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 on: 21 January 2016
Department of Health
Cancer
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to increase awareness of different cancers and their symptoms through media sources, specifically radio, television, and internet advertising; and to encourage people with possible symptoms or concerns to visit their GP.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Public Health England (PHE) runs Be Clear on Cancer campaigns which are designed to raise the public’s awareness of specific cancer symptoms and encourage people with those symptoms to go to the doctor and diagnose cancer at an earlier stage.

Be Clear on Cancer campaigns are tested at a local and regional level and are subject to a comprehensive evaluation process, the results of which are assessed thoroughly before a decision is taken on whether to run campaigns nationally throughout England.

The campaigns run across a range of the media. Television advertising is commonly used as it is shown to be the best way to reach the target audience of people over the age of 50. Radio, press and outdoor advertising are used as supplementary channels, where appropriate for the audience. PHE has recently begun to advertise online, with a particular focus on social media such as Facebook, as audiences are increasingly using these services.

PHE works closely with the Department and NHS England to ensure that healthcare professionals are also targeted with campaign information to encourage earlier diagnoses and referrals.

To date, there have been national campaigns on Lung, Bowel, Bladder and Kidney, Oesophago-gastric cancers and Breast Cancer in older women. The next Be Clear on Cancer campaign will be “Blood in Pee” as a symptom of bladder and kidney cancers.

Q
Asked on: 21 January 2016
Department of Health
Health Services: Older People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of possible causes that may prevent the elderly, especially men, from seeking advice on health; and what steps they are taking to address this both (1) nationally, and (2) in North Lincolnshire.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 04 February 2016

In 2013, Public Health England (PHE) was established to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities, working with national and local government, the National Health Service, industry, academia, the public and the voluntary and community sector.

PHE encourages local authorities to prioritise NHS Health Check invitations to individuals with the greatest health risk which includes older men.

PHE Social Marketing has also conducted qualitative research amongst older adults (aged 50+), including elderly men, on the factors that influence early diagnosis (including barriers to help seeking) for the development of our Be Clear on Cancer, Breathlessness, Inflammatory Arthritis and Blood Pressure campaigns. The findings of this work have been incorporated into the campaign strategies, messaging and local partnership activity for all campaigns.

Grouped Questions: HL5352
Q
Asked on: 21 January 2016
Department of Health
Health Services: Older People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further assistance they plan to make available to local authorities to increase contact with target groups such as the elderly, specifically men, who do not seek advice on health.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 04 February 2016

In 2013, Public Health England (PHE) was established to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities, working with national and local government, the National Health Service, industry, academia, the public and the voluntary and community sector.

PHE encourages local authorities to prioritise NHS Health Check invitations to individuals with the greatest health risk which includes older men.

PHE Social Marketing has also conducted qualitative research amongst older adults (aged 50+), including elderly men, on the factors that influence early diagnosis (including barriers to help seeking) for the development of our Be Clear on Cancer, Breathlessness, Inflammatory Arthritis and Blood Pressure campaigns. The findings of this work have been incorporated into the campaign strategies, messaging and local partnership activity for all campaigns.

Grouped Questions: HL5351
Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[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: 25 January 2016
Home Office
Clearsprings Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints her Department has received regarding services provided under contract by Clearsprings from (a) service users and (b) external parties in each of the last six years.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 04 February 2016
Holding answer received on 28 January 2016

Within the terms of the contracts for asylum accommodation the accommodation provider is required to respond to and address complaints from service users and external parties in the first instance. Where a service user or external party is dissatisfied with the response or the measures taken to address their complaint, the complainant may escalate the issue to the Home Office.

In the years 2010 to 2015 the Home Office has received 60 complaints in total regarding services provided under contract by Clearsprings Ready Homes, broken down by each of the last six years as follows:

Year No. of complaints

2010 0

2011 0

2012 0

2013 1

2014 0

2015 59

The complaints have not been categorised to distinguish whether the complainant was a service user or external party.

On receipt, each complaint is considered, investigated and addressed. If after investigation the Home Office determines that a complaint demonstrates a failure of the contractor to comply with the required standards and the contractor fails to address the complaint there are a range of contractual sanctions that the Home Office can and do impose.

The Home Office is working with contractors to undertake profiling and trend analysis of complaints, including why there was an increase in 2015. The Home Office is also assessing whether the existing channels are sufficiently capturing service user and external party concerns.

Q
Asked by Jack Dromey
(Birmingham, Erdington)
[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: 25 January 2016
Home Office
Action Fraud
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions officials from her Department have had with the City of London Police on the performance of Action Fraud in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016
Holding answer received on 28 January 2016

The City of London Police (CoLP) is subject to ongoing scrutiny, in terms of both performance and financial management of the Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau capabilities; this is an explicit condition of the funding arrangements. CoLP is also subject to a Ministerially approved improvement plan, which is overseen by officials, who meet CoLP on a regular basis to monitor progress and to ensure delivery.

We have seen significant improvement in performance; official figures show reports of fraud have trebled since Action Fraud was rolled out nationally, addressing the concern that fraud was an underreported crime type. The number of crime packages disseminated to local forces to consider investigation has also increased significantly, raising from around 40,000 in 13/14 to 75,000 in 14/15.

Q
(Sheffield Central)
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Home Office
Detention Centres
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions she has visited an Immigration Removal Centre since becoming Home Secretary.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Home Secretary and Home Office Ministers conduct visits, and host meetings, on the whole spectrum of Home Office business regularly. As with the previous administration, it is our policy not to provide details of such visits.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Sports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish results against each of the key performance indicators highlighted in the policy document Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Information on the key performance indicators set out in Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation will be included in the annual progress report to parliament planned for December 2016. It will include results of surveys, including Active Lives and Taking Part, and competitions, like the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be available in the course of the year.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Islamic State
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 22 January (HL4827), what are the contents of those statements by the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, and where those statements are published.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Statements made by the Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect are published on the UN website.

The statements cover a range of issues including incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds; urging against rhetoric that escalates the risk of violence against religious communities; expressing concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria; expressing outrage at speeches and media articles that dehumanise Alawites and Christians; expressing alarm at reports of the abduction of 1,500 Yazidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls; expressing concern at the situation of religious and other minorities, noting that members of the Christian community were fleeing the northern city of Mosul following the Daesh-led invasion; urging leaders in the wider region to refrain from using or condoning any language that may escalate sectarian tension; calling on all actors to condemn hate speech that could constitute incitement to violence against communities based on their religious affiliation.

The complete statements are attached to this response, and the link to the website is provided below for your ease of reference: http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/statements.shtml

UN Special Adviser Statements (PDF Document, 232.65 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL5364
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Islamic State
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 22 January (HL4827), in the light of the statements of the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, in their press releases on Islamophobia (Dec 2015), some religious leaders’ incitement to Holy War (Sept 2015), bombing by the Assad regime (June 2015), and concerns about people caught in Yarmouk (April 2015), where their statements about the murder, abduction, enslavement and genocide of Christians and Yazidis appear.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Statements made by the Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect are published on the UN website.

The statements cover a range of issues including incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds; urging against rhetoric that escalates the risk of violence against religious communities; expressing concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria; expressing outrage at speeches and media articles that dehumanise Alawites and Christians; expressing alarm at reports of the abduction of 1,500 Yazidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls; expressing concern at the situation of religious and other minorities, noting that members of the Christian community were fleeing the northern city of Mosul following the Daesh-led invasion; urging leaders in the wider region to refrain from using or condoning any language that may escalate sectarian tension; calling on all actors to condemn hate speech that could constitute incitement to violence against communities based on their religious affiliation.

The complete statements are attached to this response, and the link to the website is provided below for your ease of reference: http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/statements.shtml

UN Special Adviser Statements (PDF Document, 232.65 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL5363
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Transport
Railways: Directors
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether current railway legislation permits a managing director of a railway undertaking to hold a senior management position on the infrastructure management company on which that railway undertaking operates.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Current railway legislation does not prohibit an arrangement of this sort. However, railway legislation contains safeguards designed to prevent conflicts of interests arising in respect of infrastructure management and the management of railway undertakings, particularly as regards the allocation of track access rights and the determination of charges. It would be for the infrastructure manager to satisfy themselves that such an arrangement complies with all relevant legislation.

Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Transport
Railways: Franchises
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of how their work on the governance part of the European Fourth railway package will facilitate UK train operating companies being able to tender for and be awarded rail franchises in a fair and transparent manner.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The government continues to work on the market pillar of the EU Fourth Railway Package, consisting of the proposal to amend Directive 2012/34/EU, the “Governance proposal” and the proposal to amend Regulation EC/1370/2007, the “Public Service Obligations proposal”.

The government was able to support a General Approach on the pillar at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council on 8th October 2015. The General Approach text of the Governance proposal includes additional, proportionate provisions to ensure fair and non‑discriminatory treatment of all train operating companies, including safeguards for operators of franchises. Rules on the competitive tendering of franchises are set out in the Public Service Obligations proposal.

The government continues to work with the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the EU in their ongoing negotiations of the Package with the European Parliament.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers: Qualifications
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) teachers, and (2) Personal, Health and Social Education teachers, currently practising in schools in England, have qualified teacher status.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The latest statistics show that 96 per cent of the headcount of teachers in service in state funded schools in England (as at November 2014) have qualified teacher status.

Information on the number of teachers teaching Personal, Health and Social Education (PSHE) is only collected for secondary schools in England. Of the estimated 31,000 teachers recorded as teaching PSHE, 96 per cent were recorded as having qualified teacher status.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers: Qualifications
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many schools in England are using non-specialist teachers to cover teaching vacancies.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department does not hold this information.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trade Union Bill
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was first informed that the impact assessment for the Trade Union Bill would be delayed.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trade Union Bill
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the figures quoted in the impact assessment for the Trade Union Bill were verified by a third party.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trade Union Bill
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which special advisers have had access to drafts of the impact assessment for the Trade Union Bill.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trade Union Bill
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many drafts of the impact assessment for the Trade Union Bill there have been, and when each was completed and reviewed.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Labour Party: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what role Ministers have played in verifying the impact of clauses 10 and 11 of the Trade Union Bill on Labour Party funding.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trade Union Bill
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which special advisers have had meetings or otherwise communicated with officials conducting the impact assessment for the Trade Union Bill.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has published detailed Impact Assessments for the Bill - on the Trade Union Bill, on the Reporting of Facility Time in the Public Sector, and on the Prohibition on Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector. At a meeting with Peers in December, Ministers committed to publishing prior to the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, and they were published in good time on 21 January.

The Trade Union Bill's impact assessment has been subject to scrutiny by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, and its opinion has been published alongside the impact assessment.

They were reviewed and approved by the relevant Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. The Permanent Secretary has been kept informed of progress on all stages of the Bill.

Policy officials and analysts in both Departments have worked together to produce the impact assessments as quickly as possible while ensuring that the analysis was thorough.

We have not asked civil servants working on the Bill in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office to fill out time sheets.

We do not record which particular documents each special adviser reads. Special advisers have access to departmental papers in line with the Special Advisers' Code of Conduct and provide advice to Ministers.

I am placing copies of the relevant documentation in the Library.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Samir Awad
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel concerning the charges brought against those convicted of the killing of Samir Awad.
Answered on: 04 February 2016
We have not had any discussions with the Israeli authorities on this specific issue. However, we remain concerned about the high number of criminal investigations into fatal shootings of Palestinians that are closed without indictments. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv regularly meet senior Israeli officials in the Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, Military Advocate General’s office, State Comptroller, National Security Council and other government bodies to lobby on this issue.
Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning the claim by a resident in Bardala that the Israeli army and water company have taken their water and are selling it back to villagers.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We have not made representations on this specific issue to the Israeli authorities but are aware of the dire situation in this Palestinian village in the northern Jordan Valley area of the West Bank. We regularly raise the issue of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with the Israeli authorities, stressing the urgent need for Israel to improve this unacceptable situation and ensure fair distribution of water in the West Bank and Gaza.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding the demolition of a Palestinian tree nursery by the Israel Defence Forces that had previously been robbed by Israeli settlers.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We have not made representations on this specific issue to the Israeli authorities. We do, however, regularly raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities over demolitions and settler violence. We understand that during the most recent olive harvesting season destruction was at a lower level than previous years due to stronger coordination between the Israel Defence Forces and Palestinian local authorities. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv met Israeli government and community leaders to urge them to take action and speak out against settler violence.

Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nasser Nawaj'a
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel following the arrest and detention of Nasser Nawaj’a.
Answered on: 04 February 2016
Our Embassy in Tel Aviv has been following this case and we now understand that Nasser Nawaj’ah has been released. However, we remain concerned about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes it absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice, and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv most recently raised this matter on 3 November 2015 with Israeli officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.
Q
Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning the detention of Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Government has not raised Mr Abu Sakha’s particular case with the Israeli authorities. However, we remain concerned about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice, and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised the issue most recently on 3 November 2015 with Israeli officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many vehicle testing kits are available to the government agencies responsible for checking whether vehicles comply with EU emission standards.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Emissions type approval of new vehicles in the UK is carried out at commercially operated laboratories. There are five of these, as well as approved laboratories at manufacturers’ premises. The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) manages the approval testing of vehicles in the UK.

Additional testing which is currently being undertaken on the road uses portable emission measurement systems (PEMS). The VCA owns two PEMS kits and can hire three additional PEMS kits from the commercial laboratories.

Asked on: 25 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Exclusive Economic Zone
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the National Maritime Intelligence Centre is providing comprehensive surface coverage of the Exclusive Economic Zones of dependent territories to ensure wildlife and resource protection; and how those zones are policed, in particular around Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island and St Helena.
Answered on: 04 February 2016
The National Maritime Information Centre assist with work to investigate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing around the British Indian Ocean Territory and Pitcairn. Overseas Territories are policed in a variety of ways as marine management is a devolved responsibility. In St Helena, Ascension and Tristan de Cunha a variety of surveillance and enforcement measures are deployed, including satellite monitoring, vessel tracking, short term patrols and observer coverage of fishing vessels. Potential enhancements to surveillance and enforcement requirements for the UK’s 14 Overseas Territories are being considered as part of the Government’s commitment to create a Blue Belt around these territories.
Q
(Calder Valley)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Exports: Developing Countries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what support his Department is providing to businesses to increase exports to developing economies.
A
Answered by: Anna Soubry
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Increasing exports, to all overseas markets, is a key factor in the Government’s long-term economic plan. Government departments are working together to support UK businesses looking to take advantage of overseas opportunities and to create a strong business environment that allows them to flourish both at home and overseas. A key part of this work is to identify export opportunities, many of which are based around the needs of global developing economies.

My noble Friend Lord Maude of Horsham made a statement to the House on Tuesday 19th January on the Government’s strategy to support Trade. This outlines a new, whole-of-government approach to expanding the number of exporters and the value they generate for the British economy. The aim is to make it easier for small business to access this support through better digital platforms, working more closely with partners and making sure services match the needs of business.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
UK City of Culture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is undertaking to assist local authorities in preparing bids for the 2021 UK City of Culture.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

DCMS will issue guidance on bidding for the UK City of Culture 2021 ahead of the competition which will run during 2017 - the year when we will celebrate Hull City of Culture. DCMS will continue to provide advice to interested local authorities and intends to hold an event later this year to explain the process and to generate interest in this exciting opportunity.

Q
Asked by Drew Hendry
(Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
[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 Culture, Media and Sport
Radio Frequencies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what preparations the Government is making for the auction of 5G spectrum.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Ofcom takes independent decisions on how to assign spectrum. The Government is making spectrum available - including future 5G - through its programme of public sector spectrum release.

Q
Asked by Drew Hendry
(Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
[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 Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, for what reasons the universal service obligation for broadband was set at 10mb; and if he will make it his policy to increase the minimum universal service requirements to reflect higher levels set in other European countries.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Prime Minister's announcement of the Government's intention to implement a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) and our ambition to set this at 10Mbps, followed assessments of consumers' broadband needs from a range of sources, including Ofcom's annual infrastructure reports. This new broadband USO will give people the legal right to request an affordable broadband connection, at a minimum speed, up to a reasonable cost threshold, no matter where they live.

Q
Asked by Drew Hendry
(Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
[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 Culture, Media and Sport
Radio Frequencies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all areas of the UK benefit from the award of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands are being made available across the UK as part of the Government's programme of public sector spectrum release. Ofcom takes independent decisions on how to assign spectrum, including whether and how to auction it and the conditions of licences granted. The licence obligation on Telefonica together with the Government's 2014 agreement with mobile network operators means that by the end of 2017 95% of premises in Scotland will have indoor 4G coverage and complete not-spots for voice and SMS text will halve.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
UK City of Culture: Kingston upon Hull
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on what the £1 million funding provided to the City of Hull to create a legacy as part of its status as the 2017 UK City of Culture was spent.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Of the £1 million extra funding announced in November 2015, half will support the Hull Culture Company to make the 2017 City of Culture year a sucess, and to produce benefits for the local community beyond 2017, ensuring that arts and culture remain at the heart of the local authority's strategy, and encouraging young people and hard to reach groups to engage with the artistic programme. The remaining 0.5m of this funding will support the promotion and management of the UK City of Culture 2021 competition.

DCMS is investing £1.5 million in the Ferens Gallery to help them host the Turner Prize that year, and the Gallery will receive a further £0.5m from ACE for refurbishment. Arts Council England is also providing £3.1 million to three ACE-funded organisations -Artlink, Freedom Festival and Hull Truck Theatre - that will play a key role in the 2017 events. Hull Museums, now among ACE's Major Partner Museums, have been awarded £2.5m between now and 2018; and an extra £3 million from ACE will help raise the profile of culture in the city and promote new partnerships throughout 2017. This amounts to over £11 million and does not include additional investment that may come from other bodies such as the BBC.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Legal Costs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when he will implement section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 on awards of costs; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016
As the Secretary of State said on his speech to the Society of Editors on 19th October 2015, "I am not convinced the time is right for the introduction of these costs provisions. Given the changes under way within the industry, the introduction of the new exemplary damages provisions, and the pressures on the industry, I question whether this additional step, now, will be positive and will lead to the changes I want to see". The Government is continuing to consider the matter.
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
Families: Disadvantaged
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the progress made by the Troubled Families initiative in the Peterborough City Council area since 2011; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Greg Clark
Answered on: 04 February 2016
Holding answer received on 29 January 2016

The Troubled Families Programme in the Peterborough City Council area helped produce successful outcomes with 450 troubled families. This was assessed according to whether children were attending school, youth crime and anti-social behaviour had been reduced, and adults from troubled families were helped off out-of-work benefits and into continuous employment.

Under the provisions of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, I will be reporting on the progress of the Troubled Families Programme annually.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Arts Council England
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the income that Arts Council of England will receive from National Lottery funding in (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18, (c) 2018-19 and (d) 2019-20.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

As Good Cause income is dependent on sales, we can not provide precise figures for future forecasts; figures are a guide to likely overall income if sales remain at levels at the time of the review. However, Arts Council England’s annual share of income to the National Lottery Distribution Fund is estimated to be £255 million for each year from 2016/17 to 2019/20.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
BBC: Royal Charters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the BBC on an extension of the current BBC Charter period by order of the Queen in Council.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

I and my officials continue to have an ongoing dialogue with the BBC regarding the content and process of the BBC Charter Review.

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Islamic State
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 22 January (HL4827), what assessment they have made of the capacity of the United Nations Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect, to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for genocide against Yazidis and Christians.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The role of the UN Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide is to raise awareness of the causes and dynamics of genocide, to alert relevant actors where there is a risk of genocide, and to advocate and mobilise for appropriate action. The role of the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect is to lead the conceptual, political, institutional and operational development of the Responsibility to Protect. They are not mandated to carry out criminal/judicial investigations, and therefore the British Government has made no assessment of their capacity to do so.

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Home Office
Asylum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to prevent hostels requiring asylum seekers to wear red wristbands before providing food and to stop property companies singling out the accommodation used by asylum seekers by having their doors painted red.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 04 February 2016

On 20 January my Rt. Hon. Friend the Immigration Minister (James Brokenshire), in response to the articles in the press regarding asylum seeker accommodation in Middlesbrough, announced an audit of asylum accommodation as a result of the allegations made (regarding the use of a single paint colour on asylum seeker properties).

The Home Office has asked for assurance from all accommodation providers that there are no further policies or practices that allow asylum seekers to be identified as such by the public.

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers: Resignations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many teachers have left the profession within five years of qualifying in each year since 2009.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Of the full and part-time teachers who gained qualified teacher status in 2009 (and were in service by March 2010), 72% were still in service in a state funded school in England five years after qualification. The rate of retention five years after qualification has remained broadly stable since 1996.

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made, broken down by region and subject, of the current levels of qualified teachers.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The information requested is not available.

Latest figures show that 96 per cent of full-time equivalent teachers in service in state funded schools in England (November 2014) have qualified teacher status.

Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers: Job Satisfaction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of current morale in the teaching profession.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

According to the OECD’s ‘Teaching and Learning International Survey’ (2013), 82 per cent of teachers surveyed in England either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that ‘all in all, I am satisfied with my job.’ This information is published in the attached research report ‘Teachers in England’s Secondary Schools: Evidence from TALIS 2013’.

In addition, the latest statistics (School Workforce Census, November 2014) show that teacher retention rates one year after qualifying have remained stable for the past two decades, at around 90 per cent. Furthermore, 72 per cent of those who qualified in 2009 were still in teaching five years later, and the long-term retention rate is also stable, with over 60 per cent of teachers remaining in the classroom 10 years after qualifying.

The Government is committed to raising the status of the teaching profession. We are supporting the establishment of a new, independent College of Teaching, and are offering postgraduate bursaries of up to £30,000 for trainee teachers starting initial teacher training in 2016/17, depending on their degree classification and the subject they plan to teach.

Evidence from TALIS 2013 (PDF Document, 2.46 MB)
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the School Direct programme is ensuring a sufficient supply of teachers for schools in England.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Teaching continues to represent an attractive choice for top graduates and career changers – last year we recruited over 1,000 more secondary teachers than the previous year, and we exceeded our target for new primary teachers.

Our best schools have a crucial role to play in training the next generation of outstanding teachers. That is why we introduced the School Direct training programme, which gives schools the opportunity to recruit and select their own trainee teachers, and to play a central part in both the design and delivery of teacher training. School Direct is only one of a range of routes through which new teachers can choose to train.

We initially piloted the School Direct programme with a cohort of 351 trainees in the academic year 2012/13; thanks to its popularity with schools the scheme rapidly expanded to deliver 6,676 training places the following year. This has continued to rise each year, and provisional data show that 10,252 trainees have commenced School Direct programmes in the current academic year. This represents 39 per cent of all postgraduate teacher training places in the current year, and makes a significant contribution to the 51 per cent of all postgraduate training places that are now school-led.

We recognise that recruitment to teacher training is becoming increasingly challenging as the economy improves and the graduate labour market strengthens. That is why we are giving schools greater direct involvement in selecting and training the high-quality teachers they need.

Q
Asked by Lord Moonie
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Staff
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many UK civil servants are seconded to the European Commission.
Answered on: 04 February 2016
There are a total of 156 UK secondees working across the EU institutions, as either Seconded National Experts or National Experts in Professional Training. 127 of them are currently working in the European Commission.
Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 26 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
NATO
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether any of the UK's fellow members of NATO are currently using military force against their own citizens.
Answered on: 04 February 2016
The British Government has not made any such assessment. Through signature of the Washington Treaty, all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) have reaffirmed their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the UN, and their commitment to the principles of security, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. The UK expects all our NATO Allies to live up to these commitments.
Q
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Eurostar: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which authorities are responsible for safeguarding unaccompanied children on the concourse at St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International stations.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

For unaccompanied children travelling on international train services, Eurostar International have an unaccompanied minors policy, which is available on their website. If unaccompanied, lost children are found at these stations, they are transferred to the custody of the British Transport Police by station staff.

Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Counter-terrorism
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 January (HL5200), whether they have had regard to the preaching and teaching of Wahhabism in mosques and Muslim education bodies in Britain as part of their work on their Counter-Extremism Strategy.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We published our Counter Extremism Strategy in October 2015 which sets out a range of measures to deal with the broad challenge of extremism. We have placed a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being radicalised.

We consider vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values as extremist, whatever guise these are expressed under. This includes when religions are hijacked by those wishing to promote extremism. As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in July last year “extremist ideology is not true Islam”.

HM Government’s Counter Extremism Strategy and counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, set out our approach to tackling the full range of factors that allow extremist and terrorist groups to grow and flourish. These include directly challenging ideologies, including those which have a theological basis.

The Prime Minister recently commissioned a review into the funding of extremism in the UK. This will include an assessment funding that comes from overseas. The review is due to report in spring 2016.

Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Floods
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of new houses built in each of the years from 2010 to 2015 were built on floodplains, and whether they expect that proportion to change in the next five years.
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The department’s latest land use change statistics provide estimates on the proportion of new residential addresses created in National Flood Zone 3 in England. The latest figures show that in 2013-14, 7 percent of new residential addresses were created in the National Flood Zone 3. This equates to an estimated 9,100 homes being built in National Flood Zone 3 in 2013-14.

Prior to the publication of 2013-14 figures land use change statistics were calculated using a different methodology so they are not directly comparable to the 2013-14 figures. Figures produced using the previous methodology were last published for the calendar year 2011 and are provided in the attached table.

Development can not be ruled out in high flood risk areas as around 10 percent of England, including large parts of major cities, such as Hull, Portsmouth and central London are located in these areas. All local planning authorities are expected to follow the strict tests set out in national planning policy and guidance, which includes steering development away from flood risk areas. Where development in flood risk areas is considered, national planning policy is clear that it should be safe, resilient and not increase flood risk elsewhere.

HL5515 (Excel SpreadSheet, 11.45 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Skipton-Colne Railway Line
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government to which body the ownership of the former railway line between Colne and the former Lancashire/West Riding of Yorkshire county boundary at County Brook transferred when BRB (Residuary) Ltd was abolished in 2013, and who now owns that line.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

This section of the former railway line is now owned by the Secretary of State for Transport following the abolition of the former British Railways Board (Residuary) limited in September 2013. The former Closed Branch Line to the north of this section was transferred to Lancashire County Council in March 1974.

Q
Asked by Lord Jopling
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
A1: Nottinghamshire
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 22 July 2015 (HL1470), whether the review of the failures that caused the cost of the recent A1 roadworks near Gamston Airport to escalate has been completed, and what conclusion and lessons have emerged from that review.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The close out of the scheme and associated financial reconciliation is pending and therefore it would be premature to draw conclusions at this time.

Landscaping for the scheme and remedial works are nearing their final stages and completion of the contract is expected at the end of March. A “lessons learned” review will be held as soon as possible in April.

Q
Asked by Lord Jopling
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Roads: Construction
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 June 2015 (HL105), what trunk road improvement schemes there have been in the last five years, and for each of those, what was (1) the original target cost, and (2) the estimated completed cost.
A
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The table below provides details of the major scheme on trunk roads opened in the last five financial years (from April 2011 to the present), together with the original target cost and latest outturn forecast (to the end of December 2015, and subject to closure of final accounts):

Scheme Name

Date Opened

Original Target Cost (£m)

Outturn Forecast* (£m)

A3 Hindhead

Jul-11

362.5m

371.9m

A1 Dishforth to Leeming

Mar-12

327.5m

312.0m

A46 Newark to Widmerpool

Mar-12

382.9m

379.3m

A23 Handcross to Warninglid

Oct-14

76.9m

77.9m

A11 Fiveways to Thetford

Dec-14

104.7m

99.6m

A14 Kettering Bypass

Apr-15

41.9m

37.5m

A453 Widening

Jul-15

149.7m

164.5m

Totals

1,446.1m

1,442.7m

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