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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 81-100 out of 69291
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked on: 12 September 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the specific responsibilities of Her Majesty's Trade Commissioners.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 September 2018

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised its overseas teams into nine regions, which are led by the nine HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs). This provides a highly engaged overseas leadership team to drive forward DIT’s future trade strategy and priorities overseas. The responsibilities of the HMTCs are:

  • To work with partners in DIT headquarters and overseas to develop a Regional Trade Plan encompassing export promotion, investment and trade policy.

  • To set a clear vision and provide direction to the Department’s operations in the region.

  • To take responsibility for the UK’s commercial relationship with all the markets in their region, working closely with Heads of Mission, DIT Heads of Trade, and a wide range of stakeholders.

HM Trade Commissioners are based in cities across the nine regions as follows:

  • New York (HMTC for North America)

  • Sao Paulo (HMTC for Latin America and Caribbean)

  • Johannesburg (HMTC for Africa)

  • Dubai (HMTC for Middle East)

  • Istanbul (HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network)

  • Mumbai (HMTC for South Asia)

  • Beijing (HMTC for China & Hong Kong)

  • Singapore (HMTC for Asia Pacific)

  • Milan (HMTC for Europe)

The budgets delegated at the start of 2018-19 to each HMTC are set below. Wider DIT budgets also support the delivery of HMTC objectives but are not set at a regional level:

HMTC region

Delegated budget

Africa

£3,685,152

Asia-Pacific

£9,780,451

China

£9,592,448

EECAN

£2,939,163

Europe

£16,050,951

Latin America & Caribbean

£7,438,225

Middle East

£5,126,912

North America

£10,009,920

South Asia

£4,073,335

The priorities and objectives for each HMTC are outlined in Regional Trade Plans (RTPs). These RTPs are currently in development.

Grouped Questions: HL10341 | HL10343
Q
Asked on: 12 September 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the regional strategy of each of Her Majesty's Trade Commissioners.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 September 2018

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised its overseas teams into nine regions, which are led by the nine HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs). This provides a highly engaged overseas leadership team to drive forward DIT’s future trade strategy and priorities overseas. The responsibilities of the HMTCs are:

  • To work with partners in DIT headquarters and overseas to develop a Regional Trade Plan encompassing export promotion, investment and trade policy.

  • To set a clear vision and provide direction to the Department’s operations in the region.

  • To take responsibility for the UK’s commercial relationship with all the markets in their region, working closely with Heads of Mission, DIT Heads of Trade, and a wide range of stakeholders.

HM Trade Commissioners are based in cities across the nine regions as follows:

  • New York (HMTC for North America)

  • Sao Paulo (HMTC for Latin America and Caribbean)

  • Johannesburg (HMTC for Africa)

  • Dubai (HMTC for Middle East)

  • Istanbul (HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network)

  • Mumbai (HMTC for South Asia)

  • Beijing (HMTC for China & Hong Kong)

  • Singapore (HMTC for Asia Pacific)

  • Milan (HMTC for Europe)

The budgets delegated at the start of 2018-19 to each HMTC are set below. Wider DIT budgets also support the delivery of HMTC objectives but are not set at a regional level:

HMTC region

Delegated budget

Africa

£3,685,152

Asia-Pacific

£9,780,451

China

£9,592,448

EECAN

£2,939,163

Europe

£16,050,951

Latin America & Caribbean

£7,438,225

Middle East

£5,126,912

North America

£10,009,920

South Asia

£4,073,335

The priorities and objectives for each HMTC are outlined in Regional Trade Plans (RTPs). These RTPs are currently in development.

Grouped Questions: HL10341 | HL10342
Asked on: 13 September 2018
Department for Transport
Bakerloo Line
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Mayor of London about the proposed extension of the Bakerloo line.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 20 September 2018

Ministers and officials at the Department for Transport hold regular meetings with the Mayor of London, officials in his office and Transport for London (TfL). A range of topics are discussed at these meetings, including proposals to extend the Bakerloo Line.

Asked on: 04 September 2018
Ministry of Justice
Coroners
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many instances of crowdfunding to cover the cost of legal representation for families involved in inquests have taken place in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The Ministry of Justice is aware that there have been instances of crowdfunding to cover the cost of legal representation at inquest proceedings, for example at the inquests into the deaths of those who died in the Birmingham pub bombings and the inquests of the victims of Stephen Port, but the Department does not routinely collect information on instances of crowdfunding.

We are currently undertaking a review of the provision of legal aid for inquests, due to be published by the end of the year alongside the wider review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Asked on: 04 September 2018
Ministry of Justice
Stephen Port
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria were used in the assessment of legal aid support to families involved in the inquests covering the deaths of the victims of Stephen Port.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is not aware of having received any applications to date for public funding for representation at an inquest from the families of the victims of Stephen Port.

When assessing such applications in general, the Director of Legal Aid Casework (DLAC) must have regard to the Lord Chancellor’s guidance set out under section 4(3) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender’s Act (LASPO) 2012. The criteria applied by the Legal Aid Agency are outlined under Section 10 of LASPO. The DLAC must also determine whether an applicant meets the financial eligibility test as provided in the Civil Legal Aid (Financial Resources and Payment for Services) Regulations 2013, or decide whether to waive financial eligibility and/or contribution to costs in whole or in part, as well as satisfy the merits criteria set out in the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013.

An application for legal aid may be submitted to the LAA in order for such a determination to be made.

Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prison Advice and Care Trust
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Catholic Prison Advice and Care Trust in the last five years; and what assessment they have made of the work of that charity.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 September 2018

We have a longstanding relationship with the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), and we recognise the crucial role that they, and other Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, carry out in supporting offenders and delivering rehabilitative services. I am pleased to note, too, that PACT have recently been awarded the contract for the provision of family engagement services for the female estate.

We will continue to engage with PACT as we take forward Lord Farmer’s recommendations as part of our wider prison reform agenda.

Q
Asked by Lord Rosser
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Ministry of Justice
Legal Aid Scheme: Public Spaces Protection Orders
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what circumstances, to whom, and to what extent, is legal aid available to challenge public spaces protection orders under the statutory appeal procedure provided in section 66 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 September 2018

We have made sure that legal aid continues to be available in the most serious cases, for example where people’s life, liberty, or housing is at stake or where their children may be taken into care.

Legal aid is available for the making, varying, discharging and appealing of certain Protection Orders where there is a real risk to an individual’s life or liberty.

Challenges to Public Space Protection Orders do not currently fall within the scope of the legal aid scheme. However, individuals may apply for Exceptional Case Funding where failure to provide legal aid would breach, or risk breaching, the European Convention on Human Rights or enforceable EU law, subject to statutory tests of means and merits.

Q
Asked by Lord Sharkey
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 25 July (HL9666), why they do not monitor or collect information on the size of employers supported by contracts awarded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency for apprentice training.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) does not currently monitor or collect information on the size of employers supported by contracts awarded for apprenticeship training by these contracts.

The ESFA is currently reviewing the scope of information collected, with a view to including information about employers supported by contracts in future data collection.

The ESFA currently contracts with 713 training providers for an overall value of £562 million. Further details of these training providers is attached. These contracts run from January 2018 to March 2019, and support apprenticeship delivery for 16 to 18 year olds and adult learners.

HL10016_HL10021_non-levy_procured_contracts (Excel SpreadSheet, 138.5 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL10021
Q
Asked by Lord Sharkey
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 25 July (HL9666), what percentage of contracts for the training of apprentices, by number and by value, has been awarded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to organisations which subcontract such training.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is in the process of collating subcontractor data from providers awarded apprenticeship contracts. The ESFA will publish in due course an updated list of subcontractors on the GOV.UK website that are contracted to deliver over £100,000 of adult education and training per year by the providers it funds.

Q
Asked by Lord Sharkey
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 25 July (HL9666), who were the recipients of Education and Skills Funding Agency contracts for the training of apprentices; what was the value of each such contract; and which awardees subcontract such training, either wholly or partially.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) does not currently monitor or collect information on the size of employers supported by contracts awarded for apprenticeship training by these contracts.

The ESFA is currently reviewing the scope of information collected, with a view to including information about employers supported by contracts in future data collection.

The ESFA currently contracts with 713 training providers for an overall value of £562 million. Further details of these training providers is attached. These contracts run from January 2018 to March 2019, and support apprenticeship delivery for 16 to 18 year olds and adult learners.

HL10016_HL10021_non-levy_procured_contracts (Excel SpreadSheet, 138.5 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL10016
Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 September 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Exiting the European Union: Labour Turnover
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the level of staff turnover in his Department.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 19 September 2018

DExEU was set up as a time-limited department with a clear mandate to carry out a historic task: implement the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU.

In keeping with this, the majority of our staff are employed on fixed-term contracts or are loaned from other Government departments, and many have been drawn from Civil Service talent streams.

Many of those who have left to date have moved on to other government departments because their loan or rotation ended. Only a small minority have actually left the Civil Service.

The Department for Exiting the European Union now has over 650 staff. The Department continues to recruit the brightest and the best from across the civil service, the wider public sector and the private sector, in a range of professions.

Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
New Enterprise Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the cost to the public purse has been of the New Enterprise Allowance in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 19 September 2018

Between April 2011 and December 2017, New Enterprise Allowance has supported over 113,000 people to start their own business.

The Departmental spend on New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), comprising contracted mentoring costs and Allowance payments to participants who had started to trade from 2013/14 is set out in the table below:

£m

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Total NEA spend

58.8

44.2

20.2

29.1

22.1

Notes:

The reducing spend reflects:

  1. Rising employment rates
  2. The introduction of the Link Up Start Up (LUSU) workshop in April 2017 (to assess the viability of a claimant’s business) prior to starting on NEA
  3. A refund of costs in 2015/16 from suppliers from the Grant Funded phase of the NEA which ended in December 2014.
Q
Asked by David Simpson
(Upper Bann)
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the planned timescale is for the transitional protection period for universal credit.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 19 September 2018

Transitional Protection will not be awarded for a fixed period, but will remain in place until the underlying Universal Credit entitlement increases, which will bring claimants’ entitlement into line with that of those making new claims. Transitional Protection will end, however, if the claimant has a significant change of circumstance.

Subject to Parliament approving the necessary legislation, which we have announced will be brought forward in the autumn, we will be starting managed migration of existing benefit claimants to Universal Credit in 2019 and plan to complete this process in 2023. It is estimated this legislation will bring in £2.6 billion of transitional protection by 2023 (OBR Welfare Trends report January 2018) boosting the incomes of around 1 million Universal Credit households. The regulations also include additional transitional protection arrangements for all approximately 500,000 claimants eligible for a Severe Disability Premium.

Q
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Contraceptives
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the use of long-acting reversible contraception in general practice.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 September 2018

Sexual health services are commissioned at a local level to meet the needs of the local population. The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including “advice on, and reasonable access to, a broad range of contraceptive substances and appliances”. In addition, NHS England commissions contraception provided as an additional service under the general practitioner contract. Prescriptions of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) in sexual and reproductive health services increased by 25% between 2012/13 and 2016/17 from 272,000 to 342,000. However, in primary care prescriptions of LARC decreased from 1.3 million to 1.2 million. Departmental officials are working with Public Health England to take forward actions on reproductive health following publication of their consensus statement and will consider ways to promote access to the full range of contraception through this work.

Grouped Questions: HL10047
Q
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Contraceptives
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of Public Health England’s document, A consensus statement: reproductive health is a public issue, published on 26 June, what steps they are taking to improve universal access to the full range of contraception choices.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 September 2018

Sexual health services are commissioned at a local level to meet the needs of the local population. The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including “advice on, and reasonable access to, a broad range of contraceptive substances and appliances”. In addition, NHS England commissions contraception provided as an additional service under the general practitioner contract. Prescriptions of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) in sexual and reproductive health services increased by 25% between 2012/13 and 2016/17 from 272,000 to 342,000. However, in primary care prescriptions of LARC decreased from 1.3 million to 1.2 million. Departmental officials are working with Public Health England to take forward actions on reproductive health following publication of their consensus statement and will consider ways to promote access to the full range of contraception through this work.

Grouped Questions: HL10046
Q
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of Public Health England’s document, A consensus statement: reproductive health is a public issue, published on 26 June, what steps they are taking to ensure that reproductive health decision-making is directly informed by women’s voices.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 September 2018

Public Health England (PHE) has created a user reference group made up of women from the community who have experienced severe reproductive health issues in order to ensure actions in the action plan reflect service users’ needs. The action plan is due to be published in March 2019.

PHE has asked women in the user reference group help determine how issues outlined in A consensus statement: reproductive health is a public issue, published on 26 June could be addressed. Solutions suggested by women were then presented to PHE’s task and finish group made up of experts from across the sector including the Department, NHS England, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Public Health, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Brook and the Family Planning Association in order to help formulate actions for the action plan. PHE plans to continue this as an iterative process throughout the development, implementation and evaluation of the action plan.

Q
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bangladesh: Demonstrations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the security situation in Bangladesh following recent security forces' responses to the road safety protests in Dhaka.
A
Answered on: 19 September 2018

​I was deeply concerned by the violence we saw in Dhaka in response to road safety protests by students following the tragic deaths of two school age students on 29 July. In a statement on 7 August, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Alison Blake, together with other EU Heads of Mission, called on government to investigate incidents of unlawful or disproportionate violence or action against protestors and journalists and to hold perpetrators to account. Subsequently, Joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development Minister Alistair Burt expressed our concern regarding the response to the road safety protests with the Government of Bangladesh, during his visit to Bangladesh from 28-31 August. Bangladesh remains a Human Rights Priority Country for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We raised freedom of expression as a key concern in Bangladesh during the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review.

Q
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bangladesh: Demonstrations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to Bangladeshi authorities about the arrest of Shahidul Alam following comments he made about the road safety protests in Dhaka.
A
Answered on: 19 September 2018

​I was deeply concerned by the violence we saw in Dhaka in response to road safety protests by students following the tragic deaths of two school age students on 29 July, and the subsequent arrest of Mr. Shahidul Alam. In a statement on 7 August, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Alison Blake, together with other EU Heads of Mission, called on government to investigate incidents of unlawful or disproportionate violence or action against protestors and journalists and to hold perpetrators to account. Subsequently, Joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development Minister Alistair Burt expressed our concern regarding the response to the road safety protests, and raised Mr Alam's case, with the Government of Bangladesh, during his visit to Bangladesh from 28-31 August. Bangladesh remains a Human Rights Priority Country for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We raised freedom of expression as a key concern in Bangladesh during the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review.

Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department for Education
Secondary Education: Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many key stage 4 (1) art and design, (2) music, (3) drama, (4) design and technology, (5) history, and (6) geography teachers there were in state secondary schools in England for each year from 2010 to 2017.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The number of teachers in state funded secondary schools for the requested subjects is shown in the attached table. The table shows that numbers of teachers for art and design, music, drama and design and technology decreased between 2010 and 2017. The number of teachers for history and geography increased between 2010 and 2017.

Information on subjects by teachers in state funded secondary schools is collected from a large sample of schools. This is then weighted and grossed to provide national totals. The percentage of schools returning this information each year has been provided for context.

Driving recruitment and boosting retention of teachers is a key focus for this government.

To support the recruitment of music and history teachers, we offer tax-free bursaries of up to £9,000. Design and Technology (D&T) teacher recruitment is supported through bursaries of up to £12,000. For geography we offer tax-free bursaries of £26,000 for trainees with a 2:2 or higher, or a prestigious scholarship worth £28,000 tax-free.

All trainees on tuition fee-funded training routes are able to apply for student finance, regardless of their subject and degree class. This includes a tuition fee loan so that trainees do not need to pay for training upfront and a maintenance loan to support living costs.

In March, the Secretary of State for Education announced a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention of teachers. The strategy will build upon the existing work already undertaken to support schools, including; introducing a period of stability; clarifying the roles of actors within the accountability system and providing evidence-based solutions to strip away the workload that does not benefit pupils. The strategy will cover a wide range of areas such as professional development, career progression, flexible working and entry routes into teaching.

Grouped Questions: HL10055 | HL10056 | HL10057
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Department for Education
Secondary Education: Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the annual percentage change in the number of key stage 4 (1) art and design, (2) music, (3) drama, (4) design and technology, (5) history, and (6) geography teachers in state secondary schools in England for each year from 2010 to 2017.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The number of teachers in state funded secondary schools for the requested subjects is shown in the attached table. The table shows that numbers of teachers for art and design, music, drama and design and technology decreased between 2010 and 2017. The number of teachers for history and geography increased between 2010 and 2017.

Information on subjects by teachers in state funded secondary schools is collected from a large sample of schools. This is then weighted and grossed to provide national totals. The percentage of schools returning this information each year has been provided for context.

Driving recruitment and boosting retention of teachers is a key focus for this government.

To support the recruitment of music and history teachers, we offer tax-free bursaries of up to £9,000. Design and Technology (D&T) teacher recruitment is supported through bursaries of up to £12,000. For geography we offer tax-free bursaries of £26,000 for trainees with a 2:2 or higher, or a prestigious scholarship worth £28,000 tax-free.

All trainees on tuition fee-funded training routes are able to apply for student finance, regardless of their subject and degree class. This includes a tuition fee loan so that trainees do not need to pay for training upfront and a maintenance loan to support living costs.

In March, the Secretary of State for Education announced a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention of teachers. The strategy will build upon the existing work already undertaken to support schools, including; introducing a period of stability; clarifying the roles of actors within the accountability system and providing evidence-based solutions to strip away the workload that does not benefit pupils. The strategy will cover a wide range of areas such as professional development, career progression, flexible working and entry routes into teaching.

Grouped Questions: HL10054 | HL10056 | HL10057
Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 81-100 out of 69291
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100