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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Q
Asked by David Linden
(Glasgow East)
Asked on: 30 October 2018
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Pay
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many staff in his Department are paid less than £10.20 per hour.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 15 November 2018

In my Department, no staff working outside London are paid less than UK Living Wage of £8.75 per hour and no staff working in London are paid less than the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour.

Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Government regularly calls for credible elections to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, met with Foreign Minister She Okitundu in September and encouraged the DRC Government to ensure elections go ahead. The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also met with Okitundu last month and highlighted the importance of allowing international election observers, in order to build transparency and trust in the electoral process. Since 2015, the UK has spent £6.8 million on increasing accountability and transparency around the elections. We have provided funding for national observation through the Justice and Peace Committee. The UK has funded a Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) report into the Electronic Voting Machines and the WFD provided a list of recommendations to CENI. The British Government will continue to call for independent observation for the December 2018 elections.

Grouped Questions: HL11190 | HL11191 | HL11224
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow national and international election observers to observe the December general election in that country.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Government regularly calls for credible elections to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, met with Foreign Minister She Okitundu in September and encouraged the DRC Government to ensure elections go ahead. The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also met with Okitundu last month and highlighted the importance of allowing international election observers, in order to build transparency and trust in the electoral process. Since 2015, the UK has spent £6.8 million on increasing accountability and transparency around the elections. We have provided funding for national observation through the Justice and Peace Committee. The UK has funded a Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) report into the Electronic Voting Machines and the WFD provided a list of recommendations to CENI. The British Government will continue to call for independent observation for the December 2018 elections.

Grouped Questions: HL11189 | HL11191 | HL11224
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide funding in partnership with the EU to help to ensure the legitimacy of the forthcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Government regularly calls for credible elections to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, met with Foreign Minister She Okitundu in September and encouraged the DRC Government to ensure elections go ahead. The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also met with Okitundu last month and highlighted the importance of allowing international election observers, in order to build transparency and trust in the electoral process. Since 2015, the UK has spent £6.8 million on increasing accountability and transparency around the elections. We have provided funding for national observation through the Justice and Peace Committee. The UK has funded a Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) report into the Electronic Voting Machines and the WFD provided a list of recommendations to CENI. The British Government will continue to call for independent observation for the December 2018 elections.

Grouped Questions: HL11189 | HL11190 | HL11224
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure the proper implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UN and the government of Myanmar signed in June under which the government of Myanmar undertook to create “safe and dignified” conditions, including guaranteed security, freedom of movement, and citizenship pathways, for Rohingya refugees returning to Rakhine State from Bangladesh.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Ambassador raised the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in his meeting with Burma's Minister for Social Welfare on 9 August. He called for progress on the issues covered by the MoU and pressed the Burmese authorities to grant UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNHCR unfettered access to northern Rakhine State. The UK's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaking during the 24 October meeting of the UN Security Council, raised the UK's concern that UNDP and UNHCR continue to be denied access to large parts of Rakhine. We will continue to press for full implementation of the MoU and the creation of conditions in northern Rakhine to allow the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees.

Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Marzuki Darnsman, Chair of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar, that an "ongoing genocide" of Rohingya people is taking place; and what action they are taking to discourage the government of Bangladesh from pursuing its recent agreement with the government of Burma to repatriate Rohingya refugees.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The UK proposed the briefing by the Chair of the Fact-Finding Mission to the UN Security Council on 24 October. In response to his briefing, the UK's Permanent Representative told the Council that the UK would press for progress on the creation of conditions for refugees to return, and on accountability to end Burmese military impunity. The Minister for Asia and the Pacific called the Bangladeshi State Minister of Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on 1 November to stress the UK's serious concern at Bangladesh and Burma's announcement on 30 October that refugee repatriation would commence in mid-November.

Q
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cameroon: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the tensions between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon; and what action they are taking to ease those tensions.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The violence in the Anglophone regions has been generated as a result of perceived marginalisation of the Anglophone minority. The UK is deeply concerned at the deteriorating violence, deaths and displacement of people which has increased since the end of 2016, with severe effect on civilians. We are working closely with the wider international community, including the UN, to build as full and accurate a picture as possible. The UK continues to raise our concerns with the Government of Cameroon, to call for urgent action to solve this crisis. The UK calls for restraint and an end to violence on all sides.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on substance misuse services of the removal of the ring fenced public health grant to local authorities in April 2019.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 November 2018 to Question 185077.

Q
Asked by Luke Pollard
(Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Human Papillomavirus: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many sites currently provide the HPV vaccine to gay and bisexual men by region.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The human papillomavirus vaccination programme for men that have sex with men is being introduced via a phased rollout. There are approximately 233 HIV and sexual health clinics nationally and 151 of these are already offering the programme. NHS England anticipates that rollout will be complete by next year. Of the 151 clinics offering the vaccine 33 are in the North; 45 in the Midlands and East; 36 in the South and 37 in London.

Q
Asked by Luke Pollard
(Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Human Papillomavirus: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the uptake has been of the HPV vaccine for gay and bisexual men by region since April 2018.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Data on the human papillomavirus vaccine uptake since April 2018 is not available at this time.

Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Taking our health for granted: Plugging the public health grant funding gap, published in October 2018, if he will make an assessment of the effect of reductions to sexual health budgets highlighted in that report.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government has mandated local authorities to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services. Local authorities are best placed to understand and meet the public health needs of their local communities. While councils have had to make savings, they have also shown that good results can be achieved at the same time.

The total number of attendances at sexual health services nationally increased 13% between 2013 and 2017 (from 2,940,779 to 3,323,275). To help manage the overall increase in demand, local authorities have been utilising technology to manage lower risk and asymptomatic patients. Free, confidential online services which are convenient for patients are increasingly being commissioned. As these services develop, they also have the potential to reach groups not currently engaged with clinical services.

Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Preventive Medicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the radical upgrade in prevention discussed in the NHS Five Year Forward View of October 2014 has been achieved.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

As set out in the Government vision on prevention, the NHS England's Five Year Forward View (2014) and General Practice Forward View (2016) have both developed and taken forward actions and investment to enable a greater focus on primary and community services. Now is the time to build on this and make ‘prevention is better than cure’ a reality in all parts of the country.

Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Taking our health for granted: Plugging the public health grant funding gap, published in October 2018, whether he plans to increase central government funding for local authority public health services as a result of that report.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Indicative local authority public health grant allocations for 2019/20 are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-health-grants-to-local-authorities-2018-to-2019

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be a matter for the next Spending Review.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October to Question 176664 on Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust, for what reason it was decided that Public Health England would not consult its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188255 | 188256
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcohol Leadership Board
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference for the Public Health England Alcohol Leadership Board.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188254 | 188256
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent concerns raised by British public health academics on the potential threat to Public Health England’s reputation of partnering with an alcohol industry-funded body.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188254 | 188255
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Cannabis: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2018 to Question 179178, on Cannabis: Misuse, whether the results of the monitoring of cannabis seized by The National Crime Agency in (a) 2005, (b) 2008 and (c) 2016 concurred with the findings of the research on the strength of cannabis covering that same time period by King’s College London; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Department does not hold information about the strength of cannabis seized by the National Crime Agency. Therefore, we cannot confirm the findings in the research published by King’s College London.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the planned £85 million cuts to local authority public health budgets for 2019-2020 on (a) access to sexual health services and (b) rates of sexually transmitted infections.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government has mandated local authorities to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services. Local authorities are best placed to understand and meet the public health needs of their local communities. While councils have had to make savings, they have also shown that good results can be achieved at the same time.

The total number of attendances at sexual health services nationally increased 13% between 2013 and 2017 (from 2,940,779 to 3,323,275). To help manage the overall increase in demand, local authorities have been utilising technology to manage lower risk and asymptomatic patients. Free, confidential online services which are convenient for patients are increasingly being commissioned. As these services develop, they also have the potential to reach groups not currently engaged with clinical services.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides to organisations that support people to stop smoking through the encouragement of the take-up of vaping.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Public Health England (PHE) provides a range of resources to organisations and healthcare professionals that support people to stop smoking, including advice and guidance on e-cigarettes.

PHE also commissioned the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training and the New Nicotine Alliance to produce a series of videos to support members of the public to switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping. These videos are available at the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClzwyrg7Wv3LxObo9R1fV9A

Q
Asked by Andy McDonald
(Middlesbrough)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department for Transport
London North Eastern Railway
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 October 2018 to Question 178321 on Railway signals, what assessment he has made of the merits of the ongoing use of the Intercity Express Programme Class 800/801 on the Great Western route following the Office for Rail and Road’s decision not to authorise the use of the same trains on the London and North Eastern Railway.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 15 November 2018

On Oct 2017, the Intercity Express Trains (Class 800) were approved by the Office for Rail & Road (ORR) for passenger service on the Great Western Route. It is for the ORR, as the safety regulator for Britain’s railways and GWR as the train operator and holder of the safety case, to ensure the on-going safe operation of services on the Great Western franchise.

Q
(Ealing, Southall)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department for Transport
Transport: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the level of Co2 emissions from private transport in (a) London, (b) England and Wales and (c) the UK.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Estimates of the levels of CO2 emissions from cars, mopeds and motorcycles for England and Wales and the UK are shown in the table below. Equivalent data for London is not available for these vehicle types. Figures include emissions from taxis and private hire vehicles.

Carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars, mopeds & motorcycles in 2016: UK (kilotonnes CO2)

England and Wales

UK

Passenger cars

61,036

69,683

Mopeds & motorcycles

488

531

Source: Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland: 1990-2016

Asked on: 05 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to (1) protect civil society, (2) uphold freedom of expression, and (3) guarantee security for all candidates and voters in the forthcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Government regularly calls for credible elections to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, met with Foreign Minister She Okitundu in September and encouraged the DRC Government to ensure elections go ahead. The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also met with Okitundu last month and highlighted the importance of allowing international election observers, in order to build transparency and trust in the electoral process. Since 2015, the UK has spent £6.8 million on increasing accountability and transparency around the elections. We have provided funding for national observation through the Justice and Peace Committee. The UK has funded a Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) report into the Electronic Voting Machines and the WFD provided a list of recommendations to CENI. The British Government will continue to call for independent observation for the December 2018 elections.

Grouped Questions: HL11189 | HL11190 | HL11191
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department for Transport
High Speed Two and Network Rail: Disclosure of Information
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Network Rail and HS2 have whistleblower policies; and if so, where those policies are published.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 15 November 2018

HS2 Ltd has had a Whistleblowing Policy since 2014. It was updated in 2018 to incorporate the launch of the “Speak Out” reporting line. The Whistleblowing Policy is published internally on the HS2 Ltd intranet. HS2 Ltd is now working on launching the “Speak Out” reporting line outside of HS2 Ltd. At present, where any whistleblowing allegations are raised to the HS2 Helpdesk, such allegations are referred to HS2’s independent “Speak Out” line supplier.

Network Rail’s whistleblowing policy is published online on the Network Rail website and is available at:

https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Speak-Out-Policy-2017.pdf

Q
Asked by Lord Judd
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Weapons
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consider that rules introduced by Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 apply only to conventional weapons, without prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons, and in particular do not regulate or prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

​The position of the United Kingdom remains that the rules introduced by the Protocol apply exclusively to conventional weapons without prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons. In particular, the rules so introduced do not have any effect on and do not regulate or prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.

Asked on: 05 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Conflict Resolution
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government in which countries UK diplomacy is playing a leading mediating, conflict resolution or peace-building role.
A
Answered on: 15 November 2018

UK diplomacy plays a leading role in addressing a number of conflict situations around the world. For example, we have for several years led the international response to the situation in Somalia; we have played an active role in the Troika (together with the United States and Norway) to address the conflict in South Sudan; we have given important support to the Cyprus negotiations as one of the Guarantor Powers; and we recently co-hosted a high level event in New York focusing on ending the Rohingya crisis in Burma.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UK often leads discussions on a range of conflict and post-conflict situations, including the UN strategy to combat the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa; implementation of the peace process in Colombia; resolving post-1991 legacy issues relating to Iraq; as well as the situations in Libya, Sudan and Yemen. In addition the UK plays a leading role in the UNSC on Peacekeeping (particularly reform issues), the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and Women Peace and Security, in particular on women's participation and protection in peace processes. The UK's own domestic experience of conflict resolution and mediation enables it to provide valuable support and insights in the furtherance of inclusive peace processes around the world.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Children in Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that school admissions authorities are aware of the guidance to give second highest priority in their over-subscription criteria to children who were previously in state care outside of England.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 15 November 2018

In December 2017 the Department announced that, when the opportunity arises, it intends to amend the School Admissions Code to require admission authorities to give children who were previously in state care outside of England highest priority for admission into school.

Until such time when the relevant changes to the Code can be made, admission authorities have been asked to use their current flexibilities in setting their own admission arrangements to grant such children second highest admissions priority in their oversubscription criteria.

To further encourage admission authorities to make this change, additional advice was issued about this matter to all local authorities, with a request that it is circulated to all own admission authorities in their respective areas in August 2018.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to promote Public Health England’s advice to allow vaping indoors.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Public Health England produced advice for organisations to create vaping policies that are right for them. The advice included the following five principles; to make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking; to ensure policies are informed by the evidence on health risks to bystanders; to identify and manage risks of uptake by children and young people; to support smokers to stop smoking and stay smoke free; and, to support compliance with smokefree law and policy. The guidance was shared with stakeholders when published, and the documents are available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-e-cigarettes-in-public-places-and-workplaces

Using this advice, organisations can decide whether they will allow vaping indoors.

Q
Asked by Ben Bradley
(Mansfield)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Department for Education
Design and Technology: GCSE
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of students sitting the design and technology GCSE received a grade C or above in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The table below provides information on the proportion of pupils entered for design and technology GCSEs[1] in 2016/17 who achieved grade C or above.

Subject

Percentage of pupils entered
who achieved A*-C or above
in GCSE in the listed subjects
2016/17

Design and Technology:
Electronic Products

68.6%

Design and Technology:
Food Technology

61%

Design and Technology:
Graphic Products

58.8%

Design and Technology:
Resistant Materials

58.1%

Design and Technology:
Systems & Control

68.3%

Design and Technology:
Textiles Technology

72.9%

Other Design and Technology[2]

58.5%

[1] Based on GCSE examinations only - excludes equivalents

[2] Includes Graphics, Motor Vehicle, Studies, Design & Technology, D&T Engineering and D&T Product Design.

Q
Asked by Sandy Martin
(Ipswich)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Diabetes: Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his department has made of the (a) level of and (b) reasons for the variation between Clinical Commissioning Groups in the prescription of continuous glucose monitors for young people suffering from type 1 diabetes.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Department has made no assessment. Ultimately it is for clinical commissioning groups, who are primarily responsible for commissioning diabetes services, to meet the requirements of their population. In doing so, they need to ensure that the services they provide are fit for purpose, reflect the needs of the local population, including young people, are based on the available evidence and take into account national guidelines.

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Agency Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much his Department has spent on agency staff in each financial year since 2009-10.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 15 November 2018

My Department spent £14.4 million in 2009-10, £4.6 million in 2010-11 and £2.9 million in 2011-12 on agency staff.

For 2012 - 13 onwards, these are published in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts at the websites below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dclg-annual-report-and-accounts-2014-to-2015 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mhclg-annual-report-and-accounts-2017-to-2018.

Q
Asked by Bob Blackman
(Harrow East)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Supporting People Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of removing the ring-fencing on Supporting People funding on the provision of homelessness services.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government is committed to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness, which is why we are providing over £1.2 billion of funding to address the issue. This year we have implemented the Homelessness Reduction Act, published our £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy and taken immediate action to begin to reduce the number of people rough sleeping.

We also announced this summer that funding for housing costs across the supported accommodation sector, including short-term accommodation like homelessness hostels, will stay in Housing Benefit and that we would undertake a review of housing-related support. While the review will not assess the effect of the removal of the ringfence, it will help us better understand how housing and support fit together across the supported housing sector, including in supported homelessness provision.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 06 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Electronic Government: Fraud
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of spoof emails using the gov.uk suffix in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 15 November 2018

It is not possible to send spoof emails from a @GOV.UK domain address, so none have been sent from an address using the @GOV.UK domain since June 2016. This is due to the technical controls in place that prevent the forging of a GOV.UK email address (Sender Policy Framework and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance).

The responsibility for monitoring of fake emails using the GOV.UK suffix is not conducted centrally. Cabinet Office guidance sets out that users receiving fraudulent emails should notify Action Fraud, or in the case of HMRC emails, HMRC's phishing team.

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 06 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps with his EU counterparts to increase public confidence in vaccination.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Public Health England (PHE) works closely with colleagues across the European Union including the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe to optimise public confidence in vaccination.

PHE commissions two annual tracking surveys of attitudes to vaccination: the attitudes of parents of children aged under five years old, and the attitudes of parents and teenagers to vaccination to monitor confidence and inform programme development. Confidence in the programme in England is at very high levels and the vast majority of parents choose to have their children protected by vaccination.

Further information on the attitudes to vaccination surveys are available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/parental-attitudes-to-vaccination-in-young-children#annual-survey-2017

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the average day rate paid by the Government for contracted in staff working on digital projects.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government Digital Service (GDS) does not hold information on the day rates paid by government departments for contracted in workers on digital projects within government.

Q
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Wales Office
Wales Office: Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what the quantity was of (a) electricity and (b) natural gas used by his Department in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The usage of electricity and gas-powered heating over the last three financial years is shown below.

Type of Utility

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

Electricity

31637 KWH

44731 KWH

38184 KWH

*Gas (Heating)

90.55 MWH

101.62 MWH

127.5 MWH

*The gas-powered heating is provided by Crown Commercial Services.

Q
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Wales Office
Wales Office: Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what the cost was of (a) electricity and (b) natural gas used by his Department in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The cost of electricity and gas-powered heating over the last three financial years is shown below.

Type of Utility

2015-16 (£)

2016-17 (£)

2017-18 (£)

Electricity

6,778

5,004

5,203

*Gas (Heating)

8,113

8,752

7,311

*The gas-powered heating is provided by Crown Commercial Services.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Billing
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of contracts issued by his Department and contractors include provisions to impose, as between parties to the subcontract, that any payment due from the contractor to a subcontractor under the contract is to be made no later than the end of a period of 30 days from the date on which the relevant invoice is regarded as valid and undisputed, as required by the Public Contract Regulations 2015.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Through the Public Contract Regulations 2015, all public sector buyers must include 30-day payment terms in new public sector contracts; and require that this payment term be passed down the supply chain. Public sector buyers must also publish annually on their payment performance.

Government strongly encourages businesses to report poor payment practice and instances of late payment, including late payment through the supply chain, in public sector contracts to its Mystery Shopper service. Mystery Shopper will then investigate

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Audiology: Paediatrics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of Monday 22 October 2018 to Question 180843 on a national tariff for paediatric audiology services, if he will provide a web link to the national tariffs referred to in that answer.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 15 November 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 November 2018 to Question 184442.

Q
(Gower)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Drugs: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people died as a consequence of an overdose or misuse of (a) opioids and (b) cannabis in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Wales Office
Wales Office: Billing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what proportion of contracts issued by his Department and contractors include provisions to impose, as between parties to the subcontract, that any payment due from the contractor to a subcontractor under the contract is to be made no later than the end of a period of 30 days from the date on which the relevant invoice is regarded as valid and undisputed, as required by the Public Contract Regulations 2015.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales receives procurement services from the Ministry of Justice and does not issue contracts directly.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Northern: Industrial Disputes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2018 to Question 155260 on Northern: Industrial Disputes, what payments his Department (a) has made and (b) plans to make to Arriva Northern for revenues lost due to official industrial action.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 15 November 2018

a) No payments have been made;

b) Details of Arriva Rail North’s application made in accordance with the Franchise Agreement provisions concerning Industrial Action that is under consideration by the Department are subject to commercial confidentiality.

Q
Asked by Ian Mearns
(Gateshead)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
South Western Railway: Industrial Disputes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 July 2018 to Question 166508 on South Western Railway: compensation, what payments (a) have been made and (b) are planned to be made to South Western Railway for revenues lost as a result of official industrial action.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 15 November 2018

a) No payments have been made;

b) Details of SWR’s application made in accordance with the Franchise Agreement provisions concerning Industrial Action that is under consideration by the Department are subject to commercial confidentiality.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 09 November 2018
Cabinet Office
ICT: Skilled Workers
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph ten of the Government Document entitled Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre: Review by the National Security Adviser, published in December 2013, what recent assessment the Government has made of the shortage of individuals in the UK employment market with the necessary technical expertise and skills to fill all the available posts in the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre, GCHQ and the relevant parts of Whitehall.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 15 November 2018

As set out in their 2018 Annual Report, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board noted no causes for concern in the number of staff and their skills.

GCHQ keeps up to date with the latest technology and trends in cyber security by engaging with industry, academia and nurturing the next generation of cyber security specialists. We will not comment on GCHQ staffing due to reasons of national security.

The Government Security Profession in the Cabinet Office is working closely with the wider public and private sector to shape the Government security profession framework to support HMG staffing levels and manage their cyber skills gaps.

Q
Asked by Melanie Onn
(Great Grimsby)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Methotrexate
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the (a) supply and (b) availability of the drug Methotrexate after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The United Kingdom’s position on medicines regulation remains clear. We are working to retain a close working partnership with the European Union to ensure that medicines remain available to UK patients in a safe and timely manner. We have been clear that this involves us making sure our regulators continue to work together, as they do with regulators internationally.

Q
(Preston)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Paper: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to (a) ban the sale of unrecyclable wrapping paper or (b) introduce a tax on such products.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 November 2018

We have no plans to ban “non-recyclable” wrapping paper. Retailers are encouraged to provide information on whether their wrapping paper can be recycled or whether it should be disposed of in residual waste.

Packaging materials, including wrapping paper sold with the product, are covered by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations which place a legal obligation on businesses that make or use packaging to ensure that a proportion of the packaging they sell is recovered and recycled.

This creates an incentive for companies to use less packaging and to ensure that their packaging can be recycled at end of life as it will reduce their costs in complying with the Regulations.

We have committed to exploring changes to the packaging producer responsibility scheme. This will look at all aspects of the regime, including mechanisms to encourage increased recyclability. More detail will be announced in the Resources and Waste Strategy, which will be published shortly.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 09 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Business: Technology
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of the funding for digital and technology programmes was allocated to large companies in each of the last four years.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 15 November 2018

Funding for digital and technology projects is not allocated by supplier or size of company, as all work is put out for tender in accordance with government procurement processes.


Since January 2011, as part of the Government’s transparency programme, details of contracts above the value of £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.

Q
(Preston)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Anorexia and Asperger's Syndrome
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what studies his Department has conducted on a possible link between Asperger's syndrome and anorexia.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Medical Research Council is currently funding a study of adolescent anorexia nervosa patients with autism spectrum disorder symptoms: ‘The Triple A study (Adolescents with Anorexia and Autism): A search for biomarkers’. The research aims to identify vulnerable patients, at an early stage, who may be unlikely to respond to current treatment for anorexia, with the longer-term aim of shaping individualised support and treatment strategies. The study is led by King's College London and is due to conclude next year.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Food
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to increase food (a) production and (b) security when the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 November 2018

As we leave the EU we want to support farmers to grow more, sell more and export more great British food. Productivity is the key driver of long-term economic growth and prosperity. Our future agriculture policy will allow farmers to provide a supply of healthy, home-grown produce made to high environmental and animal welfare standards. The future policy will be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in new technology. This will help farmers become more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint. Leaving the EU is an opportunity to boost domestic productivity through research, adoption of best practice, investment in new tools and technologies and adoption of new business models.

Further preparation for our withdrawal is continuing to be undertaken across the whole of government to consider how we best manage checks and controls in a range of scenarios. We have been very clear that when we leave the EU, we will categorically not dilute our world-leading set of standards on food safety and quality. We are committed to upholding these with robust and independent scientific and technical advice. Any products entering the UK market must meet our high standards of quality and safety.

The UK has a high degree of food security, built on access to a range of sources including strong domestic production and imports from third countries. Consumers will continue to have access to a range of different products when we leave the EU.

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 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Dental Services: Babies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will support the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry campaign to encourage parents to take their children to the dentist before they are one year old.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government is committed to improving dental health in children, as set out in the Government’s policy paper ‘Prevention is better than cure : our vision to help you live well for longer’ published on 5 November 2018 which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/753688/Prevention_is_better_than_cure_5-11.pdf

The Department welcomes campaigns such as the one by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. Early attendance to dental practices, as well as good oral hygiene, are key to laying the foundations for a lifetime of good oral health in children.

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 November 2018
Department for Transport
Buses: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to encourage the introduction of low emission buses outside London by amending the terms of the Bus Service Operators Grant.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Government is committed to reforming the Bus Service Operators Grant, including reform of the current low carbon emission bus incentive to further encourage the uptake of low and ultra-low emission buses outside London.

In addition to the low carbon bus incentive, with £4 million per year paid to bus operators, since 2010 the Government has provided almost £150 million to help bus operators in England and Wales purchase low and ultra-low emission buses.

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