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
(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
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