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 2015-16 session below. This is a new service and we welcome your feedback so we can improve it.

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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 by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 January 2016
HM Treasury
Welfare Tax Credits
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for mandatory reconsideration of a tax credits decision have been made to Concentrix in each month since April 2014.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The number of requests for mandatory reconsideration of a decision about a tax credits award that Concentrix have received since the commencement of their contract with HM Revenue and Customs in November 2014 is as follows:

Month

Number of MRs

November 2014

0

December 2014

2

January 2015

6

February 2015

38

March 2015

29

April 2015

137

May 2015

100

June 2015

45

July 2015

71

August 2015

108

September 2015

1221

October 2015

925

November 2015

871

December 2015

2371

The total is about 1.6% of all decisions Concentrix made in the same period.

As of 15 January 2016, there are 566 mandatory reconsiderations in progress that have been opened and Concentrix are waiting for customers to provide further evidence. Concentrix have 30 further mandatory reconsiderations that are awaiting determination.

The average length of time taken between Concentrix starting to work a mandatory reconsideration and making a decision is 24 days. This includes the time needed for customers to provide any further evidence.

Grouped Questions: 22658 | 22668
Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 January 2016
HM Treasury
Welfare Tax Credits
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for mandatory reconsideration of a tax credits decision are awaiting determination by Concentrix.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The number of requests for mandatory reconsideration of a decision about a tax credits award that Concentrix have received since the commencement of their contract with HM Revenue and Customs in November 2014 is as follows:

Month

Number of MRs

November 2014

0

December 2014

2

January 2015

6

February 2015

38

March 2015

29

April 2015

137

May 2015

100

June 2015

45

July 2015

71

August 2015

108

September 2015

1221

October 2015

925

November 2015

871

December 2015

2371

The total is about 1.6% of all decisions Concentrix made in the same period.

As of 15 January 2016, there are 566 mandatory reconsiderations in progress that have been opened and Concentrix are waiting for customers to provide further evidence. Concentrix have 30 further mandatory reconsiderations that are awaiting determination.

The average length of time taken between Concentrix starting to work a mandatory reconsideration and making a decision is 24 days. This includes the time needed for customers to provide any further evidence.

Grouped Questions: 22572 | 22668
Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 January 2016
HM Treasury
Welfare Tax Credits
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what is the average length of time taken by Concentrix to determine applications for mandatory reconsideration of a tax credits decision.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The number of requests for mandatory reconsideration of a decision about a tax credits award that Concentrix have received since the commencement of their contract with HM Revenue and Customs in November 2014 is as follows:

Month

Number of MRs

November 2014

0

December 2014

2

January 2015

6

February 2015

38

March 2015

29

April 2015

137

May 2015

100

June 2015

45

July 2015

71

August 2015

108

September 2015

1221

October 2015

925

November 2015

871

December 2015

2371

The total is about 1.6% of all decisions Concentrix made in the same period.

As of 15 January 2016, there are 566 mandatory reconsiderations in progress that have been opened and Concentrix are waiting for customers to provide further evidence. Concentrix have 30 further mandatory reconsiderations that are awaiting determination.

The average length of time taken between Concentrix starting to work a mandatory reconsideration and making a decision is 24 days. This includes the time needed for customers to provide any further evidence.

Grouped Questions: 22572 | 22658
Q
Asked by Lord Beecham
Asked on: 18 January 2016
Home Office
Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which, if any, of the recommendations of the report on the welfare of immigration detainees by Stephen Shaw have been rejected, and on what grounds.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government’s position on the Stephen Shaw review was set out in the Written Ministerial Statement laid on 14 January 2016.

The Government accepts the broad thrust of Mr Shaw’s recommendations. In particular the Government accepts Mr Shaw’s recommendations to adopt a wider definition of those at risk, including victims of sexual violence, individuals with mental health issues, pregnant women, those with learning difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder and elderly people, and to recognise the dynamic nature of vulnerabilities. We will introduce a new “adult at risk” concept into decision-making on immigration detention with a clear presumption that people who are at risk should not be detained, building on the existing legal framework.

A more detailed mental health needs assessment in immigration removal centres, using the expertise of the Centre for Mental Health, will be carried out and is expected to report in March 2016. NHS commissioners will use that assessment to consider and revisit current provision to ensure healthcare needs are being met appropriately. The Government will also publish a joint Department of Health, NHS and Home Office mental health action plan in April 2016.

We will also be considering a number of operational recommendations made by Mr Shaw, on a case by case basis, taking account of available resources.

Asked on: 19 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Nurses: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the planned replacement of student bursaries by loans, what estimate they have made of the number of additional students who will be accepted into universities for nursing degree courses in 2017–18.
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We expect this reform to enable universities to provide up to 10,000 additional nursing, midwifery and allied health training places over this parliament.

Asked on: 19 January 2016
Department for International Development
EU Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the European Parliament's report that 50 per cent of the EU £23 billion aid budget has been delayed or not used, and whether they plan to take steps to terminate the policy of delivering part of the UK overseas aid budget through the EU.
A
Answered by: Baroness Verma
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The report concerned was compiled by an individual Member of the European Parliament and was not an analysis representing the views of the European Parliament as a whole. It was based on a reading of reports by EU offices in non-EU countries, intended to identify potential problems at an early stage, so that things can be put right in time. In the event that it is proven that money has been wasted, we expect the EU and its audit institutions to take swift and decisive action to recoup funds and to carry out a thorough review of all its programmes to provide a clear set of actions to stop this happening again.

Asked on: 19 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Nuclear Power
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the nuclear agreement with Iran, they plan to make representations to the government of Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and agree to the same level of inspection now accepted by Iran.
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and for peaceful uses of nuclear energy. All state parties should be pushing for universality of the treaty. In that regard, the Government continues to call on all states that are not parties to the NPT, including Israel, to accede to it, and we also continue to call on Israel to agree a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Q
Asked on: 20 January 2016
Department of Health
Ambulance Services: Performance Standards
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the average time taken in England for the ambulance service to take a patient from their home to the nearest fully-equipped accident and emergency department.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

NHS England has advised that it does not collect data on the average time taken in England for the ambulance service to take a patient from their home to an accident and emergency department.

The Government is clear the reconfiguration of front line health services is a matter for the local NHS. Services should be tailored to meet the needs of the local population, and proposals for substantial service change must meet the four tests of reconfiguration which are: (i) support from GP commissioners; (ii) strengthened public and patient engagement; (iii) clarity on the clinical evidence base and (iv) support for patient choice.

Locally driven elements of reconfiguration mean delivery will largely be managed by NHS England, who will work closely with commissioners, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor, and only approve the progression of proposals to consultation that have local support. We are aware that NHS England, in their guidance ‘Planning and delivering service changes for patients’, emphasise that NHS service change planners include an analysis of distance and travel times, the impact of these on transport users, as well as the ambulance service. A copy of this guidance is attached.

Grouped Questions: HL5242 | HL5244
Q
Asked on: 20 January 2016
Department of Health
Accident and Emergency Departments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of how the reorganisation of accident and emergency departments in England has affected the time taken for a patient with a serious emergency to be taken from their home to the nearest fully-equipped accident and emergency unit.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

NHS England has advised that it does not collect data on the average time taken in England for the ambulance service to take a patient from their home to an accident and emergency department.

The Government is clear the reconfiguration of front line health services is a matter for the local NHS. Services should be tailored to meet the needs of the local population, and proposals for substantial service change must meet the four tests of reconfiguration which are: (i) support from GP commissioners; (ii) strengthened public and patient engagement; (iii) clarity on the clinical evidence base and (iv) support for patient choice.

Locally driven elements of reconfiguration mean delivery will largely be managed by NHS England, who will work closely with commissioners, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor, and only approve the progression of proposals to consultation that have local support. We are aware that NHS England, in their guidance ‘Planning and delivering service changes for patients’, emphasise that NHS service change planners include an analysis of distance and travel times, the impact of these on transport users, as well as the ambulance service. A copy of this guidance is attached.

Grouped Questions: HL5241 | HL5244
Q
Asked on: 20 January 2016
Department of Health
Hospitals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what strategic oversight is provided to acute hospital trusts in determining the location of specialties in hospitals within that trust.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

NHS England has advised that it does not collect data on the average time taken in England for the ambulance service to take a patient from their home to an accident and emergency department.

The Government is clear the reconfiguration of front line health services is a matter for the local NHS. Services should be tailored to meet the needs of the local population, and proposals for substantial service change must meet the four tests of reconfiguration which are: (i) support from GP commissioners; (ii) strengthened public and patient engagement; (iii) clarity on the clinical evidence base and (iv) support for patient choice.

Locally driven elements of reconfiguration mean delivery will largely be managed by NHS England, who will work closely with commissioners, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor, and only approve the progression of proposals to consultation that have local support. We are aware that NHS England, in their guidance ‘Planning and delivering service changes for patients’, emphasise that NHS service change planners include an analysis of distance and travel times, the impact of these on transport users, as well as the ambulance service. A copy of this guidance is attached.

Grouped Questions: HL5241 | HL5242
Asked on: 20 January 2016
Department of Health
HIV Infection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what commitment they have made to supporting HIV support services to enable people with HIV to cope with their new diagnosis and prevent onward transmission.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Care Act 2014 sets out the legal framework for social care in England, and this applies to all adults with support needs including those whose living with HIV. Our Framework for Sexual Health Improvement (2013) a copy of which is attached, highlights the importance of early testing and diagnosis of HIV so that people can receive effective HIV treatment and help prevent new transmissions. In 2014 Public Health England published Making it work, a copy of which attached, setting out guidance to support collaborative local commissioning across all sexual health services.

Framework for Sexual Health Improvement (PDF Document, 321.31 KB)
Making it Work (PDF Document, 5.26 MB)
Asked on: 20 January 2016
Department of Health
Contraceptives
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 8 December 2015 (HL3838), how they define reasonable access to all methods of contraception in the context of open access sexual health services; what steps they have taken to ensure that local authorities are commissioning open-access sexual health services as mandated by legislation; and whether reasonable access to all methods of contraception includes access to long-acting reversible contraception as recommended by NICE guideline CG30.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Department issued guidance to local authorities in March 2013 Commissioning Sexual Health services and interventions (a copy of which is attached) to help local authorities (LAs) to fulfil their legal requirements in relation to open access sexual health services. The guidance sets out that in relation to contraception “reasonable access” is for local determination, but also highlights “there is evidence that it may ultimately be better for patient outcomes, and more cost effective, to offer unrestricted access to all methods for all age groups. This supports women controlling their fertility and ensures contraceptive needs are met using the most effective methods”. The guidance also highlights key findings from the National Institute Clinical Excellence on long-acting reversible contraception.

Departmental officials meet regularly with sexual health organisations to consider the commissioning of sexual health services by LAs. Public Health England is undertaking a survey of local commissioning arrangements for sexual health and developing a tool that will improve monitoring of contraception use at LA level.

Commissioning Sexual Health services (PDF Document, 133.87 KB)
Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[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: 21 January 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Work Capability Assessment: Self-harm
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons different criteria apply in the assessment of risk of self-harm or suicide to men and women in his Department's guidance on work capability assessments.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The guidance on work capability assessments no longer makes a distinction between men and women.

Q
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Attorney General
Lloyds Bank
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, by what measure the Director of the Serious Fraud Office judges whether there is a significant public interest element in a case.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Grouped Questions: 24102 | 24099 | 24189 | 24190
Q
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Attorney General
Lloyds Bank
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, what measure the Director of the Serious Fraud Office uses to judge actual or potential economic harm.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Grouped Questions: 24101 | 24099 | 24189 | 24190
Q
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Attorney General
Lloyds Bank
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, how the Director of the Serious Fraud Office measures the undermining of UK PLC commercial or financial interests in the (a) City of London and (b) UK.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Grouped Questions: 24101 | 24102 | 24189 | 24190
Q
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Attorney General
Lloyds Bank
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, what the figure is for high actual or potential loss listed in the Statement of Principle.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Grouped Questions: 24101 | 24102 | 24099 | 24190
Q
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Attorney General
Lloyds Bank
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, whether a case considered by the Serious Fraud Office must meet all Statement of Principle considerations.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Grouped Questions: 24101 | 24102 | 24099 | 24189
Q
Asked by Bill Wiggin
(North Herefordshire)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
HM Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Secondment
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, to which (a) government departments, (b) agencies, (c) commercial companies and (d) charities HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Fast Stream civil servants are (i) attached or (ii) seconded; what the average length of time is for such (A) attachments and (B) secondments; and what assessment HMRC makes of the benefits of those attachments and secondments to its own work and to the tax payer.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Civil Service Resourcing coordinates the Fast Stream for the Civil Service and manages all Fast Streamers on the central corporate schemes.

A list of Government departments, Agencies, Arms Length Bodies, NDPB’s, Commercial (private) organisations and charities to which Fast streamers are currently posted to as at January 2016 can be found at Annex A.

  • Fast stream postings in the Civil Service are either 6 or 12 months depending on the timing of the posting

  • The average length of time for a secondment to an external organisation is 6 months.

    Civil Service Resourcing assesses the value of these postings and placements to the Civil Service (including HMRC) in the following ways:

  • Individual performance management through postings; mid and end of scheme assessments to track developments against the Fast Stream aims (core skills, competency framework and leadership potential)

  • Posting and secondment evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of each posting in supporting Fast Streamers’ development.

  • Overall assessment via Fast Stream Annual survey to measure ongoing effectiveness of the Fast Stream

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
HM Treasury
Health Insurance: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the revenue that will accrue to the Exchequer from the insurance premium tax on health cash plans; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

In 2014-15, total Insurance Premium Tax receipts were approximately £3bn. HM Revenue and Customs estimates that £10.9 million in revenue was received from Insurance Premium Tax on health cash plans in 2014-15.

Q
(Houghton and Sunderland South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Public Transport: North East
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2015 to Question 19988, what progress he has made on finalising monitoring arrangements; and if he will support monitoring of the use of public transport and investment in the North East's bus and rail networks as part of those arrangements.
A
Answered by: James Wharton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government is working with the North East Combined Authority on the implementation plan for its devolution deal, which will cover monitoring arrangements. The devolution deal will create an elected mayor, who will be directly accountable to local people and will have powers over transport among other things. It is for the future mayor to decide how to monitor transport policy, and for local people to hold the mayor and the Combined Authority to account.

Q
(Calder Valley)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance: Calderdale
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what representations he has received from Calderdale Council since 2010 on the level of local authority funding from central Government.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Calderdale Council have submitted a representation each year since 2010 as part of the annual consultation on the local government finance settlement.

The annual local government finance settlement sets out details of central government funding for local authorities, including Revenue Support Grant, as well as considering councils' locally raised funds, and represents the main funding source for local authorities.

Grouped Questions: 24096
Q
(Calder Valley)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Revenue Support Grant: Calderdale
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what representations he has received from Calderdale Council since 2010 on the level of the Revenue Support Grant.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Calderdale Council have submitted a representation each year since 2010 as part of the annual consultation on the local government finance settlement.

The annual local government finance settlement sets out details of central government funding for local authorities, including Revenue Support Grant, as well as considering councils' locally raised funds, and represents the main funding source for local authorities.

Grouped Questions: 24095
Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Governance and Regulation of the BBC Independent Review
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when he expects the Clementi review into governance of the BBC to be published.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We expect the independent review of the governance and regulation of the BBC to conclude shortly, and we will publish it in due course.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department will launch its consultation on the universal service obligation on superfast broadband; and for how long that consultation will be open.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We intend to launch our consultation on proposals to implement a new broadband Universal Service Obligation in early 2016. The duration of the consultation will be proportionate to the issues under consideration, as advised by the Cabinet Office guidelines, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492132/20160111_Consultation_principles_final.pdf

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Culture: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many meetings Ministers and civil servants in his Department have had with Ministers and civil servants in the Department for Communities and Local Government on the impact of the local government financial settlement on local arts and culture organisations and projects.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 03 February 2016

DCMS and CLG Ministers and officials regularly discuss matters of shared interest including arts, culture and public libraries.

Q
(Oxford East)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policy on Bahrain of the analysis and conclusions of the report by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, entitled Shattering the Façade, published in November 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We have noted the report by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain which assesses the progress the Government of Bahrain is making against the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry Report (BICI). In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council presented similar findings by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. That is why we continue to encourage plus support the Government of Bahrain in ensuring full implementation of the BICI recommendations, as well as those accepted in their UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review. We are offering UK assistance to help them achieve this.

Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Haiti: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications of the cancellation of presidential elections in Haiti.
A
Answered by: Mr Hugo Swire
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The postponement of the second round of the Presidential elections in Haiti is regrettable and given the uncertainty about what happens once President Martelly's mandate comes to an end on 7th February. The international community is pressing the Haitian authorities to set a date for the postponed second round of the Presidential elections as soon as possible. Our Embassy in Port-au-Prince continues to monitor the situation closely.

We reiterate our support for the EU Election Observer Mission's view that the first round of the Presidential elections was credible and that a second round with the top two candidates should have taken place. It is therefore important that all sides work together to agree a date for the second round as soon as possible.

Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Haiti: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the UN stabilization meeting in Haiti in maintaining security in Haiti.
A
Answered by: Mr Hugo Swire
Answered on: 03 February 2016
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office maintains close links with the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) through our Embassies in Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo, and our offices at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. MINUSTAH has made a significant contribution to Haiti’s stability and law and order. However the main focus now should be continuing to build the capacity of the justice sectors and Haitian National Police to allow the Haitian government to take responsibility for their own national security.
Q
(Oxford East)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to advance democratic rights in Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Governance of Bahrain is a matter for all political parties in Bahrain. That is why we encourage all political parties, including Al Wefaq who boycotted elections in November 2014, to engage constructively in political dialogue in order to reach an inclusive political settlement. Although we were disappointed by the opposition’s decision to boycott the 2014 elections, we commended the participation of a broad range of candidates which saw 14 independent Shia candidates win seats, of which three were women.

We regularly discuss human rights and reform with the Government of Bahrain including at the biannual UK-Bahrain Joint Working Group meeting which was most recently held in November 2015. Reform programme activities delivered through the Causeway Institute have used lessons from Northern Ireland to improve community outreach and communication – particularly to a youth audience.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of the NHS' budget is spent on research and campaigns on (a) gender-specific cancers and (b) fertility treatment.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 03 February 2016

National Health Service revenue expenditure was £110.6 million in 2014/15.

The Department funds the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public. Information on total NIHR spend on research on gender-specific cancers and on fertility treatment is not available. Spend on research funded directly by the NIHR is categorised by Health Research Classification System (HRCS) health categories including ‘cancer’ and ‘reproductive health and childbirth’. There are no HRCS health sub-categories, such as for gender-specific cancers or fertility treatment.

NHS England has advised that information on campaigns spending by NHS organisations is not collected centrally.

Public Health England (PHE) has run gender-specific campaigns on breast cancer in women over 70, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer in black men as part of Be Clear on Cancer. Information on media spending for these campaigns in each of the last three complete financial years is shown in the table.

2012/13 £ million

2013/14 £ million

2014/15 £ million

Breast 70+

0.50

1.48

-

Ovarian

0.44

0.57

-

Prostate

-

-

0.07

Source: PHE

Notes:

Figures are net plus agency fees and commissions (rounded to nearest £10,000). Figures exclude VAT and Central Office of Information fees.

Media spend includes expenditure for advertising on Television, Radio, National Press, Regional Press, Out of Home (Outdoor), Cinema and Digital.

Q
Asked by Mark Durkan
(Foyle)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department of Health
Dialysis Machines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of additional dialysis beds and staff costs to the NHS in the event of NICE's review of TA 85 [ID456] of immunosuppressant agents for kidney transplant is upheld.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We have made no such estimate.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its technology appraisal guidance on immunosuppressive therapy for kidney transplant in adults. NICE consulted on its draft recommendations in August 2015 and published its final draft recommendations in December. NICE currently expects to publish its final guidance later this year.

It will be for local National Health Service organisations to consider the impact of the NICE recommendations following guidance publication. NICE will publish a resource impact assessment alongside its guidance to support local implementation of its recommendations.

Q
(Dewsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Transport
British Transport Police: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2016 to Question 20570, when the budget for the British Transport Police in 2016-17 will be established.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The British Transport Police Authority set a budget of expected expenditure and income for the year 2016-17 on 28 January 2016.

Q
(Peterborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Welfare State: Peterborough
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress his Department is making in reducing welfare dependency and increasing wages in Peterborough; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The government is making good progress in moving to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy. In Peterborough the number of people claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by over 3,400 (21%) since 2010. Average gross weekly earnings in Peterborough have risen by 12% since 2010, to £487 per week.

Q
(Dewsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
HM Treasury
Sanitary Protection: VAT
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 1.144 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, how much of the £15 million annual VAT revenue from female sanitary products has been (a) spent to date and (b) allocated for future spending; by what process the recipients of those funds are determined; and whether he plans a further round of allocations for financial year 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Initial donations from the sanitary products VAT women’s charities fund totalling £5 million have been made to support The Eve Appeal, SafeLives and Women’s Aid, and The Haven. Further donations and recipients will be announced at Budget 2016, and at future fiscal events. The £15 million annual fund will continue to run over the course of this Parliament or until the UK can apply a zero rate of VAT on sanitary products.

Charities interested in applying should email the Treasury directly at Tampontax.Fund@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk stating their interest in the fund, including an overview of the nature of their proposal and the amount they are requesting. Following this they will be given further details of the bidding process and the detailed information required.

Q
Asked by Jim McMahon
(Oldham West and Royton)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
HM Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Greater Manchester
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the value for money review of the relocation of Oldham HM Revenue and Customs Office to Manchester city centre.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office at Phoenix House, Oldham was announced for closure in February 2008 as part of HMRC’s earlier Regional Review Programme, and was partially vacated in November 2009 with the majority of staff relocating to Manchester and finally closed in May 2014.

HMRC has not undertaken a separate value for money review on the closure of the office in Oldham. The Change Programme, of which the Regional Review Programme formed part, has been reviewed by the National Audit Office as part of its role to scrutinise public spending for Parliament to assess value for money. The NAO carried out a specific review on cost reduction within HMRC in 2013. The report can be found on the attached link. https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/HMRC-reducing-cost-full-report.pdf

Q
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Mortgages
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department is making on encouraging buy-to-let mortgage lenders to allow longer tenancies in their terms and conditions.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government supports longer tenancies, and promotes them through its Model Tenancy Agreement. We have continued to encourage mortgage lenders to permit family friendly tenancies, and the majority have now changed their policies, and permit tenancies of up to two to three years.

A letter was sent to the Council for Mortgage Lenders on this subject in January 2016, urging them to encourage those lenders who have not changed their policies to do so, and to encourage lenders to promote the benefits of the Model Tenancy Agreement to their landlord customers.

Q
(Peterborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of round 2 of the Build to Rent scheme in delivering new homes; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Build-to-Rent programme has helped to catalyse funding from other sources. Developers are now proceeding with schemes that will deliver over 3,000 homes using alternative finance after having originally made an application to the Fund.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Defence Equipment: Decommissioning
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which assets his Department plans to decommission over the next 12 months.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Ministry of Defence manages a wide range of assets to support the UK Armed Forces. A list of equipment due to be decommissioned in the next 12 months is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, the following major equipment platforms are planned to be taken out of service in 2016:

Sea King Mk3, 3a, 4 and 5;

RFA Black Rover - Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fleet Support Tanker.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of (a) Tornado and (b) Typhoon aircraft in the Sustainment Fleet are (i) undergoing planned maintenance, (ii) undergoing upgrade work and (iii) held in temporary storage.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The information requested is detailed in the attached table.

The Forward Available Fleet comprises aircraft which are serviceable and those which are short-term unserviceable. Short-term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or any other rectification or technical inspection work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. Dependant on the nature of the work, aircraft may be designated as requiring either 'short-term maintenance' or 'short-term works'.

The Sustainment Fleet numbers represent those aircraft in the Depth Fleet, which comprises aircraft which are undergoing planned depth maintenance or upgrade programmes.

Decommissioning and disposal are part of the same process and are therefore grouped together.

Tornado and Typhoon Attachment Table. (Word Document, 28.59 KB)
Grouped Questions: 24356 | 24358
Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) Tornado and (b) Typhoon aircraft are (i) in the Forward Available Fleet, (ii) in the Sustainment Fleet and (iii) awaiting decommissioning or disposal.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The information requested is detailed in the attached table.

The Forward Available Fleet comprises aircraft which are serviceable and those which are short-term unserviceable. Short-term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or any other rectification or technical inspection work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. Dependant on the nature of the work, aircraft may be designated as requiring either 'short-term maintenance' or 'short-term works'.

The Sustainment Fleet numbers represent those aircraft in the Depth Fleet, which comprises aircraft which are undergoing planned depth maintenance or upgrade programmes.

Decommissioning and disposal are part of the same process and are therefore grouped together.

Tornado and Typhoon Attachment Table. (Word Document, 28.59 KB)
Grouped Questions: 24357 | 24358
Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of (a) Tornado and (b) Typhoon aircraft in the Forward Available Fleet are classed as short term unserviceable as a result of undergoing (i) short term maintenance and (ii) other short term works.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The information requested is detailed in the attached table.

The Forward Available Fleet comprises aircraft which are serviceable and those which are short-term unserviceable. Short-term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or any other rectification or technical inspection work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. Dependant on the nature of the work, aircraft may be designated as requiring either 'short-term maintenance' or 'short-term works'.

The Sustainment Fleet numbers represent those aircraft in the Depth Fleet, which comprises aircraft which are undergoing planned depth maintenance or upgrade programmes.

Decommissioning and disposal are part of the same process and are therefore grouped together.

Tornado and Typhoon Attachment Table. (Word Document, 28.59 KB)
Grouped Questions: 24357 | 24356
Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on (a) maintenance of and (b) upgrade works for (i) Tornado, (ii) Typhoon and (iii) Reaper drones in each of the last six years.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The costs of maintenance and capability upgrades for Tornado, Typhoon and the Reaper Unmanned Air System, in each of the last six financial years, are shown in the table below.

Financial year (£ million)

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Tornado: capability upgrade work

87.2

69.3

33.3

28.9

58.2

45.6

Tornado: maintenance

311.0

303.8

369.7

344.2

247.7

184.9

Typhoon: capability upgrade work

0

0

0

0

66.8

178.4

Typhoon: maintenance

392.7

475.3

499.6

294.8

313.1

460.2

Reaper: maintenance

4.8

4.8

4.8

9.8

27.1

23.5

Reaper: capability upgrade work

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.6

1.3

1.3

Note: Costs for all platforms are extracted from the equipment support programme budget.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Tornado Aircraft: Safety Measures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Tornado aircraft are fitted with the Honeywell Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II; and how many are currently being fitted with that system.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

As at 28 January 2016, 43 Tornado GR4 aircraft had been fitted with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System capability. A total of 61 Tornado GR4 aircraft will be fitted with this capability by the end of 2016, when the project is planned to be completed.

It should be noted that as far as we are aware, this is the first time ever a Collision Avoidance System has been fitted to a combat fast jet, anywhere in the world.

Grouped Questions: 24362
Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Tornado Aircraft: Safety Measures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he expects the process of fitting Tornado aircraft with the Honeywell Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II to be completed.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

As at 28 January 2016, 43 Tornado GR4 aircraft had been fitted with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System capability. A total of 61 Tornado GR4 aircraft will be fitted with this capability by the end of 2016, when the project is planned to be completed.

It should be noted that as far as we are aware, this is the first time ever a Collision Avoidance System has been fitted to a combat fast jet, anywhere in the world.

Grouped Questions: 24361
Q
Asked by Jim McMahon
(Oldham West and Royton)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Education
E-ACT Academies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to prevent the E-ACT Academy chain from dismissing community governors from its school governing bodies.
A
Answered by: Edward Timpson
Answered on: 03 February 2016

In a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), individual academies are all under the control of the trust board, as the legal entity. A trust is allowed to exercise its choice about whether and how to construct its local governing bodies for each academy. The composition of those boards and the range of functions delegated to any such boards, are all a matter for the board to determine. In all cases the board remains accountable for all of the academies in the MAT. We expect Government bodies to drive strong governance so that standards remain high. We trust these boards to decide on the most appropriate arrangements for their trust. They may choose to delegate duties to local governing bodies, but trustees maintain overall responsibility. E-ACT has reviewed its governance arrangements and is planning to change its regional and local governance structure.

The Secretary of State can intervene where a trust is in breach of its funding agreement due to a serious breakdown in governance.

Fewer, higher quality and more highly skilled boards overseeing groups of schools is central to the Government’s strategy for improving the quality of school governance. It is also the key to schools realising a wide range of other educational and financial benefits.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Libya: Islamic State
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support military efforts to tackle Islamic State in Libya.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We are extremely concerned about the growing threat from extremist groups in Libya, including Daesh. The recent attacks in the Oil Crescent and Zliten in western Libyan highlight the threat these groups pose to the stability of Libya and the region, and potentially to the UK and our interests. We are working closely with international partners to deepen our understanding of Daesh’s presence in Libya and to develop a comprehensive approach to defeating it.

This includes working closely with Libya’s neighbours to enhance their ability to protect themselves against threats from terrorists in Libya and prevent weapons’ smuggling across the region.

We continue to urge all Libyans to unite against these extremists. A lasting and inclusive political agreement and the establishment of a Government of National Accord (GNA) is the best way to tackle the threat in the long term. Engaging with the new Libyan Government on this issue will be a high priority.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Libya: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help stabilise Libya.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 03 February 2016

I welcome the important progress that has been made towards the establishment of the new Libyan government. Along with the UN and our international partners, we continue to urge all parties to resolve remaining issues quickly, so that the new government can address the challenges Libya faces. The UK Government has been at the forefront of efforts to coordinate international support for a Government of National Accord (GNA).

The UK hosted a meeting with the UN in October to discuss plans for coordinated support from the international community to the GNA. Representatives of 40 countries, UN agencies, and international bodies, as well as a number of independent Libyan experts attended. This has been followed up through UN-hosted coordination meetings in Tunis. The UK will continue to support UN efforts in this area.

I spoke with Libyan PM designate Fayez Serraj on 23 January and made clear the UK remains ready to support the new Libyan Government.

Q
(Bolton North East)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS Walk-in Centres
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which NHS Walk-in Centres have closed in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Comprehensive data on walk-in centres is not collected centrally. Since 2007, the local National Health Service has been responsible for NHS walk-in-centres. It is for local commissioners to decide on the availability of these services.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Home Office
Metropolitan Police: News International
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people employed by the Metropolitan Police Service are former employees of News International.
A
Answered by: Mike Penning
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Home Office does not hold data centrally on the number of people employed by the Metropolitan Police Service who were former employees of News International.

Individual police forces in England and Wales are responsible for deciding when and how they run their recruitment and selection processes.

Decisions on whether to recruit individuals are for the chief officer of the police force concerned.

Q
(Luton South)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Transport
Luton Airport: Railways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to improve the frequency of services to Luton Airport Parkway in the 2018 East Midlands franchise specification.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Detailed work on the 2018 East Midlands franchise specification will begin in the Spring, and as with all franchise competitions, a public consultation exercise will take place later this year to help inform the specification for the next long-term franchise.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Transport
Shipping: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many seafarer (a) cadets and (b) ratings were trained by shipping companies operating in the UK in each year since 2000-01.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) does not collate figures for seafarer cadets and ratings who have been trained by shipping companies operating in the UK.

However, the MCA does collate the number of new cadets, the number of cadets in training and the number of trainee watch ratings who start training each year and these can be found in the tables below.

The figures in Table 1 show the number of cadets supported by the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme who started training in each year since 2000-01.

Year

Officer cadets currently in training

Number of which are SMarT1 new entrants

2000/01

1020

470

2001/02

1010

450

2002/03

1000

560

2003/04

1030

660

2004/05

1050

560

2005/06

1110

570

2006/07

1430

690

2007/08

1700

850

2008/09

1800

930

2009/10

1830

750

2010/11

1840

850

2011/12

1900

900

2012/13

1990

780

2013/14

1940

790

2014/15

1920

820

Table 1: UK officer cadets under SMarT1 scheme (1999-2015)

These figures are derived from SMarT returns for SMarT1 training and may include a small number of EU trainees resident in the UK. Numbers are rounded to nearest 10.

The figures in Table 2 below show the number of watch rating trainees who have been supported by SMarT each year since 2011-12. The data held by the MCA for ratings training prior to 2011-12 includes concessionaire training and does not provide an accurate reflection of watch rating training.

Year

Watch Rating Trainees

2011/12

32

2012/13

13

2013/14

12

2014/15

4

Q
(Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Plymouth
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much real estate the Government owns in Plymouth.
A
Answered by: Matthew Hancock
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government owns the following properties in Plymouth:

  • Buildings : 8 Freeholds, 21 leaseholds and 8 Private Finance Initiatives
  • Land: 7 freeholds and 4 leaseholds

Details available at the following website: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/epims.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Voluntary Work: Bolton West
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many young people have taken part in the National Citizen Service in Bolton West constituency.
A
Answered by: Mr Rob Wilson
Answered on: 03 February 2016

National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth programme for a century and over 200,000 young people across the UK have already taken part in this life changing opportunity. I am pleased to report that in the local authority areas of Bolton and Wigan, 1,962 and 676 young people have taken part respectively. NCS data is not held on constituency basis.

Grouped Questions: 24410
Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Voluntary Work: Greater Manchester
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many young people in (a) Bolton borough and (b) Wigan borough have taken part in the National Citizen Service.
A
Answered by: Mr Rob Wilson
Answered on: 03 February 2016

National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth programme for a century and over 200,000 young people across the UK have already taken part in this life changing opportunity. I am pleased to report that in the local authority areas of Bolton and Wigan, 1,962 and 676 young people have taken part respectively. NCS data is not held on constituency basis.

Grouped Questions: 24396
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Council Tax
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the distributional analysis of the introduction of the two per cent social care precept.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government announced on 17 December 2015, Official Report, Column 2238-2241, that local authorities with social care responsibilities will be able to increase their council tax by up to 2% above the core referendum principle of 2%. This could raise up to £2 billion by 2019/20. We set out a breakdown by local authority as part of the announcement which can be viewed at the following link or in the attached document:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486708/Core_spending_power_supporting_information.xlsx

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has for call-in and scrutiny arrangements for the work of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
A
Answered by: James Wharton
Answered on: 03 February 2016

I refer the hon. member to my answer of 19 January, PQ 921796 and would add that the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill received Royal Assent on 28 January.

The provisions of that Act, including those on overview and scrutiny, are now in force for the purposes of making secondary legislation and for all other purposes will come into force two months after Royal Assent. My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Greg Clark) intends to exercise his powers to make further provision about the membership and operation of overview and scrutiny committees as soon as practicable.

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[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: 27 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many (a) kilometres of duct and (b) poles have been installed with financial support from BDUK.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 03 February 2016
Openreach predominately uses existing duct and pole infrastructure in BDUK project areas, but where state funded infrastructure has been used, they report it on their website at: https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/ductandpolesharing/contracts/contracts/downloads/State_Aided_Infrastruture_One_Truth.xlsx
Q
(Blaydon)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on what grounds Experts by Experience was not considered under TUPE arrangements when Remploy took over its contracts.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has advised that it has taken into account the application of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 in the new contracts with Choice Support and Remploy Ltd.

The CQC issued a press release on 28 January 2016 on this matter. It advised that the CQC’s contractual discussions with Remploy Ltd and Choice Support are still ongoing. The CQC understand that Remploy has now written to Experts by Experience confirming they will pay an hourly rate of £15 for the first six months of the contract - commencing 1 February 2016.

Departmental Ministers have not received any representations about the importance of Experts by Experience in the National Health Service or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience.

The Department has not received any direct correspondence about the importance of Experts by Experience in the NHS or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience. We are, however, aware of one email on this subject that the Department has been copied into that was sent to the CQC.

Grouped Questions: 24515 | 24518
Q
(Blaydon)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received about the importance of Experts by Experience in the NHS.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has advised that it has taken into account the application of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 in the new contracts with Choice Support and Remploy Ltd.

The CQC issued a press release on 28 January 2016 on this matter. It advised that the CQC’s contractual discussions with Remploy Ltd and Choice Support are still ongoing. The CQC understand that Remploy has now written to Experts by Experience confirming they will pay an hourly rate of £15 for the first six months of the contract - commencing 1 February 2016.

Departmental Ministers have not received any representations about the importance of Experts by Experience in the National Health Service or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience.

The Department has not received any direct correspondence about the importance of Experts by Experience in the NHS or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience. We are, however, aware of one email on this subject that the Department has been copied into that was sent to the CQC.

Grouped Questions: 24514 | 24518
Q
(Blaydon)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received on the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has advised that it has taken into account the application of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 in the new contracts with Choice Support and Remploy Ltd.

The CQC issued a press release on 28 January 2016 on this matter. It advised that the CQC’s contractual discussions with Remploy Ltd and Choice Support are still ongoing. The CQC understand that Remploy has now written to Experts by Experience confirming they will pay an hourly rate of £15 for the first six months of the contract - commencing 1 February 2016.

Departmental Ministers have not received any representations about the importance of Experts by Experience in the National Health Service or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience.

The Department has not received any direct correspondence about the importance of Experts by Experience in the NHS or the level of payments by Remploy to Experts by Experience. We are, however, aware of one email on this subject that the Department has been copied into that was sent to the CQC.

Grouped Questions: 24514 | 24515
Q
Asked by Martyn Day
(Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for International Development
Armed Conflict: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to discuss the issue of education for children in areas of conflict at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016; and what plans she has to ensure children have access to education in those areas.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Education will be a significant theme in the World Humanitarian Summit and we will use this opportunity to promote our aims to improve learning outcomes, to reach all children in fragile states, and to keep girls in school.

DFID supports children overseas to go school and continuing learning even when they are forced from their homes. This includes our flagship £355 million Girls’ Education Challenge that will enable up to 1 million more of the world’s most marginalised girls to benefit from an education of sufficient quality and transform their lives. In addition, DFID is supporting improvements to how the international community provides education in emergencies, including support for the ‘No Lost Generation’ Initiative to provide over 251,000 Syrian children with formal and informal education inside Syria and in the region, allowing them to catch up on lost learning time and sit public school examinations.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for International Development
Gurkhas: Homelessness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance the Government has given to former Gurkhas who are homeless as a result of recent earthquakes in Nepal.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

A Joint DFID and Ministry of Defence (MOD) response was launched immediately in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquakes in April and May 2015. The MOD through the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) supported both immediate and longer term initiatives. The GWT carried out a detailed assessment of the damage to Gurkha communities and provided £1.2 million in emergency aid that included distribution of shelter kits, tarpaulins and corrugated iron sheets in remote areas immediately in the aftermath of the earthquake. In addition, a unit of the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers was deployed to repair and rebuild the homes and communities of approximately 2,200 Gurkha servicemen that were severely damaged by the earthquake. To date, 150 new houses, built to an earthquake resistant design, are under construction and a further 600 houses will be started this year. DFID has been supplying humanitarian assistance to the Gurkha communities hit by the earthquake since April 2015 and continues to do so.

The GWT’s commitments for the earthquake response now stand at £19 million over 5 years. The MOD has provided an additional grant of £512,000 to assist the GWT in its on-going response operations. Between 2012-20 DFID has committed £14.19 million to support the GWT’s Gurkha Welfare Scheme, a programme predominantly supporting the Nepali servicemen and their communities, on water and sanitation programmes.

Q
Asked by Julian Knight
(Solihull)
[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: 27 January 2016
Department for International Development
Bangladesh: Vocational Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to (a) help up-skill and (b) provide technical education for the Bangladeshi workforce.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

DFID is supporting the upskilling of the Bangladeshi workforce through several projects in both the informal and formal sectors. Through our support to the Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programme, a local educational institution, nearly 45, 000 children have received general education and over 13, 000 have received technical and vocational training. Of the latter, 90% have been placed in formal employment or become self-employed. The programme focuses on working children in slums who dropped out of school.

DFID also launched ‘the Skills and Employment Programme in Bangladesh’ in October 2015. The programme aims to provide private sector training opportunities, with a particular focus on supporting women and disadvantaged populations, in the ready-made garments and construction sectors.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Ministry of Justice
Miscarriages of Justice: Prisoners' Release
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been released from custodial sentences as a result of wrongful convictions in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Mike Penning
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Ministry of Justice does not hold the number of people released from custodial sentences as a result of wrongful convictions in England and Wales. Obtaining this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Julie Cooper
(Burnley)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Leader of the House
Opening of Parliament
Commons
To ask the Leader of the House, what date is planned for the State Opening of Parliament in 2016.
A
Answered by: Chris Grayling
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The date for the next State Opening of Parliament will be announced by Written Statement in the usual way.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2015 to Question 902477, when he expects the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information to publish its review of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
A
Answered by: Matthew Hancock
Answered on: 03 February 2016

It is for the independent Commission to determine the timing for submitting its response to Government.

Q
(South Shields)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Funerals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the total annual costs to local authorities were for public health funerals in each year between 2010 and 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Department for Communities and Local Government does not collect the information requested. Figures on local authority expenditure on, and income from, the provision of cemetery, cremation and mortuary services, including closed churchyards and post-mortem services within mortuaries, are collected on the Revenue Outturn form and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2014-to-2015-individual-local-authority-data-outturn

Q
(Calder Valley)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Ministry of Defence
Royal Naval Reserve: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people applied to join the Royal Navy Reserve in each of the last 10 years; and how many such applicants were successful.
A
Answered by: Mr Julian Brazier
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Maritime Reserve (MR) is a vital component of the Naval Service’s capability and consists of the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve.

Defence Statistics publish information on a regular basis showing intake figures for the Armed Forces, including Regular Naval Service personnel. The most recent information is contained in 'UK Armed Forces Monthly Service Personnel Statistics: December 2015' and associated tables, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-monthly-service-personnel-statistics-index.

UK Armed Forces Monthly Service Personnel Statistics: 1 January 2016 will be published on 11 February 2016.

The following table represents the number of applications and intake to the MR for the period for which information is available:

Financial Year

2013-14

2014-15

April 2015 to September 2015

Applications to MR

1,180

1,280

900

MR New Entrant Intake

510

620

390

Notes:

1. Source: Defence Statistics (Navy).

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 in accordance with the Defence Statistics rounding policy.

3. Information prior to Financial Year 2013-14 is not held centrally.

4. New Entrants reflect any intake into the untrained strength, and comprise new recruits, ex-Regulars and Reserve re-joiners who required training.

5. Figures relate to the number of applications received and not the number of applicants, since one applicant may make several applications.

6. The number of applications received does not necessarily directly relate to the intake figures in the same year since people may withdraw their applications for a number of reasons and the time between an application being received and an individual successfully being taken onto untrained strength will vary.

Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Neonicotinoids: EU Action
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22708, on neonicotinoids: EU action, when she expects the EU Commission to report back its findings; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The European Food Safety Authority has undertaken to complete its assessment for the European Commission by 31 January 2017. The Commission will then consider whether this assessment requires any change to the current restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids. It has not committed to a timescale for this.

Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Insecticides
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effects of the use of pyrethroids on crops and invertebrates.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Pyrethroids are a group of chemicals used to control insect pests in crops. As with all pesticides, pyrethroids are subject to strict regulation and the use of a pyrethroid is only authorised if it will not harm people, will not give rise to unacceptable risks to the environment and is effective against the target pest.

Decisions are made on the basis of assessments of scientific data. This is a two-tier process. The pyrethroid itself is assessed by the European Food Safety Authority. Products containing approved pyrethroids are assessed by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive. There are currently several pyrethroids approved at EU level. A number of products containing one or more of these chemicals are authorised in the UK following a satisfactory risk assessment.

Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further plans they have to ensure universal access to affordable credit.
A
Answered by: Lord Freud
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Government is funding a £38 million Credit Union Expansion Project to enable the credit union sector to improve access to affordable credit.

Government will also continue to support the development of cross sector partnerships to raise awareness and accessibility of affordable credit.

Q
Asked by Mr Jamie Reed
(Copeland)
Asked on: 29 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Public Sector: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how Government targets for the proportion of business created in supply chains for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) under public procurement contracts apply to companies subject to mergers, acquisitions or other changes in status that take those companies out of the SME category.
A
Answered by: Matthew Hancock
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government has a target that 33% of central government business, by direct spend and through the supply chain, will go to small and medium businesses by 2020.

We assess progress against the overall target on a regular basis, including an assessment of those companies identified as Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Where companies no longer meet the statutory definition of an SME at the time of assessment, they are no longer counted.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Public Sector: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to bring forward a revised procurement policy note for public authorities; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Matthew Hancock
Answered on: 03 February 2016

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave to him on 1 February 2016 to UIN: 24475.

Q
(Lincoln)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
HM Treasury
Golf: VAT
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to put in place a five per cent rate of VAT to golf participants at proprietary golf facilities.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Fees paid for participation in golf at proprietary facilities are subject to the standard rate of VAT.

Q
(Lincoln)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
HM Treasury
Golf: VAT
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department has received on allowing a five per cent rate of VAT to golf participants at proprietary golf facilities.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

HM Treasury has received representations on applying a five per cent rate of VAT to golf from both the Association of Golf Course Owners, the Reduce VAT in Sport campaign group, the UK Golf Course Owners Association, and England Golf.

Q
Asked by Jim McMahon
(Oldham West and Royton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
HM Treasury
Google: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the legal advice he received prior to the tax settlement with Google.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 03 February 2016

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for the conduct of tax enquiries. Ministers are not informed of the progress of enquiries and play no part in agreeing the amount of tax to be paid by any taxpayer.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether marketing standards conformity certificates issued by Israel covering consignments of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the occupied Palestinian territories indicate that the products they cover originate in Israel.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Horticultural Marketing Inspectors have no reason to believe that these certificates do not contain correct information. In 2012, the European Commission announced that their research into Israeli/Palestinian export certificates “did not reveal any evidence of non-conformity regarding the indication of the country of origin”. The Commission also reaffirmed the requirement that the origin needed to be clearly indicated whether it was Israel or an Occupied Territory.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Imports: Fruit and Vegetables
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is part of the remit of the Rural Payments Agency to check the conformity to EU marketing standards of consignments of fresh fruit and vegetables entering UK ports.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 03 February 2016

All fruit and vegetables must meet the EU marketing standards in Regulation 543/2011. These standards require that fruit and vegetables which are intended to be sold fresh to the consumer, may only be marketed if they are of sound, fair and marketable quality and if the country of origin is indicated. Horticultural Marketing Inspectors are part of the Rural Payments Agency and carry out these inspections for Her Majesty’s Government.

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department of Health
Dementia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether all newly-appointed healthcare assistants and social care support workers receive training on dementia as part of the Care Certificate process.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

As of 1 April 2015, all new health care assistants and social care support workers are expected to attain the new Care Certificate within their first 12 weeks of employment. In order to do so, each new worker must demonstrate to their employer that they meet all 15 of the Care Certificate standards of fundamental skills and knowledge. Standard 9 of the Care Certificate concerns awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities.

In meeting this standard, each worker must show that they understand: the needs and experiences of people with mental health conditions, dementia or learning disabilities; the importance of promoting their health and wellbeing; the adjustments which may be necessary in delivering their care; and the importance of early detection. They must also prove that they understand the legal context, including mental capacity considerations.

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department of Health
Dementia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of (i) NHS staff, (ii) healthcare assistants and (iii) social care support workers have received training on dementia in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Department does not collect data centrally on how many National Health Service staff, healthcare assistants and social care support workers have received training on dementia. This information is held locally.

Q
(Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department of Health
Muscular Dystrophy: Clinical Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of clinical trial capacity at muscle centres.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 03 February 2016

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I provided on 13 January 2016 to Question 21102.

Q
(Hammersmith)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department of Health
Health Services: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the Independent Healthcare Commission for North West London, published in December 2015.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Government is clear the reconfiguration of front line health services is a matter for the local National Health Service. Services should be tailored to meet the needs of the local population and proposals for substantial service change must meet the four tests of reconfiguration which are (i) support from general practitioner commissioners (ii) strengthened public and patient engagement (iii) clarity on the clinical evidence base (iv) support for patient choice.

It is right that reconfiguration is led by the local NHS, working closely with the support of commissioners including NHS England, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor.

We are advised that on 14 January 2016, the North West London Clinical Board considered the Independent Healthcare Commission report for North West London and its recommendations of the Shaping a Healthier Future programme.

We understand that the board welcomed this public scrutiny of the plans and agreed with the report that the programme should continue to engage with the public, local authorities, patient groups and other partners. The unanimous conclusion of the board’s clinicians was that the report offered no substantive evidence or credible alternative to consider that would lead to better outcomes for patients in North West London above the existing plans in place, which are designed by doctors based on significant clinical data, evidence and experience.

Q
(Rotherham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Home Office
Crimes of Violence: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what account her Department will take of women (a) with mental health needs, (b) who are homeless, (c) who are living in poverty and (d) who have other complex needs in its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.
A
Answered by: Karen Bradley
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Home Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
Asked by Tim Loughton
(East Worthing and Shoreham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Home Office
Marriage Certificates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason she has not yet brought forward proposals to include the names of mothers on their children's marriage certificates.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Home Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Hammersmith)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Dogs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many trained dogs have been injured while working in prisons in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Information relating to injuries sustained by dogs working in prisons is not centrally collated and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Johnny Mercer
(Plymouth, Moor View)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 January 2016
Department for Transport
Railways: South West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the GRIP 2 studies required for the Peninsula Rail Task Force's survey will be available in order for the survey to be completed in June 2016.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Department for Transport officials are working with Network Rail and the Peninsula Rail Task Force within the context of the changes that will come from Hendy re-profiling and the Bowe review to establish which further studies are required to inform the Peninsula Rail Task Force report of June 2016 and the funding that could be available to support this development work.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 01 February 2016
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Soft Drinks
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions (a) the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and (b) the Paymaster General have had with representatives of (i) the Food and Drink Federation, (ii) Coca-Cola, (iii) PepsiCo and (iv) the British Soft Drinks Association.
A
Answered by: Matthew Hancock
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Details of Ministers' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and can be found on Gov.uk.

Q
Asked by Neil Parish
(Tiverton and Honiton)
Asked on: 01 February 2016
Department for Energy and Climate Change
Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent progress she has made on the implementation of a revised Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.
A
Answered by: Andrea Leadsom
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Reform of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will take place in two stages. I intend that the first stage of reform will take effect from Spring 2016. We will be consulting on our proposals for the second stage of reform shortly.

Q
Asked by Neil Parish
(Tiverton and Honiton)
Asked on: 01 February 2016
Department for Energy and Climate Change
Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment she has made of the effect of the Renewable Heat Incentive on the UK's decarbonisation targets.
A
Answered by: Andrea Leadsom
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Using less fossil fuel and more renewables to heat our homes and businesses is vital to decarbonising the UK economy. The continued Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) funding (rising to £1.15bn in 2020/21) means that renewable heat will continue to play its part in meeting our binding domestic and international targets on carbon and renewables.

We intend to reform the RHI to improve value for money and reduce costs; improve cost control and budget management; and explore the best way to support less able to pay households and owners of large plants. We plan to consult on the changes shortly; this consultation will provide estimates of the reformed RHI’s contribution towards our carbon targets.

Q
Asked by Ms Karen Buck
(Westminster North)
Asked on: 01 February 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Carer's Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households will be exempted from the household benefit cap in 2015-16 due to the claimant being in receipt of carer's allowance (a) in total and (b) in each English local authority.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 03 February 2016

In 2015-16 no households will be exempt from the benefit cap due to a claimant being in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. The exemption from the benefit cap for those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will be introduced later this year, subject to Parliamentary approval.

Q
Asked by Andy McDonald
(Middlesbrough)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
West Bank: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the humanitarian effect of the planning process in Area C of the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

According to the UN, Palestinians in the OPTs face a range of serious threats including threats to life, destruction of homes and forced displacement. Planning helps stop demolitions and displacement, which have a negative humanitarian impact and continue to undermine development. The UK strongly supports development of Area C and continues to fund the development of Palestinian outline plans to improve communities’ access to services.

Q
(Luton North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her Department's aid policy of the research on global income distribution published by Oxfam on 19 January 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Eradicating extreme poverty is central to DFID’s mission and the Sustainable Development Goals. Oxfam say inequality affects the politics around growth. Our economic development strategy takes account of this by supporting inclusive growth and tackling inequality by creating opportunities, widening access to them (including through education and health), economically empowering women and leaving no-one behind.

Q
Asked by Wendy Morton
(Aldridge-Brownhills)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how she plans to implement the cross-governmental aid strategy.
A
Answered by: Justine Greening
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The UK aid strategy sets out our strategy to defeat poverty, tackle instability and create prosperity in developing countries. Not only is this the right thing to do; it is also strongly in our national interest. For the first time ever, development is becoming a truly cross-Government agenda and I am working with my colleagues to deliver that.

Q
(Cardiff North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
Syria: International Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the Government's objectives are for the Syria Donors Conference on 4 February 2016.
A
Answered by: Justine Greening
Answered on: 03 February 2016

We want the Conference to raise significant new funding to help those affected by the crisis, both to support immediate and longer term humanitarian needs but also jobs and getting Syrian refugee children into school. The Conference also aims to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to protect civilians from harm and the need for unfettered, impartial humanitarian access inside Syria.

Q
(Wirral West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
Refugees: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what humanitarian support the Government is providing for refugee children.
A
Answered by: Justine Greening
Answered on: 03 February 2016

Syria is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. The UK has pledged over £1.1 billion and is meeting emergency needs of children and supporting them to stay closer to home. At tomorrow’s Syria Conference I expect leaders will agree a new goal that all refugee children from Syria and affected host country children are in education in 2016/17. Last week, my Department also announced a new £10 million fund to help meet the needs of refugee children in Europe and the Balkans.

Q
Asked by Danny Kinahan
(South Antrim)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Agriculture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to develop agriculture education links with countries that would benefit from UK expertise.
A
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 03 February 2016

The Department for International Development has supported Partnership Projects covering agriculture and veterinary sciences, across 17 developing countries linking UK Universities and developing country institutions. We have funded research programmes for collaborative projects between UK researchers and partners in Africa and Asia at postgraduate level.

Q
Asked by Alex Chalk
(Cheltenham)
Asked on: 21 October 2015
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Saudi Arabia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what prison training his Department has provided to prison services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 02 February 2016

Details are fully documented in the NAO’s report into JSi, available here: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/investigation-into-just-solutions-international/

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 17 December 2015
Department of Health
Nurses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ensure that records of the training history of the nurses convicted at Nursing and Midwifery Council hearings are kept on the same basis as such data in such cases by the General Medical Council.
A
Corrected answer by: Ben Gummer
Corrected on: 02 February 2016
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 11 January 2016.
The correct answer should have been:

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent regulator of nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom. The NMC is responsible for delivery of its statutory functions including maintaining a register of all nurses and midwives eligible to work in the UK and for pursuing fitness to practise investigations against its registrants in the interests of public protection.

On each of the NMC and General Medical Council (GMC) websites there is a facility to search the professional registers and to check the registration status of a registrant. Where an NMC registrant has been struck-off the register, their record is removed from the register and they would not be found on a register search. However, the NMC does publish information about fitness to practise (FtP) allegations, hearings, outcomes and sanctions elsewhere on its website in accordance with its FtP publication and disclosure policy. Where a GMC registrant is erased from the medical register, their record remains and could be found in a register search with details of the FtP sanction. Both of these regulators maintain public records about individuals who have been struck off or erased from their professional registers and these records are available through their respective websites.

It is a matter for the regulators themselves to determine how they manage their publication and disclosure policy in relation to fitness to practice, within the legislative frameworks in which they operate.

A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 11 January 2016

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent regulator of nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom. The NMC is responsible for delivery of its statutory functions including maintaining a register of all nurses and midwives eligible to work in the UK and for pursuing fitness to practise investigations against its registrants in the interests of public protection.

On each of the NMC and General Medical Council (GMC) websites there is a facility to search the professional registers and to check the registration status of a registrant. Where an NMC registrant has been struck-off the register, their record is removed from the register and they would not be found on a register search. However, the NMC does publish information about fitness to practise (FtP) allegations, hearings, outcomes and sanctions elsewhere on its website in accordance with its FtP publication and disclosure policy. Where a GMC registrant is erased from the medical register, their record remains and could be found in a register search with details of the FtP sanction. Both of these regulators maintain public records about individuals who have been struck off or erased from their professional registers and these records are available through their respective websites.

It is a matter for the regulators themselves to determine how they manage their publication and disclosure policy in relation to fitness to practice, within the legislative frameworks in which they operate.

Q
Asked by Lord Rennard
Asked on: 11 January 2016
Cabinet Office
Electoral Register
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of research from the University of East Anglia forecasting that the introduction of Individual Voter Registration will lead to a decline in levels of electoral registration.
A
Answered on: 02 February 2016

The Government is aware of research by the University of East Anglia into Individual Electoral Registration (IER) that was submitted to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in 2011. The electoral registers used for the 2015 General Election contained over 400,000 more entries than the last registers published prior to the introduction of IER. As such, suggestions that IER would lead to a decline in registration levels were proved incorrect.

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