals will put the UK front and centre of efforts to end the trade in ivory. Through the consultation we sought views and evidence on the effect of the proposed ban, including on elephant conservation and the natural environment.

The Government has proposed a ban on the sale of ivory, as trade in ivory continues to incentivise poaching by creating a demand for new ivory and providing a way to launder recently poached ivory.

The consultation ended on 29 December 2017 and responses are currently being analysed, including any evidence provided on this issue. We will publish a response shortly.

Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department of Health
Bowel Cancer: Screening
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to make colonoscopies available through the NHS as a method of screening for pre-symptomatic cancers.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Colonoscopy is currently used in the National Health Service bowel cancer screening programme as a diagnostic tool to look at the bowel following a positive screen test for bowel cancer and to remove any polyps (growths) if detected.

The aim of a screening programme is to offer a safe and simple test to a large defined population who are at an average risk of developing the condition and to provide early intervention. Colonoscopy is an invasive procedure which in some cases can cause bleeding and discomfort and does not meet the United Kingdom National Screening Committee’s test criteria as noted.

Q
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Antibiotics: Research
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support small UK companies which are researching and trying to produce new antibiotics, in particular through the use of market entry rewards.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 11 December 2017

The Government has invested in a range of research to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Specific investments aimed at small and medium sized enterprises include a competition call worth £4 million in 2016/17 launched by Innovate UK to reinvigorate AMR research and innovation networks in the United Kingdom. This call particularly focused on the need for collaborative working with industry, including small and medium sized enterprises, to bring products to market. The UK is also spending £50 million in a Global AMR Innovation Fund which aims to invest in global research and development for the benefit of people living in low- and middle-income countries. As part of this, it will consider how to provide access to finance for those researchers who struggle to access traditional funding sources, including small and medium sized enterprises.

In response to the independent review on AMR chaired by Lord O’Neill, the Government committed to strengthening support for market entry rewards in international fora including the G7 and G20 to address market failure in antibiotics. The Department is currently working through the G20 to make tangible progress in developing market incentives.

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