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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Q
(Ochil and South Perthshire)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Islamic State
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 January 2016 to Question 20769, how many individuals have been subject to sanctions imposed by the UK Government for (a) brokering oil deals between Daesh and the Assad regime and (b) other matters covered by UN Security Council Resolution 2253.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The UK implements the EU’s Syria Sanctions Regime. The EU has listed George Haswani due to his role as a middleman in the purchase of oil from Daesh by the Syrian Regime. In doing so he helps the regime’s military effort against the Syrian people.

There are an additional 26 Daesh related individuals/entities on the UN list that the UK takes action against, five of whom the UK proposed in September, and the majority of whom we have co-sponsored with partners. This was the first time the British Government asked the UN to add Britons associated with Daesh to its ‘Daesh and Al-Qaeda Sanctions list’, which UNSCR 2253 renewed. We will continue to consider whether more individuals should be subjected to the sanctions.

The UK implements all UN Daesh/AQ sanctions fully following the adoptions of UN Security Council Resolution 2253 on 17 December 2015.

Our primary focus remains bringing individuals supporting terrorist organisations to justice; for example the recent conviction of Tareena Shakil who had been a member of Daesh in Syria and encouraged acts of terror.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
NATO Countries: Political Parties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of Russian funding for political groups in NATO member states who oppose NATO and nuclear weapons.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made no such assessment. At the Wales Summit in 2014 all NATO Heads of State/Government reaffirmed their commitment to NATO as a nuclear alliance.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Propaganda
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to counter Russian propaganda directed at the UK or at NATO.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is leading a cross-government and international approach to counter Russian misinformation and provide positive, alternative narratives. The UK Government is employing a range of measures to do this, including: strengthening the BBC’s Russian service; setting up and co-ordinating a “Friends of Ukraine” communication hub; leading successful lobbying to create an EU Strategic Communication team in Brussels that is focussed on Eastern Europe; leading the charge to set up the NATO Centre of Excellence for Communication in Riga; helping set-up a NATO trust fund to ensure impactful strategic communication interventions by NATO; and training EU and NATO teams to increase their capacity to rebut Russian misinformation.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Merchant Shipping
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Turkish government on access to the Black Sea for merchant shipping.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 04 February 2016

No discussions have taken place between the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) and the Turkish government on access to the Black Sea for merchant shipping.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Mass Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the BBC and NATO on more effective use of the BBC World Service to counter inaccurate reporting from Russian media outlets.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in consultation with partners and allies on how to achieve greater access to quality, independent BBC content in countries with significant Russian speaking populations.

The Government is investing additional funds in the BBC’s digital, TV and radio services around the world to build the global reach of the World Service and increase access to news and information, including additional programming for Russian speakers. It is for the BBC, as an independent broadcaster, to take its own decision about scheduling and programme control.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the government of Russia on human rights violations in that country.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 04 February 2016

During my visit to Moscow on 21-22 December 2015, I raised the UK’s concerns about the human rights situation in Russia with my counterpart First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov. I pressed for the immediate release of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who has restarted her hunger strike having spent 18 months in illegal detention, and I called for the release of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and activist Olexandr Kolchenko, whose trials have also raised serious concerns. I raised our concerns about restrictions on civil society, Russia’s labelling of NGOs as “foreign agents”, and the situation of the LGBT community. I also met a group of human rights defenders to hear their concerns first hand. The UK will continue to support Russian civil society and to raise human rights issues with the Russian Government.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Gastrointestinal System: Surgery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people had gastrointestinal operations in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The information is not available in the form requested.

For England, a count of finished admission episodes (FAEs) with a primary or secondary procedure of gastrointestinal operation from 2010-11 to 2014-15 is below.

Year

FAEs

2010-11

1,375,343

2011-12

1,472,621

2012-13

1,567,615

2013-14

1,603,365

2014-15

1,699,845

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics, Health and Social Care Information Centre

Note: An FAE is the first period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people of each age group and gender were diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Data relating to the total number of people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBD) in each of the last five years is not collected.

The two main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine whereas Crohn's disease affects the whole of the digestive system.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance indicates that ulcerative colitis has an incidence in the United Kingdom of approximately 10 per 100,000 people annually, and a prevalence of approximately 240 per 100,000. This amounts to around 146,000 people in the UK with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. In addition to this, there are currently at least 115,000 people in the UK with Crohn's disease.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Drugs: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the incidence of substance addiction in people aged over 50.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning effective drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services based on an assessment of local need. Public Health England (PHE) supports local authorities in this work, by providing bespoke data, value for money tools, topical briefings, and advice on good practice to help local authorities meet the needs of their local population, including older people.

PHE is engaged in a series of work programmes which aim to reduce the incidence of substance addiction and help provide support to older people; an alcohol misuse screening question has been part of the national NHS Health Check since 2013. The Health Check programme is offered to three million 40-74 year olds per year.

An independent expert group updating the United Kingdom drug misuse clinical guidelines, Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management[1] is considering specific advice for clinicians on managing and addressing substance addiction in older people.

[1] http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/clinical_guidelines_2007.pdf

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Visual Impairment: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he expects that retinal implant chips will be available through the NHS to treat blindness.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 February 2016

It is for local National Health Service commissioners to make decisions on whether to fund new treatments, taking into account the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance, available evidence and individual patient’s clinical circumstances.

NICE issued interventional procedures guidance on the insertion of a subretinal prosthesis system for retinitis pigmentosa in December 2015. NICE’s recommendation was that this procedure should only be used in the context of research, due to the limited evidence being available on its safety and efficacy.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Prostate Cancer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to work with charities and campaigners on raising awareness and improving prevention of prostate cancer.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Public Health England (PHE) ran a local pilot campaign in October – November 2014, specifically targeting prostate cancer within Black African-Caribbean men, because of their significantly increased risk of developing prostate cancer. The campaign was delivered in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and was designed to support their awareness raising activity.

The campaign ran in six London boroughs – Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham – and was delivered mainly through face to face activity, supported by posters in key outdoor locations and in salons and a programme of targeted public relations.

PHE will also shortly be re-running the national campaign on “Blood in Pee. Although primarily aimed at bladder and kidney cancer, blood in the urine can also be a sign of prostate cancer.

Q
Asked by Cat Smith
(Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Private Sector
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many companies which comprised a single person were paid for services by NHS trusts in 2014-15.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The information is not held centrally by the Department.

Q
(Ealing, Southall)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Hepatitis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2016 to Question 22716, if he will commission a survey on the effects of delays in the publication of the hepatitis C framework on (a) all people and (b) members of the South Asian population in England with hepatitis C.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 04 February 2016

No such survey has been commissioned. Public Health England and NHS England continue to work together to improve outcomes for people with hepatitis C.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how Academic Health Science Networks are able to contribute to the Accelerated Access Review.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Academic Health Science Networks have already contributed to the Accelerated Access Review via the recent engagement exercise held by the review team. Their contribution has been incorporated in the development of the review recommendations.

Q
Asked by Kate Green
(Stretford and Urmston)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the implications are for his policies on encouraging the recruitment and development of BAME and women at senior staffing levels in the NHS of the findings of the Interim Report in the Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers, undertaken by Lord Carter of Coles and published in June 2015.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The interim report ‘Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers’ does not make recommendations on recruitment and development and should have no impact on policies relating to the recruitment and development of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups and women at senior staffing levels in the National Health Service.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Cancer: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the recommendations from the Accelerated Access Review interim report and the Cancer Drugs Fund consultation are not contradictory.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Accelerated Access Review's independent chair, Sir Hugh Taylor, is considering a range of options for accelerating patient access to innovative products, as set out in the interim report. The review team is working closely with NHS England to ensure that the review recommendations are aligned with emerging thinking on the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what lessons have been learned from the implementation of recommendations contained in NHS England's report, entitled Innovation, Health and Wealth, published in December 2011; and how his Department is implementing those lessons in the Accelerated Access Review.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Innovation Health and Wealth rightly emphasised how crucial innovation is to our better care for patients and improving the health and care system. The Accelerated Access Review was established to build on this, recognising the fundamental contribution that the United Kingdom’s world class medical innovators make to our economy. The evaluation of the Innovation, Health and Wealth has formed part of the review evidence base.

The independent Accelerated Access Review will report at the end of April with recommendations on how to increase the uptake of innovation in the National Health Service.

Q
(Delyn)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Medical Records: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what targets his Department has for the transfer of documents between GP surgeries when a patient moves to a different area.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department does not collect information on the time taken to transfer documents between general practitioner (GP) surgeries.

The GP contract requires GP practices to use the electronic facility known as “GP2GP” for the safe and effective transfer of any computerised patient records where they have access to this system. As at end September 2015, 97.2% of GP practices were using GP2GP. 5,859,890 patient electronic health records have been transferred by GP2GP to the patient’s new GP since 2007.

Grouped Questions: 24598
Q
(Delyn)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Medical Records: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with the devolved administrations in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland on the speed and efficiency of transfer of patient records between administrations.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We do not have any record of discussions that have taken place between the Secretary of State for Health and the devolved administrations on the speed and efficiency of transfer of patient records between administrations. However, we are aware that Wales has been conducting a pilot of the GP2GP system, which enables patient records to be electronically transferred between one practice and another, and Scotland has also been rolling out the system. In the future this should enable faster, more effective transfer of patient records between administrations.

Additionally, the Summary Care Record Programme in England has a four nations forum with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that focuses on best practice and lessons learned from the respective national record sharing solutions.

Q
(Delyn)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Medical Records: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many GP surgeries have adopted the use of the GP2GP system developed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

7,547 general practitioner practices in England were live with the GP2GP system at the end of November 2015; this equates to 97.7% of all GP2GP eligible practices within England.

Q
(Delyn)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
Medical Records: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average time taken for the transfer of documents between GP surgeries when a patient move to a different health area was in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department does not collect information on the time taken to transfer documents between general practitioner (GP) surgeries.

The GP contract requires GP practices to use the electronic facility known as “GP2GP” for the safe and effective transfer of any computerised patient records where they have access to this system. As at end September 2015, 97.2% of GP practices were using GP2GP. 5,859,890 patient electronic health records have been transferred by GP2GP to the patient’s new GP since 2007.

Grouped Questions: 24595
Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to NHS's consultation, Specialised services policy and specifications, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the procedure in use by NHS England to develop commissioning policies for specialised medicines.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

NHS England is continuing to refine its standard operating procedure for developing commissioning policies for specialised medicines, taking into account professional and stakeholder feedback. For example, during 2015/16 NHS England introduced a more explicit requirement for external review of the available evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness, and a parallel clinical assurance process to ensure new policies appropriately reflect the available evidence. These evidence reviews are now made available alongside draft policy proposals as part of NHS England’s public consultation process.

NHS England has also commissioned an external review of its current policy development process and will formally consider lessons learned as it refines the process to be adopted in support of the 2016/17 work programme.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Innovation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department plans to take in response to the report it commissioned entitled Evaluating the role and contribution of innovation to health and wealth in the UK, published in January 2016; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department is funding RAND Europe and the University of Manchester to conduct a formative and summative evaluation of Innovation, Health and Wealth (IHW). The project is expected to complete in 2017 and the report on the first stage of the evaluation, including an assessment of progress towards actions within Theme 8: High Impact Innovations, can be found on the RAND Europe website:

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1143.html

This report represents the first phase of a three year evaluation aimed at mapping progress towards the IHW strategy and its component actions. The Department will be considering the outputs of the evaluation as they emerge over the next three years including as part of the evidence feeding into the Accelerated Access Review.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Innovation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the spread of the six highest impact innovations identified in NHS England's report, entitled Innovation, Health and Wealth, published in December 2011; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department is funding RAND Europe and the University of Manchester to conduct a formative and summative evaluation of Innovation, Health and Wealth (IHW). The report on the first stage of the evaluation, including an assessment of progress towards actions within Theme 8: High Impact Innovations, can be found on the RAND Europe website:

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1143.html

Since the publication of Creating Change: Innovation, Health and Wealth one year on in 2012, there has been a great deal of progress made in many of the IHW work streams. Much of this has been incorporated into NHS England’s Innovation Into Action: Supporting delivery of the NHS Five Year Funding View, published in September 2015 and can be found at:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/nhs-inovation-into-action.pdf

The Accelerated Access Review is looking at this question of how the National Health Service adopts high impact innovations, and we expect to receive the final report in April.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what his Department's planned expenditure on the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is for (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18, (c) 2018-19 and (d) 2019-20.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Intellectual Property Office has committed to provision of £1.5m funding for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in 2016-17. Funding beyond that period is still to be determined.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate his Department has made of how many full time police officers will work in the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit 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

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is funded by the Intellectual Property Office, but is considered operationally independent, and is fully managed by the City of London Police. Future staffing levels will be a matter for the City of London Police to determine in the light of the unit’s workload and requirements.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit: Convictions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many successful convictions were secured by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15 and (c) 2015-16.
A
Answered by: Mr Edward Vaizey
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Figures for the years in question are as follows;

(a) 2013-14, 16 arrests, 2 cautions

(b) 2014-15, 33 arrests, 11 cautions

(c) 2015-16, 13 arrests, 1 caution, 1 conviction

Securing convictions is not the sole aim of the unit. Equally important in the fight against IP crime is the Unit’s work on taking down infringing websites and pursuing broader disruptive activity.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Advice Note: 05/2015, paragraph 9 of the Harm-Benefit Analysis Process, how many project licences applications under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were recommended by the Animals and Science Regulation Unit in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Harm-Benefit Analysis (HBA) is undertaken, on behalf of the Secretary of State, by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors, all of whom are veterinary or medically qualified and trained in assessing research proposals. The HBA is the process of considering a research proposal to make a judgement whether the likely harms that the animals will experience are justified by the likely benefits. Under section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors advise the Secretary of State who decides whether and on what terms a project licence should be granted.

The number of project licences which were recommended for grant by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015 are shown in table 1, column (c).

The Secretary of State has not rejected any of the recommendations for granting project licences made by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015.

The Home Office does not keep records of applications that have been rejected or withdrawn at the concept or drafting stage [24507]. The Home Office does not keep records of which applications were withdrawn as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors.

The Home Office refers project licence applications to both the Animals in Science Committee and external independent assessors for critical review. The number of project licences referred to both is given in Table 1 columns (a) and (b) respectively for the years 2012-15.

Year

(a) Project licence applications referred to the Animals in Science Committee[1]

(b) Project licence applications referred to independent assessors

(c) Project licences granted

2012

9

4

626

2013

3

0

604

2014

4

1

474

2015

3

0

577

[1] Prior to 2013 the independent advisory body was entitled the ‘Animals Procedures Committee’

Grouped Questions: 24508 | 24509 | 24507 | 24510
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many project licence applications under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were (a) granted and (b) not granted on the basis of the harm-benefit analysis.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Harm-Benefit Analysis (HBA) is undertaken, on behalf of the Secretary of State, by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors, all of whom are veterinary or medically qualified and trained in assessing research proposals. The HBA is the process of considering a research proposal to make a judgement whether the likely harms that the animals will experience are justified by the likely benefits. Under section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors advise the Secretary of State who decides whether and on what terms a project licence should be granted.

The number of project licences which were recommended for grant by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015 are shown in table 1, column (c).

The Secretary of State has not rejected any of the recommendations for granting project licences made by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015.

The Home Office does not keep records of applications that have been rejected or withdrawn at the concept or drafting stage [24507]. The Home Office does not keep records of which applications were withdrawn as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors.

The Home Office refers project licence applications to both the Animals in Science Committee and external independent assessors for critical review. The number of project licences referred to both is given in Table 1 columns (a) and (b) respectively for the years 2012-15.

Year

(a) Project licence applications referred to the Animals in Science Committee[1]

(b) Project licence applications referred to independent assessors

(c) Project licences granted

2012

9

4

626

2013

3

0

604

2014

4

1

474

2015

3

0

577

[1] Prior to 2013 the independent advisory body was entitled the ‘Animals Procedures Committee’

Grouped Questions: 24519 | 24509 | 24507 | 24510
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many times she rejected the recommendations of the Animals in Science Regulation Unit for project licences in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Harm-Benefit Analysis (HBA) is undertaken, on behalf of the Secretary of State, by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors, all of whom are veterinary or medically qualified and trained in assessing research proposals. The HBA is the process of considering a research proposal to make a judgement whether the likely harms that the animals will experience are justified by the likely benefits. Under section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors advise the Secretary of State who decides whether and on what terms a project licence should be granted.

The number of project licences which were recommended for grant by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015 are shown in table 1, column (c).

The Secretary of State has not rejected any of the recommendations for granting project licences made by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015.

The Home Office does not keep records of applications that have been rejected or withdrawn at the concept or drafting stage [24507]. The Home Office does not keep records of which applications were withdrawn as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors.

The Home Office refers project licence applications to both the Animals in Science Committee and external independent assessors for critical review. The number of project licences referred to both is given in Table 1 columns (a) and (b) respectively for the years 2012-15.

Year

(a) Project licence applications referred to the Animals in Science Committee[1]

(b) Project licence applications referred to independent assessors

(c) Project licences granted

2012

9

4

626

2013

3

0

604

2014

4

1

474

2015

3

0

577

[1] Prior to 2013 the independent advisory body was entitled the ‘Animals Procedures Committee’

Grouped Questions: 24519 | 24508 | 24507 | 24510
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to paragraph 12 of Advice Note: 05/2015 on the Harm-Benefit Analysis Process, how many project licence applications were withdrawn at the (a) concept and (b) draft stage as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit that the application would clearly fail the harm-benefit analysis in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Harm-Benefit Analysis (HBA) is undertaken, on behalf of the Secretary of State, by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors, all of whom are veterinary or medically qualified and trained in assessing research proposals. The HBA is the process of considering a research proposal to make a judgement whether the likely harms that the animals will experience are justified by the likely benefits. Under section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors advise the Secretary of State who decides whether and on what terms a project licence should be granted.

The number of project licences which were recommended for grant by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015 are shown in table 1, column (c).

The Secretary of State has not rejected any of the recommendations for granting project licences made by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015.

The Home Office does not keep records of applications that have been rejected or withdrawn at the concept or drafting stage [24507]. The Home Office does not keep records of which applications were withdrawn as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors.

The Home Office refers project licence applications to both the Animals in Science Committee and external independent assessors for critical review. The number of project licences referred to both is given in Table 1 columns (a) and (b) respectively for the years 2012-15.

Year

(a) Project licence applications referred to the Animals in Science Committee[1]

(b) Project licence applications referred to independent assessors

(c) Project licences granted

2012

9

4

626

2013

3

0

604

2014

4

1

474

2015

3

0

577

[1] Prior to 2013 the independent advisory body was entitled the ‘Animals Procedures Committee’

Grouped Questions: 24519 | 24508 | 24509 | 24510
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many times project licence applications were referred to an independent assessor in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Harm-Benefit Analysis (HBA) is undertaken, on behalf of the Secretary of State, by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors, all of whom are veterinary or medically qualified and trained in assessing research proposals. The HBA is the process of considering a research proposal to make a judgement whether the likely harms that the animals will experience are justified by the likely benefits. Under section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, inspectors advise the Secretary of State who decides whether and on what terms a project licence should be granted.

The number of project licences which were recommended for grant by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015 are shown in table 1, column (c).

The Secretary of State has not rejected any of the recommendations for granting project licences made by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors between 2012 and 2015.

The Home Office does not keep records of applications that have been rejected or withdrawn at the concept or drafting stage [24507]. The Home Office does not keep records of which applications were withdrawn as a result of advice from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors.

The Home Office refers project licence applications to both the Animals in Science Committee and external independent assessors for critical review. The number of project licences referred to both is given in Table 1 columns (a) and (b) respectively for the years 2012-15.

Year

(a) Project licence applications referred to the Animals in Science Committee[1]

(b) Project licence applications referred to independent assessors

(c) Project licences granted

2012

9

4

626

2013

3

0

604

2014

4

1

474

2015

3

0

577

[1] Prior to 2013 the independent advisory body was entitled the ‘Animals Procedures Committee’

Grouped Questions: 24519 | 24508 | 24509 | 24507
Q
(Hammersmith)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Complaints
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many complaints on what subjects the Independent Monitoring Board of each prison received from prisoners in the last 12 months for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Independent Monitoring Boards are individual Arm’s Length Bodies, who publish this information on an establishment by establishment basis, each on a different annual cycle.

Information is available from the annual reports submitted by individual Independent Monitoring Boards, which are published on http://www.imb.org.uk/reports/2015-annual-reports/ There is a page towards the end of reports setting out the number of “applications” by prisoners to see the Independent Monitoring Board in that establishment.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Scotland Office
State Retirement Pensions: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will take steps to provide compensation for people in Scotland who have lost out financially as a result of the increase in the women's pension age.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 04 February 2016

In-work and out of work working age benefits are available for those who have not yet reached State Pension age.

The women affected by the Pensions Act 2011 will reach State Pension age after the introduction of the new State Pension, which will be more generous for those historically worse off under the current system.

Further, a £1 billion concession was made, limiting the delay that anyone would experience to their State Pension age to 18 months, relative to the Pensions Act 1995 timetable. This mitigated the effect of the changes for those most affected by the Pensions Act 2011.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
North Sea: Offshore Suppliers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the Brazilian government's enforcement of domestic cabotage legislation on the offshore supply sector in the North Sea.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The UK Government's strong preference is to encourage free trade and liberalization of cabotage wherever possible, in the broad interests of international trade and economic growth. So far as I am aware, the Brazilian Government's decision has no significant direct effect on the offshore supply sector in the North Sea, and there is no intention to amend cabotage rules in relation to that sector.

However, the Government does recognize the present pressures upon the North Sea oil and gas sector and, on his recent visit to Aberdeen, my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out an action plan for a set of measures including a £1.3bn package of tax measures for the oil and gas industry to ensure the UK Continental Shelf remains an attractive destination for investment and a £20M package of investment in exploration, innovation and skills, as well as the new City Deal for Aberdeen itself.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Bus Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with which private bus operators his Department has discussed the planned Buses Bill.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department for Transport held a series of seven bus reform workshops, in five locations (Birmingham, London, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol) in September and October 2015. The workshops were attended by bus operators and other interested stakeholders to share their views on the Buses Bill. We have also had detailed discussions with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and the Association of Local Bus Company Managers (ALBUM).

Information about the bus reform workshops including a list of organisations represented have been published by the department. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bus-reform-workshops-background-information

Q
(Eastbourne)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Railways: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Network Rail on improved responsiveness for emergency repairs; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 04 February 2016

I have regular discussions with senior Network Rail and rail industry colleagues about the need to improve performance across the network, which includes improving the recovery time from incidents. I have been paying particular attention to performance on the Govia Thameslink Railway network, and response times are being reviewed with the operator and Network Rail colleagues in order to improve response times when possible.

Q
(Eastbourne)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Railways: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with train operating companies on improving the claim process for compensation for delays; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We urge passengers to claim the compensation they are entitled to. When delays occur, we expect operators to make sure their passengers are informed about how to apply for compensation.

We are committed to improving compensation for delayed rail passengers. As the Chancellor stated in his Autumn Statement, we are committed to reducing the time threshold for which passengers can claim from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.

We welcome the trial by c2c of automatic compensation to be introduced on the c2c franchise for registered customers if their train is delayed by more than 2 minutes. We welcome the introduction of automatic compensation on Advance tickets bought online, currently available on Virgin Trains West Coast and to be introduced as part of the Northern and TPE franchises and we encourage operators to make sure passengers across the country benefit from schemes like this.

Q
Asked by Mike Freer
(Finchley and Golders Green)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Aviation: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the price of airline tickets of the falling price of oil.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The recent drop in crude oil price would not have the same effect in aviation as it does in, for example, petrol stations. It is common practice in aviation industry to purchase aviation fuel in advance by entering into long-term hedging contracts, which are designed to provide stability to the industry from short-term price fluctuations.

Should the current trend in the cost of oil prove long-term, it is likely to have an effect on ticket prices in the future in a highly competitive industry.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Taxis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to address the congestion and air quality impacts of increases in numbers of private hire vehicles.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Licensing private hire vehicles and local traffic management are matters for local authorities. In London responsibility rests with the Mayor and Transport for London.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Taxis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has recently made of the effectiveness of taxi and private hire vehicle regulations relating to passenger safety.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 04 February 2016

At the request of the Department for Transport, the Law Commission has undertaken a comprehensive review of taxi and private hire regulation in England and Wales. The Department instructions included requiring the review to focus on passenger safety.

The Government is currently considering all the recommendations in the Law Commission’s report and will formally respond to the Law Commission and announce its intentions once this scrutiny is completed.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Taxis: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Transport for London's press release of 20 January 2016, TfL sets out plans to modernise and enhance London's private hire industry, what representations he has received from the Mayor of London on the introduction of legislation that would enable TfL to restrict overall numbers of private hire drivers and vehicles.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 04 February 2016

We receive representations on a range of issues from the Mayor of London.

The Government supports choice for consumers, and wants to see both taxis and private hire vehicles prosper in London and elsewhere. The Government is prepared to continue discussing various options with the Mayor but does not believe legislation allowing him to cap the number of private hire vehicles is warranted.

Q
Asked by Nusrat Ghani
(Wealden)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Southern
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of the revenue raised by Southern Rail in the last five years was passed back to GTR by his Department.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 04 February 2016

Under the terms of its Franchise Agreement, Southern Railway Limited retained all of its revenue. The services operated by Southern Railway Limited were combined into a new franchise, the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, on 26 July 2015 when the previous franchise ended.

No Southern Railway revenue has been passed back to GTR by the Department for Transport.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
Cycling and Walking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the level of planned investment by local enterprise partnerships in cycling and walking infrastructure through the local growth fund.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Department estimates that an investment of at least £270m is planned for cycling infrastructure and an investment of at least £250m is planned for walking infrastructure, totalling at least £520m across the current Growth Deal period. This figure is derived from self-reported figures provided by Local Enterprise Partnerships to the Department in January 2016; the final figure for spend is therefore likely to be higher.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
North Sea: Offshore Suppliers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the low oil price since summer 2014 on the number of UK seafarers employed on offshore supply vessels in the North Sea.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The 2015 seafarer statistics have just been published. We estimate that there were 23,380 UK seafarers active at sea in 2015, an increase of 2 per cent on the previous year. We are aware that the current downturn in the offshore sector may not yet be fully reflected in these figures.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations his Department has received on the protection of hedgehogs in Regent's Park from trucks using the London Zoo car park for the construction of High Speed 2.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 04 February 2016

12 petitions to the 3rd additional provision to the Phase One hybrid Bill were received that included concerns regarding the impact on the hedgehog population in Regent’s Park of the proposed lorry holding area in the London Zoo car park. Additionally, one of the responses to the AP3 Environmental Statement Consultation raised concerns about the hedgehog population in the Regents Park area. As part of the ongoing engagement with the Zoological Society of London, HS2 Ltd are considering locations for replacement habitats to mitigate the impact on the hedgehog population.

Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 27 January 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Pensioners: Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of the triple lock pension policy of the number of pensioners living in poverty in (a) Windsor, (b) the South East and (c) the UK.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 04 February 2016

While we can’t draw a direct link between the triple lock and pensioner poverty, pensioner poverty is at one of the lowest rates since records began. Pensioners are less likely to be in relative and absolute low income after housing costs than the population as a whole. The Government continues to support the poorest pensioners and from April 2016, Pension Credit will top up income to a guaranteed minimum level of £155.60 for a single person and £237.55 for couples.

The Government wants all pensioners to have a decent and secure income in retirement. We are committed to the triple lock, the guarantee that the basic State Pension will increase by the highest of the growth in average earnings, price increase or 2.5%. From April 2016, the basic State Pension will be over £1,100 a year higher than at the start of the last Parliament. This will benefit many of the 18,000 recipients of State Pension in Windsor, the 1.7 million recipients in the South East and the 13 million recipients in the UK.

Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Attorney General
Department for Education: Legal Costs
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, if he will estimate the costs attributed to the Department for Education by the Government Legal Department since 2010.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department was renamed the Government Legal Department (GLD) on 1 April 2015. It is primarily funded through the fees it charges for its legal services. It provides Litigation, Employment, Commercial and Advisory legal services to the Department for Education (DfE). The fees charged to DfE for this work, including the cost of disbursements, are as follows:

Financial year

Fees (excluding VAT) £

2010-11

4,208,845

2011-12

4,499,546

2012-13

4,805,840

2013-14

4,409,976

2014-15

4,098,629

Providing information on the costs attributed to cases relating to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 would incur disproportionate cost as it would involve a manual exercise to identify those historical cases that relate to FOI.

Grouped Questions: 24783 | 24784 | 24785
Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Attorney General
Department for Education: Legal Costs
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, if he will estimate the costs attributed to the Department for Education by the former Treasury Solicitor's Department in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department was renamed the Government Legal Department (GLD) on 1 April 2015. It is primarily funded through the fees it charges for its legal services. It provides Litigation, Employment, Commercial and Advisory legal services to the Department for Education (DfE). The fees charged to DfE for this work, including the cost of disbursements, are as follows:

Financial year

Fees (excluding VAT) £

2010-11

4,208,845

2011-12

4,499,546

2012-13

4,805,840

2013-14

4,409,976

2014-15

4,098,629

Providing information on the costs attributed to cases relating to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 would incur disproportionate cost as it would involve a manual exercise to identify those historical cases that relate to FOI.

Grouped Questions: 24782 | 24784 | 24785
Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 28 January 2016
Attorney General
Department for Education: Legal Costs
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, if he will estimate the costs attributed to the Department for Education in cases relating to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by the Government Legal Department since 2010.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 04 February 2016

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department was renamed the Government Legal Department (GLD) on 1 April 2015. It is primarily funded through the fees it charges for its legal services. It provides Litigation, Employment, Commercial and Advisory legal services to the Department for Education (DfE). The fees charged to DfE for this work, including the cost of disbursements, are as follows:

Financial year

Fees (excluding VAT) £

2010-11

4,208,845

2011-12

4,499,546

2012-13

4,805,840

2013-14

4,409,976

2014-15

4,098,629

Providing information on the costs attributed to cases relating to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 would incur disproportionate cost as it would involve a manual exercise to identify those historical cases that relate to FOI.

Grouped Questions: 24782 | 24783 | 24785
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