Tom Blenkinsop

Labour - Former Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

Tom Blenkinsop is not a member of any APPGs
6 Former APPG memberships
Energy Storage, International Mining, Mining and Quarrying, Scientific, Steel and Metal Related Industries, Union
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee of Privileges
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on Standards
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Energy and Climate Change Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 17th Oct 2016
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
13th Jul 2015 - 22nd Feb 2016
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
13th Jul 2015 - 22nd Feb 2016
Opposition Whip (Commons)
7th Oct 2011 - 18th Sep 2015
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 23rd Jan 2012
Treasury Committee
4th Jul 2011 - 14th Nov 2011
Standards and Privileges
22nd Nov 2010 - 7th Nov 2011


Division Voting information

Tom Blenkinsop has voted in 1358 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Dec 2015 - ISIL in Syria - View Vote Context
Tom Blenkinsop voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 56 Labour No votes vs 139 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 390
2 Dec 2015 - ISIL in Syria - View Vote Context
Tom Blenkinsop voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 65 Labour Aye votes vs 153 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 397 Noes - 223
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Tom Blenkinsop voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 69 Labour Aye votes vs 138 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 241 Noes - 256
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Tom Blenkinsop voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 66 Labour No votes vs 139 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 267 Noes - 233
View All Tom Blenkinsop Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

View all Tom Blenkinsop's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Tom Blenkinsop

20th March 2017
Tom Blenkinsop signed this EDM on Tuesday 18th April 2017

PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL TIME LIMIT

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House notes the key findings of research funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and undertaken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that some 54,000 women a year are forced out of work by pregnancy or maternity discrimination, and that 77 per cent of …
71 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 30
Scottish National Party: 25
Liberal Democrat: 6
Independent: 5
Plaid Cymru: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
13th June 2016
Tom Blenkinsop signed this EDM on Tuesday 18th April 2017

CHRONIC PAIN

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House notes that chronic pain is identified as a condition in its own right, and that the measured prevalence of chronic pain varies according to precisely how it is defined and identified; further notes that the cited figure is 20 per cent, or 1 in 5, of the …
68 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 27
Labour: 17
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Independent: 6
Liberal Democrat: 5
Conservative: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Ulster Unionist Party: 2
Non-affiliated: 1
Crossbench: 1
View All Tom Blenkinsop's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Tom Blenkinsop, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Tom Blenkinsop

Thursday 15th October 2015

Tom Blenkinsop has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

4 Bills introduced by Tom Blenkinsop


A Bill to make provision about the disclosure, consideration and approval of proposals for onshore electricity power stations of 50MW or less; to require the application of Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) terms and conditions in certain circumstances; to require sector-specific collective national workforce agreements in other circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 25th January 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision about the disclosure, consideration and approval of proposals for onshore electricity power stations of 50MW or less; to require the application of Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) terms and conditions in certain circumstances; to require sector-specific collective national workforce agreements in other circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 4th May 2016
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require security search arrangements at airports to ensure that appropriate levels of privacy are provided for people with disabilities; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 1st February 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to give the Coal Authority responsibility for preventing adverse environmental impacts from former metal mines; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 9th February 2011

Tom Blenkinsop has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


263 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
41 Other Department Questions
7th Nov 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, if she will make the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a permanent member of the EU Exit and Trade Cabinet Committee.

A list of members of the European Union Exit and Trade Cabinet Committee is available in the Library of the House.

1st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking in response to the result of the EU referendum to ensure that investment in the Hartlepool steel pipe mills is made.

The Government’s top priority for steel has not changed in the light of the EU referendum. The process for selling Tata Steel’s remaining UK assets remains ongoing and we continue to work closely with Tata and potential bidders so that we can secure a sustainable future.

My officials have also met with parties interested in acquiring Tata’s steel pipe mills in Hartlepool, to explain what the Government is doing to support the UK steel sector.

More widely, we are committed to working closely with the UK steel sector through the Steel Council.

28th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to ensure that the investment in the long-products steel works in Teesside will be secure in the event of the UK exiting the EU.

The Government’s top priority for steel has not changed in the light of the EU referendum. The process for selling Tata Steel’s remaining UK assets remains ongoing and we continue to work closely with Tata and potential bidders so that we can secure a sustainable future.

More widely, we are committed to working closely with the UK steel sector through the Steel Council to maximize the opportunities and mitigate the potential impacts. On 28 June, my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and I held a special round table of business leaders, including the Chair of the Steel Council, to explore post referendum issues.

28th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he plans to take to prevent the dumping of Chinese steel in the event of the UK leaving the EU.

The UK remains a full member of the EU until we formally exit and all rights and obligations under the EU, including trade defence measures, still apply.

We will continue to support the EU’s trade agenda, including tackling unfair trade and continue to do all we can to support a sustainable UK steel industry.

The Cabinet Office has established a new unit to oversee arrangements for the UK’s exit from the EU and they will consider issues such as the UK establishing its own trade defence measures on exit from the EU.

15th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to increase accessibility to university buildings for disabled students.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone with the potential has the opportunity to benefit from higher education, irrespective of their background or mode of learning. In the last academic year we saw record entry rates to higher education, including among those from disadvantaged backgrounds

Higher Education Institutions have responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to support their students, including those with disabilities. They have a clear legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to ensure they are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled students.

To support Higher Education (HE) providers to prepare for the changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances that come into effect from academic year 2016/17, the Department has supported the establishment of a sector-led group ofstakeholders. The group’s focus is to communicate with senior leaders of HE providers, to help provide information about institutions’ responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students, and to encourage HE providers to develop inclusive learning environments.

In addition, universities expect to spend more than £745 million through access agreements agreed with the Director of Fair Access on measures to improve access and success for students from disadvantaged groups, including disabled students - up significantly from £404 million in 2009.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to the report by Lord Heseltine, entitled Tees Valley: opportunity unlimited, published in June 2016, recommendation 6.6.7, whether he plans to devolve responsibility for the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers to the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) is available until the end of the 2016/17 academic year to incentivise smaller employers to offer apprenticeships. The AGE grant will be devolved to The Tees Valley Combined Authority from this August. They will be free to vary the criteria associated with the grant (e.g. size and sector of business) to meet local needs.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what the implications for Government policy on carbon capture and storage (CCS) are of the decision not to proceed with the CCS Commercialisation Commission.

The Government has not closed the door on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and believes it has a potentially important role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK. We are clear that CCS is currently too expensive and its costs must come down. We continue to work with wider industry to help develop CCS cost efficiently in the UK, including through the joint Government-industry CCS Development Forum, which I co-chair. We will set out our approach to CCS in due course, informed by the findings from Lord Oxburgh’s CCS Advisory Group.

10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if his Department will make an assessment of the effect of the withdrawal of funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on the Government's analysis of skills shortages in the North East.

In the context of needing to make savings in non-participation budgets to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has consulted the Devolved Administrations and other users of labour market information on future research priorities.

Following these discussions, we have identified the significance of the Employer Skills Survey, the Employer Perspectives Survey and the LMI (Labour Market Information) for All Portal and decided that these products will be maintained. We are currently working with the Commission to transfer the management of these to BIS, and we will work users on how information from these surveys will be disseminated in the future including the provision of regional and local information.

9th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what proportion of apprentices in the Tees Valley area (a) went on to work full-time with the employer with which they trained and (b) were subsequently unemployed in the last year for which figures are available.

Statistical data broken down by region on (a) apprentices working full-time for the employer with which they trained or (b) were subsequently unemployed, is not available.

Latest Apprenticeship Evaluation Learner Survey 2016 data show that 9 out of 10 of all recent apprenticeship completers were in employment 12-20 months after completion. And 72% of those in employment were with the same employer with whom they completed their apprenticeship.

Information on Apprenticeship starts by region and local authority is published as a supplementary table (first link) to a Statistical First Release (second link).

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509995/apprenticeships-starts-by-geography-learner-demographics-and-sector-subject-area.XLS

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held

8th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps her Department has taken to support the Teesside Carbon Capture Storage Collective since the announcement of the reduction in government funds in that sector.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change continues to work closely with Teesside, including through providing funding to the Collective for further work on how Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), carbon usage, hydrogen production and other technologies could reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes.

This support follows £1m previously awarded to Teesside as part of the 2013 Tees Valley City Deal, to undertake engineering and commercial studies into the scope for industrial CCS for the Tees Valley industrial cluster, and the October 2015 Tees Valley Devolution Deal, which committed DECC to work with Tees Valley to explore how it can continue to develop its industrial CCS proposals.

Lord Heseltine’s recent report “Tees Valley: Opportunity Unlimited” welcomed the support that the Government is continuing to provide on industrial CCS in the Tees Valley area.

8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he was made aware of the decision by Air Products to exit its energy-from-waste business.

The Government engages with Air Products in relation to their Tees Valley energy-from-waste plant at both Official and Ministerial level. My Department was first made aware of this decision on 4th April and will be working with the Local Enterprise Partnership to explore the impacts of this announcement.

8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what support has been provided by the Government for the growth of the energy-from-waste industry.

The Government has provided a range of support for energy from waste technologies through the Renewables Obligation (RO), the Renewable Incentive (RHI), the Feed-In Tariff and the Contracts for Difference (CfD). The technologies supported include: Landfill Gas, Sewage Gas, Energy from Waste with CHP, Anaerobic Digestion and Advanced Conversion Technologies.

As of the end of 2015, our support has brought forward just over 2.4 GWh of capacity in these technologies, delivering just under 9.4TWh of renewable electricity.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has provided support to 20 projects using energy from waste technologies. Direct commitments by the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to date total £334m with additional indirect commitments of £130m to Foresight Group LLP through the Foresight-managed Recycling and Waste LP (RAW) fund, in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, and Greensphere Capital LLP which manages the UK Green and Sustainable Waste and Energy Investment Limited Partnership (UKGSWEI) fund on behalf of the GIB.

8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will amend the remit of the taskforce created to respond to the closure of SSI in Redcar to include the Teesside economy as a whole.

Where there are redundancies within the Tees Valley, the Government will work with local partners, including the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the SSI Task Force to determine how support can be most effectively targeted to affected individuals. The SSI Task Force is already supporting the Tees Valley economy more broadly, for example through the £16m Support for Businesses Schemes, which the Task Force reports has created 186 jobs, safeguarded 326 jobs and committed £4.1m funding, attracting £6m in private sector match.

26th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of children living in fuel poverty.

We are investing close to £1 billion a year to help consumers through a reformed supplier obligation and Warm Home Discount, and plan to reform both schemes to focus that funding better on those that need it most.

Our ability to do that is strengthened significantly by the introduction of an improved definition of fuel poverty which captures those in genuine need who are facing the overlapping problem of a low household income and high energy costs.

This low income high costs indicator has meant a change in the demographic of who is considered to be fuel poor in England - with homes with at least one child now accounting for nearly half of the fuel poor population.

We will be consulting on our proposals to reform the supplier obligation and the Warm Home Discount later this year.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what funding the Government has provided for carbon capture and storage research and development projects not based in the UK since 2010.

Under DECC’s £20m CCS Innovation Programme, Net Power LLC, a US company, was awarded a Research and Development grant of £7.5m to demonstrate a British invented low carbon power generation technology. Net Power worked with Goodwin Steel castings, an established UK manufacturer, to manufacture turbine casings for the project.

Through the International Climate Fund (ICF) the Government has funded capacity building projects in a number of partner countries. In December 2012, the UK committed £60 million from the ICF to trust funds operated by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to support developing countries to develop both the technical and institutional knowledge necessary to enable the deployment of CCS technologies. The ICF finance is supporting CCS capacity building through pilot projects, with the aim of demonstrating the technology and reducing the cost of the technology application across the CCS chain.

6th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to ensure greater collaboration between businesses and education to promote skills for potential future careers.

We are strengthening business influence in schools, further education, the skills system, higher education and in giving young people a broad experience of the careers options open to them. Our education reforms are ensuring that young people leave school or college with everything they need to get on and succeed in life. The new Careers and Enterprise Company aims to help schools and colleges in England to prepare young people aged 12 to 18 for the world of work, and increase the level of employer engagement in schools and colleges across England.


In further education we have given employer-led Local Enterprise Partnerships significant local influence over the skills system. National Colleges are being established by employer-led partnerships to design and deliver specific higher level training, and we are working in direct partnership with employers in reforming technical and professional education to ensure the new system provides the skills most needed for the 21st century economy. In trailblazer apprenticeships, employers develop the standards themselves.


In higher education, the government fully supports and actively encourages collaboration between universities and business. Partnership is needed to ensure graduate skills and employability meet the needs of business, to maximise the university sector’s capabilities in business-led research and innovation, and to realise the benefits of a strong role for Higher Education Institutions in the development of their local economies.



4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what estimate her Department has made of the whole system costs of different energy technologies; and when that information will be published.

Quantifying the whole system impacts of electricity technologies is a complex exercise which requires sophisticated electricity system modelling. In order to build on previous internal analysis quantifying system costs for some electricity technologies, DECC has commissioned a project titled: Whole System Impacts of Electricity Generation Technologies.

This project will improve DECC’s internal electricity system modelling capability to better capture the costs and benefits of all generation technologies on the whole electricity system. It will also allow a better representation of the dynamics behind these costs and benefits, in particular how they vary over time and with the background electricity mix.

This project is currently ongoing and given the complex modelling involved, it requires a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure the analysis is robust. We are aiming to complete the project in the first half of 2016, and will publish the results as soon as possible.


4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps her Department is taking to take account of the whole system costs of different energy technologies when formulating future government policy on delivering renewable support at least cost to consumers.

DECC recognises the importance of considering the whole system impacts (both costs and benefits) of different electricity technologies when formulating future government policy, since it is a crucial element in delivering secure, clean and affordable energy to consumers.

In order to continue to improve its evidence base in this area and inform future policy developments, DECC has commissioned a project on the Whole System Impacts of Electricity Generation Technologies on the electricity system. This project will improve DECC’s understanding of what these system costs are (for example the impact of electricity technologies on wider system balancing actions and networks requirements), as well as improve DECC’s modelling capability to quantify these system costs and their dynamics.

Once this project is completed, DECC will be able to better quantify these system costs to inform policy decisions. Any future policy development, such as future renewable support, will be informed by the improved evidence base developed through this project.

1st Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will extend the support package for workers affected by the closure of Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK to people employed at Cleveland Potash.


I refer the hon Member to the reply I gave on 30 November to Question UIN 16315 and in the debate in Westminster Hall on 2 December.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much funding his Department will make available to support the retraining of workers recently made redundant by Cleveland Potash.

This is clearly a worrying time for those affected by ICL’s announcement that it is proposing to make 220 employees and 140 contractors redundant as part of a restructuring at its Boulby mine. Those affected will be able to access Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service, which is delivered locally with partners, is tailored to an individual’s needs, and can include some or all of the following elements:


  • Help with job searches, including CV writing and interview skills.
  • Help to identify transferable skills and skills gaps (linked to the local labour market).
  • Training to update skills, learn new ones and gain industry recognised certification that will improve employability.
  • Help to overcome barriers to attending training or securing a job or self-employment such as child care costs, tools, work clothes, travel costs etc.

We will, of course, consider with local partners whether the area needs extra support to respond to this news - including Jobcentre Plus, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Local Authority. However it is important to fully understand the impacts of this announcement before any decisions are taken.


Whilst this remains a difficult time, it was encouraging to read that the company intends to invest at least £20m in infrastructure at the mine to support its restructure.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions Ministers and officials from his Department had with the Insolvency Service on Redcar steelworks prior to the announcement of SSI entering administration.

I can confirm that Government agencies, including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Insolvency Service discussed the situation at Redcar prior to SSI’s entry into liquidation, given the parlous state of SSI’s finances and its huge losses.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much additional funding his Department will make available to support the retraining of steelworkers recently made redundant.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is continuing to work closely with local Task Forces in Redcar and Scunthorpe to support individuals and businesses affected by SSI’s closure and Tata’s recent announcement.


In Redcar, as part of a support package worth up to £80 million, we have agreed over £40 million of support aimed at skills and jobs creation following proposals put forward by the Task Force chaired by Amanda Skelton:


  • £3m has been made available to four Further Education colleges in the region to support re-training activity, as well as a further £2.65m skills funding to plug any gaps in skills provision not available via the Further Education Offer;
  • £1.7m to ensure that the fifty apprentices who were with SSI can continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers;
  • A £16.5m Jobs and Skills Fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of three years;
  • £16m support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the Redcar steelworks closure, to safeguard jobs, provide the stimulus to create new posts and provide expert assistance to help them expand their business
  • £750,000 to fund advice and grants to start up a new business.

In Scunthorpe, we have announced a package, worth up to £9 million, jointly with Tata, to support Tata steelworkers, the local economy and supply chain. We are working closely with a local Task Force, chaired by Baroness Liz Redfern, to deliver this support.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, from what part of his Department's budget the support package for Redcar steelworkers will be funded.

The support package will be funded through central budgets.

As part of this, we have agreed over £40 million of support following proposals put forward by the Task Force chaired by Amanda Skelton, including:

  • £2.42 safety net fund, to support workers with short-term financial challenges;
  • £2.65m skills funding to plug any gaps in skills provision not available via the Further Education Offer;
  • £1.7m to help ensure that the fifty apprentices who were with SSI can continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers;
  • £16.5m Jobs and Skills Fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of three years;
  • £16m support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the Redcar steelworks closure, to safeguard jobs, provide the stimulus to create new posts and provide expert assistance to help them expand their business; and
  • £750,000 to fund advice and grants to start up a new business.

All of the requests for spend in 2015/16 have been transferred from Government to the SSI Task Force, which is beginning to implement its planned programme of interventions. This is on top of the up to £3m that has been made available to four Further Education colleges in the region to support re-training activity, and redundancy and final salary payments of former SSI employees.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if (a) statutory redundancy payments and (b) final salaries will be paid from the Government's support funding package for those affected by recent redundancies in the steel industry.

I can confirm that the support package covers both of these aspects. The money allocated towards redundancies factored in payments for owed salaries and does not affect the money for training and regeneration of the local economy. I also note that without Government action, SSI workers would not have been paid their salaries in September.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what transmission charges (KW/hour) are levied by the National Grid on organisations commuting electricity from one place to another for each region of the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Transmission Network Use of System charges are charged on £/KW basis and include a locational element to reflect the extent to which the transmission system is used to move electricity from where it is generated to the centres of demand. Details of the 2015-16 charges are in National Grid’s charging statement which can be found at this link:

http://www2.nationalgrid.com/UK/Industry-information/System-charges/Electricity-transmission/Transmission-Network-Use-of-System-Charges/Statement-of-Use-of-System-Charges/

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what advice the Government has received on Government intervention in the steelworks in Redcar and European Community state aid rules; and what discussions his Department has had on this issue.

I received advice from Departmental officials on the legality of supporting a steel company in difficulty. The state aid rules on giving rescue and restructuring aid to steel companies are clear and all such interventions are prohibited.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent assessment she has made of the potential role of ports on Teesside in the decommissioning of offshore oil installations.

We are setting up the OGA to have a strong role in the decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the UK Continental Shelf. OGA are developing a decommissioning strategy, working closely with industry and government, to reduce the costs and increase the efficiency of decommissioning, and to encourage technology development. OGA is seeking to develop a more competitive model for decommissioning which stimulates market solutions and innovation. Decommissioning represents opportunities for UK industry to compete for business and I would encourage companies to engage to give themselves the best chance of winning contracts.

20th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what forecasts the Government has made of steel (a) production and (b) demand in the next 20 years; and from which countries he expects the UK will import steel to meet that demand.

Neither the Office for National Statistics nor other governmental statistical sources make such forecasts for steel. The Government forecasts can influence markets and therefore must be able to be robust.

8th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of finance for small firms and the level of lending by banks to small businesses.

Recent data from the Bank of England shows some signs that bank lending to SMEs is starting to recover. Gross lending to SMEs in the first 7 months of 2014 was nearly £30 billion, up 21% on the equivalent period last year. Net lending was at zero or modestly positive in each of the last three months if overdrafts are excluded, reversing a long term negative trend. Credit conditions, however, remain tight for the smallest businesses in particular.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the competitiveness of the prosthesis manufacturing industry.

The Government has not made a specific assessment of the competitiveness of the prosthesis manufacturing industry. However, prosthetics form a key part of the wider medical technology sector, and work is underway with the main medical technology trade associations (including the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA)), under the aegis of the Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group to identify and address the competitiveness challenges across the sector and its supply-chains.

2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2014, Official Report, column 649W, on disabled students' allowances, if he will publish a list of all stakeholders being consulted on the Equality Analysis and Disabled Students' Allowances Guidance for 2015-16.

We have and continue to actively engage with a wide range of stakeholders following the laying of a Written Ministerial Statement on Disabled Students' Allowances on 7 April. A list of those who have submitted information or evidence for the Equality Analysis and Disabled Students' Allowances Guidance for 2015-16 will be published as part of this document.

2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many people in (a) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, (b) Middlesbrough, (c) Stockton North, (d) Stockton South, (e) Hartlepool, (f) Redcar constituency and (g) the North East received disabled students' allowance in (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13 and (iii) 2013-14.

Information on students awarded and paid Disabled Students' Allowance is published annually by Student Loans Company (SLC) in the Statistical First Release ‘Student Support for Higher Education England'. The latest statistics are available at the following link:

http://www.slc.co.uk/media/694170/slcsfr052013.pdf

A further breakdown for the requested constituencies, local authorities and North East region has been provided in the table for academic years 2011/12 and 2012/13.

The effective date is that used for the November 2013 Awards Statistical First Release. Hence, the figures for 2012/13 are classified as provisional and do not include students who were awarded DSA after November 2013.

Equivalent figures for the academic year 2013/14 will be available from November 2014.

Students in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance(1,2) in the North East region(3)

Academic Year

Effective date: 13/11/2013(4)

Application Type

2011/12

2012/13(4)

Full-Time Application

Part-Time Application

Post Graduate DSA

Total

Full-Time Application

Part-Time Application

Post Graduate DSA

Total

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

80

10

10

100

80

10

10

100

Middlesbrough LEA

100

10

10

120

90

10

10

110

Stockton North constituency

60

-

-

60

60

-

-

70

Stockton South constituency

70

10

-

80

90

-

-

90

Hartlepool LEA

70

10

10

90

70

-

-

70

Redcar constituency

70

10

-

80

60

-

-

70

North East region

1,470

160

140

1,770

1,590

150

100

1,860

Notes:

1. Disabled Student Allowance may be paid to the Student or to a Supplier on the student's behalf.

2. DSA Payments may be made at any point during the Academic Year or after the end of the Academic Year.

3. Figures are derived from the Post Code of the applicant's home address.

4. The effective date is that of the November 2013 Awards Statistical First Release. The figures are therefore provisional and do not include students who were awarded DSA after November 2013.

Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. Totals may not add to the sum of the components due to rounding.

'-' represents a number less than 5.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the UK's energy infrastructure was exposed to the recent Energetic Bear cyberattack.

Cyber security is one of the Government's top four national security priorities. DECC is working with government departments and agencies, as well as with industry partners, to ensure that the risks to the energy sector are understood and that appropriate mitigations are established. It would not be appropriate to comment on specific cases.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2014, Official Report, column 423W, on local enterprise partnerships, if he will make it his policy that his Department should record the gender composition of local enterprise partnerships boards for the purpose of strengthening equality impact assessments.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been established as voluntary partnerships of local business and public sector leaders, and board membership is a matter for LEPs themselves. This information will not be collected centrally.

18th Jun 2014
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Tees Valley City Deal.

All City Deals are available on gov.uk.

A copy of the Tees Valley City Deal has been placed in the Library of the House.

11th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the potential effects of Scottish independence on businesses in the North East and Cumbria.

I have not made such an assessment. The UK Government's Scotland Analysis Programme identified benefits for UK businesses from common rules and institutions that create a larger domestic market, reduce administrative burdens and encourage fair competition. Diverging regulatory regimes and new burdens created by an international border may affect the level of trade (£48 billion from Scotland to rest of UK in 2012, and £59 billion in the opposite direction) and the 30,000 people who currently travel freely between Scotland and North England each day to work.

11th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Written Statement of 7 April 2014, Official Report, column 1WS on higher education, what public consultation he has undertaken on the proposed changes to disabled students' allowance.

We are currently consulting with a wide range of stakeholders to help inform both the Equality Analysis and Disabled Students' Allowances Guidance for 2015/16.

11th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the extent to which there is a gender imbalance in the composition of Local Enterprise Partnership boards.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) board membership is a matter for LEPs themselves and they are best placed to ensure it meets the needs of their businesses and local people.

To ask the Ministers for Women and Equalities, whether his Department will attend the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia Forum 2014 in Valletta.

Yes.

Sajid Javid
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if he will urge energy providers to offer unconditional price freezes.

Pricing decisions are a matter for energy suppliers. I welcome any steps by suppliers to keep energy bills down.

2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Serious Fraud Office's incorrect reclamation of VAT on fees it paid to barristers and other contractors; and if he will make a statement.

The incorrect reclamation of VAT by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is an historical event which the Director of the SFO has taken steps to deal with. I am satisfied that it has no implications for the policies of the SFO.

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 40W, how many offences charged under section 14(1) and 22 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 reached a first hearing in magistrates' court in each year since 2008.

The number of offences charged under section 14(1) and 22 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 that reached a first hearing in magistrates' courts in each year since 2008 are:

Make a counterfeit of a

protected coin with intent

Make a counterfeit of a

currency note with intent

Total

2008

2

22

24

2009

0

4

4

2010

0

4

4

2011

3

17

20

2012

2

12

14

2013

2

13

15

Total

9

72

81

12th Jan 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the changes made to the steel procurement guidelines in the last two years are being adhered to by (a) local authorities and (b) central government departments.

Central government departments are required to report on a regular basis, alongside the collection of forward pipeline information, to confirm that they are compliant with the steel procurement guidance and provide evidence on how they are applying this guidance on their projects.

Local Authorities and other parts of the wider public sector are not currently required to provide this information, given their separate legal nature.

This information is published in the guidance on Procuring steel in major projects, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1116-procuring-steel-in-major-projects-revised-guidance.

12th Jan 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to take further steps to allow local authorities to make procurement decisions which favour local economies and businesses.

Whilst contracting authorities may not favour suppliers on purely geographical grounds, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allow them to consider incorporating social, ethical and environmental aspects into specifications, contract conditions and award criteria if they relate directly to the subject matter of a contract from the point of view of the contracting authority.

Furthermore, the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 places a requirement on commissioners to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process starts, at the pre-procurement stage.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has made an assessment of the level of potential risk of cyber interference by foreign governments in elections in the UK.

We treat Cyber Security extremely seriously. Our 2015 National Security Strategy confirmed that cyber remains a top threat to the UK’s economic and national security. The threat posed by cyber-attacks continues to grow in both scale and complexity. Cyber security is crucial for keeping the UK safe.

To meet the challenges of cyber security threats, the government launched its new National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 on the 1 November. Supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment, the strategy sets out ambitious policies and capabilities to protect the UK in cyber space.

The strategy is available online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-cyber- security-strategy- 2016-to-2021.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings of the EU Exit and Trade Cabinet Committee have been (a) held and (b) attended by the Secretary of State for (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland.

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including how often they have met and which Ministers have attended, is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

18th Jun 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what changes there have been in the claimant count for women claiming for over 12 months since May 2010.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate the Office for National Statistics has made of the proportion of manufacturing jobs held by women in (a) each English region, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

25th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2017 to Question 70406, on energy intensive industries: trade competitiveness, whether such compensation funding has been allocated on a rolling basis until an exemption is secured or a set amount has been committed to the policy.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2016 to Question 57226, on energy intensive industries: trade competitiveness, how much additional contingency funding has been allocated to the continuation of compensation for the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs for energy intensive industries beyond 1 April 2017.

The government is in continuing discussions with the European Commission on securing the remaining exemptions for energy intensive industries. Sufficient funding is in place to continue the current compensation for the indirect cost of the Renewables Obligation (RO) and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs (FIT).

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2016 to Question 57227, on energy intensive industries: trade competitiveness, by what date his Department plans to introduce the exemption for energy intensive industries.

The government is in continuing discussions with the European Commission on securing the remaining exemptions for energy intensive industries. The intention is to introduce the exemptions once the necessary clearances have been secured. The current compensation for the indirect cost of the Renewables Obligation (RO) and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) will remain in place in the meantime.

29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much public funding has been provided to (a) energy intensive industries and (b) UK steel producers under the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in Tariff schemes in the last 12 months.

The Renewables Obligation (RO) and small-scale Feed in Tariffs (FIT) schemes support the generation of renewable electricity and are funded from levies on electricity supply.

Over the past 12 months the government has provided over £190m in compensation payments to eligible businesses for the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation (RO) and small scale Feed in Tariffs (FIT) schemes. Of this we have paid over £54m to the steel sector.

15th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which nuclear energy stakeholders he consulted on whether the UK should seek to withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community (a) before and (b) after the publication of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17.

The Government has had detailed discussions with nuclear sector stakeholders since the referendum. Both officials and Ministers have been in frequent contact with nuclear industry and research stakeholders, and we will continue to work closely with them as we take the negotiations forwards.

31st Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential use of deep offshore saline aquifers in developing a viable business model for carbon capture and storage technology.

The Department funded a twelve month £2.5 million project, led by the Energy Technologies Institute, to progress the appraisal of five selected carbon dioxide storage sites in the North and Irish Seas; three of these sites were offshore saline formations. The report, “Progressing Development of the UK’s Strategic Carbon Dioxide Storage Resource”, was published by the Energy Technologies Institute in May 2016 and is available at: http://www.eti.co.uk/project/strategic-uk-ccs-storage-appraisal/.

30th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of leaving the European Atomic Energy Community on projects that require the co-operation of American nuclear energy companies.

Withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty will not diminish the UK's nuclear ambitions for its new build nuclear programme, and the Government remains committed to delivering a world leading nuclear programme in close collaboration with international counterparts, including the USA.

Non EU countries that have a relationship with Euratom do so mainly through international nuclear cooperation agreements (NCA) with the Euratom Community. These provide frameworks for cooperation in the civil nuclear sector, but are not an absolute requirement for trade in civil nuclear material or goods with every country, and in many cases trade continues without being covered by an NCA.

We will maintain continuity of cooperation and develop new arrangements as necessary.

30th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of leaving the European Atomic Energy Community on the construction of Hinkley Point C.

Maintaining the UK’s ability to trade in nuclear materials and equipment will be a key objective in negotiations to allow the uninterrupted progress of the UK’s nuclear programme, which includes the construction of Hinkley Point C. Those negotiations have not yet started, but officials and Ministers are in regular contact with industry stakeholders and will continue to work closely with them as the negotiations progress.

12th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the value for money of carbon capture and utilisation technology.

The Government recognises the potential of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies, even though many are still at an early stage of development. The Department has commissioned further analysis to help assess the commercially-viable technologies and the CCU carbon abatement opportunities for the UK.

12th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money the Government invested in carbon capture and storage projects in each year between 2010 and 2015.

In each year between 2010 and 2015, the Government has invested the following in carbon capture and storage projects:

  • £1.39 million between 2011 and 2012
  • £ 4.87 million in 2012/13;
  • £ 15.45 million in 2013/14;
  • £ 50.60 million in 2014/15; and
  • £ 33.87 million in 2015/16.

Figures for the 2015/16 financial year are provisional.

12th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to secure contingency funding for the continuation of compensation for the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs for (a) the steel industry and (b) other energy-intensive industries beyond April 2017.

We aim to introduce an exemption for Energy Intensive Industries from the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs from 1 April 2017. It is not currently necessary to allocate contingency funding for the continuation of compensation beyond April 2017.

12th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) expedite the Government's application to the European Commission to exempt energy-intensive industries from the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs and (b) ensure that legislation on that exemption is in place before financial year 2017-18.

We are engaging with the European Commission about our state aid pre-notification to move from compensation to exemption for the indirect cost of the Renewables Obligation (RO) and small-scale Feed-in Tariffs (FiT). We aim to introduce the exemption for Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) from 1 April 2017.

The Government continues to provide relief to those EIIs most affected by the rising cost of electricity and has paid over £360m in compensation since August 2013.

2nd Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made in improving the interoperability of early smart meters.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch, on 21 November 2016 to Question 53430:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-16/53430/.

2nd Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department holds information on the number of households using foundation stage meters which have switched energy suppliers in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold this information.

30th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on energy (a) prices and (b) capacity of the damage done to the electricity interconnector between France and the UK during Storm Angus.

Interconnectors, as with all electricity infrastructure, may occasionally be unavailable because of the need for repairs and maintenance. However, electricity supplies are secure this winter. In forecasting capacity margins, National Grid allows for unplanned outages – such as this one – in their planning. National Grid has a variety of tools to manage the system and ensure supplies, including 3.5GW of balancing reserve.

We have not assessed how the damage sustained by the IFA (Interconnexion France-Angleterre) on 20 November will affect the wholesale electricity price, given the various other factors that contribute to wholesale costs, not least the expected direction of flow through IFA this winter.

30th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of whether the incident which damaged the electricity interconnector between France and the UK during Storm Angus has potential safety implications for existing and proposed interconnectors between (a) the UK and other countries and (b) Northern Ireland and Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.

National Grid and the French transmission system operator are jointly conducting a full investigation into the incident that damaged the interconnector between France and the UK during Storm Angus. Teams on both sides of the Channel are working to restore this interconnector to full availability as soon as possible.

Interconnector developers employ a variety of tools to reduce the risk of damage to the cable, including thorough sea-bed risk assessments, geotechnical analysis of the sea-bed and a review of shipping routes near the project. Where physically possible, reinforced cables are buried under the sea-bed; where the conditions do not allow for this, the cable is protected by other means, such as rock placement or concrete. Once in service, interconnector cables are regularly surveyed to ensure they remain protected.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of Shell's sale of its North Sea field assets on the long-term future of the North Sea as an energy asset.

No such assessment has been made. The Oil and Gas Authority will assess any licence transfer as the licensing authority.

16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential costs and benefits to customers, workers and the public purse of a UK company purchasing Shell's North Sea assets.

No such assessment has been made. Any potential sale of Shell’s North Sea assets is a commercial matter for the company rather than Her Majesty’s Government.

16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2016 to Question 50888, what tariff rates on electricity which reaches the UK through interconnectors from the continent will remain similarly unaffected by the UK leaving the EU.

The bound EU tariff rate on imports of electricity is zero. As with imports of other forms of energy, the decision on whether electricity imported into the UK should be subject to tariffs once the UK has left the EU will be for the UK alone to make. And as with other energy imports, reasons of economic competitiveness, energy security and the UK’s support for an open trade regime make it unlikely that the Government would wish to impose tariffs on electricity reaching the UK from other parts of Europe.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure energy imported from the EU is not subject to tariffs after the UK leaves the EU.

The current EU applied tariff rate on imports of crude oil, natural gas and coal is zero.

The decision on whether energy imported into the UK should be subject to tariffs once the UK has left the EU will be for the UK only to make. For reasons of economic competitiveness and energy security and consistent with our support for an open trade policy regime, it is unlikely that the Government would wish to impose tariffs on energy imports.

26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on the number of employers who have prevented migrant workers from joining a union during their time working in the UK.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy does not hold this information.

26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 October 2016 to Question 48990 and the correction to that Answer of 21 October 2016, whether he has received representations on migrant employees in the UK being forced to repay funds to their employers which had been paid to such employees as a result of shortfalls in wages upon return to their country of origin.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy is not aware of any representations on migrant employees in the UK being forced to repay funds paid to them as a result of shortfalls in wages to their employers upon return to their country of origin.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of proposed increases to electricity network costs on manufacturers.

The Government published in November 2014, an estimate of the projected electricity networks costs for households and small, medium and large businesses users, in Annex D of the ‘Estimated impacts of energy and climate change policies on energy prices and bills’. These estimates reflect the eight year price control settlements that run from 2013 to 2021 (electricity transmission) and 2015 to 2023 (electricity distribution), as approved by the regulator, Ofgem.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/384404/Prices__Bills_report_2014.pdf

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether there has been a recent change to the policy that the Government would take a 25 per cent equity stake in Tata Steel's UK assets if a sale was necessary to secure the future of UK steel.

There has been no change in the Government’s policy

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what change there has been in the UK's share of global steel output over the last five years.

Year

Crude steel production (thousand tonnes)

UK share of global crude steel production

Global

UK

2011

1,538,003

9,478

0.62%

2012

1,560,131

9,579

0.61%

2013

1,650,354

11,858

0.72%

2014

1,670,145

12,120

0.73%

2015

1,620,900

10,860

0.67%

Source: World Steel Association Statistics

Notes:

1 – The figures above show the production of crude steel and cover all qualities made (carbon, stainless, other alloy).

2 – Data for global production of crude steel in 2015 is provisional. Figures for global production are subject to revision.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of support for the British Steel Pension Scheme in securing the future of the UK steel industry; and what steps he is taking to support that scheme.

The Government is committed to achieving a sustainable long term future for the UK steel industry and has and is taking a wide range of action, working with the industry, to help achieve this goal. The British Steel Pension Scheme is a private pension scheme. Therefore, decisions on the future of this are a matter for the Trustees and the Company.

12th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2016 to Question 40370, when his Department plans to outline its new approach to the carbon capture and storage industry; and if he will make a statement.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has a potential role to play in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK but its costs must come down.

We continue to work with industry to help develop CCS cost effectively and we will set out our future approach to CCS in due course.

12th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains Government policy to (a) offer specific financial support to the UK steel industry and (b) take a 25 per cent equity stake in Tata Steel.

The Government continues to make compensation payments to all Electricity Intensive Industries, including steel, for the policy costs in their electricity bills. To date we have paid the steel sector over £100 million. We continue to make significant progress in addressing the wider challenges faced by the steel sector, and are working through the Steel Council to ensure the efforts of the sector itself, the Trade Unions, and the Government are all targeted in the right areas.

We are also continuing to work with Tata, the Welsh Government and Trade Unions to support commercial discussions on the future of the company’s remaining UK assets.

21st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to re-examine the potential merits of establishing a materials catapult for manufacturing.

The Government recognises the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy and we have continued to invest significant funding through the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This has led to the launch of two new programmes designed to offer additional cutting edge equipment and expertise and extend the Catapult’s services to more manufacturing sectors; and to enable UK SMEs to become more productive and to win more business. We have also provided funding for the Catapult to establish two new centres in the North East - the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre at Darlington and the National Formulation Centre at NETPark in Sedgefield.

Innovate UK manages development of the Catapult network on behalf of Government.

It has rigorously considered the potential merits of establishing a Materials Catapult for Manufacturing and has concluded that there is no robust case to establish a Materials Catapult at this time. This decision has been confirmed within the last month and my Department does not intend to re-examine this assessment.

21st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that energy costs are competitive to support manufacturing industries.

The Government is working hard to ensure energy costs are not a barrier to growth and investment in the UK.

We have put in place a package of measures to alleviate the impact of electricity policy costs passed through in energy intensive businesses electricity bills. Due to this action, by 2020, this Government will have reduced the impacts of energy and climate change policies passed through in energy bills for the most energy intensive businesses by 80%.

To date, we have paid 105 companies including nine steel companies a total of £294m to address these costs. A number of energy intensive sectors are also exempted from the costs of the Climate Change Levy.

Additionally the Government is working closely with eight key energy intensive sectors to support energy efficiency and decarbonisation measures to help reduce energy costs, improve their competitiveness and cut emissions.

25th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what the level of arts spending per head in each of the regions of England has been in each of the last five years.

Funding decisions are a matter for the Arts Council England. The Government has been clear that the right balance of funding between London and the regions continues to require attention as part of our commitment to build a country that works for everyone. It is important that regardless of location, everyone should be able to access great arts and culture. Arts Council England continue to work on this and recently announced that the proportion of the national portfolio budget spent outside London will increase from 2018.

Spending in individual regions fluctuates from year to year and is heavily affected by individual large scale capital funding projects. However as the attached table shows, 2015-16 saw the largest proportion of spending outside London than in any of the previous 10 years – including five years of a Labour government.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to introduce proposals for regulations or guidance to reduce the cost of the use of British mobile telephones roaming outside of the EU.

The provider must send you an alert when you reach 80% and then 100% of the agreed data roaming limit. Operators must stop charging for data at the 100% point, unless you agree to continue to use data.

Ofcom provides advice on using telephones abroad, including in countries outside the European Union. See:

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2013/03/check-your-phone-before-you-roam/ and

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2013/07/using-your-smartphone-or-tablet-abroad/

This includes the advice to talk to your UK provider before you travel - it may offer special packages for your destination.

2nd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what role her Department plans to play in developing and implementing the Government's carers strategy in respect of support provided to young carers.

The Government has already introduced legislative changes to The Children Act 1989 (s17) to ensure that local authorities carry out an assessment, on request or on the appearance of need, of young carers’ need for support.

The Department for Education welcomed the Children’s Commissioner report and has just concluded the analysis of this, as well as recently published DfE-commissioned research. Officials are now considering the evidence and exploring various policy avenues which will help local authorities, schools and professionals to improve the identification and support of young carers and their families. This will lead to a contribution from Department for Education setting out our vision and future plans which will be part of the cross-government Carers’ Strategy led by the Department of Health and due to be published by Summer 2017.

1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the report by the Children's Commissioner for England on young carers, published in December 2016; and if she will provide additional support to councils in England to help them to (a) identify and (b) improve support for young carers.

The Government has already introduced legislative changes to The Children Act 1989 (s17) to ensure that local authorities carry out an assessment, on request or on the appearance of need, of young carers’ need for support.

The Department for Education welcomed the Children’s Commissioner report and has just concluded the analysis of this, as well as recently published DfE-commissioned research. Officials are now considering the evidence and exploring various policy avenues which will help local authorities, schools and professionals to improve the identification and support of young carers and their families. This will lead to a contribution from Department for Education setting out our vision and future plans which will be part of the cross-government Carers’ Strategy led by the Department of Health and due to be published by Summer 2017.

13th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2016 to Question 40132, whether there have been any changes to her Department's plans for the roll out of the National Teaching Service; and when her Department expects to confirm the details of those plans.

We are currently reviewing the lessons learned from the National Teaching Service pilot alongside our growing evidence base on the recruitment challenges that different schools face. The next steps on this will be set out in due course.

11th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data her Department holds on the number of children who rely on public transport to get to school in (a) England and (b) the North East.

The Department for Education does not hold data on the number of children who use public transport for their home to school journeys. While we do oversee the school transport policy and legislative framework which determines the duties of local authorities and we support this through the Local Government Finance Settlement, we do not prescribe the type of arrangements or modes of transport that can be used locally.

The Department for Transport does however, undertake an annual National Travel Survey which includes data on the modes of school travel. The 2015 survey, including regional level data, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-travel-survey-2015

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2016 to Question 40241, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the reconstituting of her Department on the continuation of (a) the Employer Skills Survey, (b) the Employer Perspectives Survey, (c) Labour Market Information and (d) other research products previously produced by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

My written statement of 21 July [HCWS121] confirmed that management of the Employer Skills Survey, the Employer Perspectives Survey and the LMI (Labour Market Information) for All Portal would be transferred to the Department for Education.

The contract for maintaining the LMI for All portal has been re-let to the Institute for Employment Research, the Employer Perspectives Survey is being prepared for publication and we will shortly begin commissioning of the Employer Skills Survey.

21st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many places for 16 to 19 year olds there are in (a) schools and (b) further education colleges in (i) the Tees Valley and (ii) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency; and how many such places are planned for each of the next five years.

i. The following table summarises the total number of places allocated to all post-16 institutions based in Tees Valley for the academic year 2016 to 2017:

Allocated 16 to 19 places for Tees Valley Area based institutions

Type

Student Numbers

Academy

2,274

Free School

56

Special Schools

311

Commercial and Charitable Provider

556

General FE and Tertiary

10,430

Local Authority

384

Sixth Form College

4,604

Grand Total

18,615

EFA Funded students – figures are yet to be published (October 2016) and may be subject to very minor change.

ii. The following table summarises the total number of places allocated to all post-16 institutions based in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency for the academic year 2016 to 2017:

Allocated 16 to 19 places for institutions based in the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency

Type

Student numbers

Academy

227

Sixth Form College

1,742

Grand Total

1,969

EFA Funded students – figures are yet to be published (October 2016) and may be subject to very minor change.

We do not hold planned numbers for future years.

30th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to encourage employers to provide work experience opportunities to people in full-time education.

We want young people to have opportunities to engage with employers and the world of work throughout their education. This should be an age appropriate approach which begins with work discovery activities in primary school.

We recognise that older children will benefit from an increasing range of employer interventions including inspiring talks, mentoring and work experience. That is why the employer-led Careers & Enterprise Company is increasing the level of employer input into schools and colleges. For example, by rolling out its Enterprise Adviser Network, which works closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships to connect employees from firms of all sizes to schools through a network of volunteer enterprise advisers drawn from business.

We want more young people to have the opportunity to take part in high quality work experience that helps to prepare them for the workplace and develop the employability skills that employers require. Work experience and work placements should be an integral part of most students’ 16-19 study programmes.

9th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will (a) establish an additional National Teaching Service (NTS) pilot in Teesside and (b) give priority to the Tees Valley in the NTS national roll-out in response to the recommendation in Lord Heseltine's report, Tees Valley: opportunity unlimited to prioritise the Tees Valley for national roll-out of the NTS.

In November 2015 we announced that by 2020 the National Teaching Service (NTS) will have placed 1,500 high-performing teachers and middle leaders into challenging schools in areas of the country that struggle to attract, recruit and retain high quality teachers.

The NTS was launched with plans for a pilot scheme in the North West of England from September 2016 with the aim of attracting 100 NTS teachers and middle leaders into schools in the region. The national programme will include a clear focus on delivering cohorts of NTS teachers and middle leaders into eligible schools in Achieving Excellence Areas (AEAs) as set out in the Educational Excellence Everywhere White Paper. We will confirm our plans for rolling out the NTS in due course.

8th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Lord Heseltine's report, Tees Valley: Opportunity unlimited, published on 7 June 2016, what assessment her Department has made of the feasibility of a University Technical College or Institute of Technology in the Tees Valley area.

Lord Heseltine’s report recommends that, following the Tees Valley Post-16 Area Review, universities and local employers should consider whether technical based education provision in the form of either a University Technical College (UTC) or Institute of Technology (IoT) may help to address skill gaps and contribute to meeting the future needs of business.

The Government is committed to establishing a UTC or technical academy within reach of every city. As with other new academies, proposals to establish new UTCs and technical academies are submitted to the Department twice a year. The Department for Education would consider any proposals from the Tees Valley area as it would from elsewhere. The strongest applications that demonstrate a clear need and demand for their chosen specialisms in their local area are approved to develop their plans further.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust is funded by the Department to support applicant groups and can be contacted to discuss future UTC proposals. The process for establishing IoTs has not started yet, so no assessment has been made regarding the feasibility of an Institute in the Tees Valley area.

24th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to encourage families with disabled children to access the full free childcare offer.

In September 2014 the Children and Families Act introduced the biggest reform to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disability system for 30 years. These reforms, which apply to early years, were supported across the House and are making a real difference for families.


This Government is committed to ensuring that all families have access to high quality, flexible and affordable childcare. Parents with disabled children should have the same opportunities via increased choice and access to high quality childcare. Local authorities are required by law to secure free entitlement places for parents that want their child to take them up. This includes the free entitlement to 15 hours of early education for two year olds, where children in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or who have an Education, Health and Care Plan are eligible.


From September 2014 all local authorities are required to publish a Local Offer of services for children with SEN and disability, and this must include childcare available in the area. As part of the early implementation phase of introducing 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three and four-year-olds, we have also encouraged innovative approaches to providing flexible childcare for children who are disabled or have SEN. Early Implementation happens from September 2016, ahead of full roll-out in September 2017.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on how many occasions in the last 12 months decision-makers within her Department have issued sanctions to teachers after disciplinary hearings that have differed from the sanctions recommended by the Professional Conduct Panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership; and in what respects those sanctions have differed from the recommended sanctions.

In the period 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014, decision makers issued sanctions to teachers after disciplinary hearings that differed from the sanctions recommended by the Professional Conduct Panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) on seven occasions. Details are included within the table below.

Number of Cases

Recommendation of panel

Final decision

3

No prohibition.

Prohibition for life with opportunity to apply for the order to be set aside after a minimum period of two years.

3

Prohibition for life with opportunity to apply for the order to be set aside after a minimum period of five years.

Prohibition for life with no opportunity to apply for the order to be set aside.

1

Prohibition for life with opportunity to apply for the order to be set aside after a minimum period of 10 years.

Prohibition for life with no opportunity to apply for the order to be set aside.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2014, Official Report, column 426W, on schools: finance, what the (a) total and (b) per pupil funding for each local authority area for 2015-16 is under the proposals currently published for consultation.

I announced on 13 March that in 2015-16, in addition to funding all local authorities at the same cash level per pupil as in 2014-15, we will provide an additional £350 million to the least fairly funded local authorities in the country. Our indicative figures for each local authority that gains under our proposals are published in Annex A of the consultation document at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fairer-schools-funding-2015-to-2016

We will protect the funding for all local authorities that do not gain under our minimum funding level proposals, ensuring that they will be funded at the same cash level per pupil as in 2014-15. The 2014-15 total and per pupil rates of funding for these local authorities are published at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-2014-to-2015

We will be able to announce final decisions on per pupil funding for each gaining local authority in 2015-16 after we have considered responses to the consultation, which closes on 30 April. We will be able to announce the total funding for each local authority in 2015-16 once final pupil numbers are confirmed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the statement of 13 March 2014, Official Report, columns 427-9, on school funding, what the (a) total and (b) per-pupil funding for each local authority area will be for 2015-16.

I announced on 13 March that in 2015-16, in addition to funding all local authorities at the same cash level per pupil as in 2014-15, we will provide a £350 million boost to the least fairly funded local authorities in the country. We have published a consultation document online, indicating the possible effects of this funding boost on some local authorities:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fairer-schools-funding-2015-to-2016

We will be able to announce final decisions on per pupil funding for each local authority in 2015-16 after we have considered responses to this consultation, which closes on 30 April. We will be then able to announce the total funding for each local authority in 2015-16 once final pupil numbers are confirmed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's planned capital departmental expenditure limit will be in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16.

The Department for Education's latest published planned capital departmental expenditure limit is set out in the recently published 2013-14 ‘Supplementary Estimate Memorandum' (Annex D), which can be accessed via the following link.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Education/DFE%20201314%20Supp%20Estimate%20Memorandum%20FINAL.pdf

A copy has been placed in the House Library.

The information will be updated when the Main 2014-15 Estimate is published in due course.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the effects of dumping steel flue dust on the surrounding environment; and what guidance and regulations apply to the disposal of steel flue dust.

Defra has not undertaken an assessment of the effects of disposing of flue dust from steelworks on the environment. Impacts of direct releases to the environment from steel production are assessed on a site-specific basis during determination of applications for environmental permits. Wastes produced from flue gas abatement are disposed of through many different disposal or recovery routes. Assessment of any environmental impact of these waste operations is also done on a site-specific basis.

Flue dust produced from steelworks will be hazardous waste to be treated and disposed of at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility. Those who produce or handle hazardous waste have a duty to ensure that the waste causes no harm or damage. Waste producers have specific responsibilities known as 'duty of care'. Those who produce, store, collect transport or receive waste for recycling or disposal must also meet extra requirements, which are described on the GOV.UK website.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which flood defence maintenance works were undertaken in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each year since 2010; and what the cost to the public purse was of each of those works.

The Environment Agency regularly cleans and maintains several debris screens on the upper reaches of the Ormesby Beck, Middle Beck and Marton West Beck in Middlesbrough. Other maintenance works by the Environment Agency consist of works to maintain, or improve, the flow of water in rivers where it reduces flood risk to homes.

In accordance with data retention rules, the Environment Agency does not hold financial records for more than five years. The table below outlines expenditure since 2011/12.

2011 - 12

2012 - 13

2013 - 14

2014 -15

2015 - 16

£1,370

£22,990

£21,730

£16,920

£116,220

23rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of insecurity of supply of potash minerals on farming and food production.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given on 24 June 2015, PQ UIN 3328.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions her Department has had with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the potential costs of cleaning pollutants from SSI property in Redcar.

Officials in the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive have been working with the Official Receiver to ensure that the SSI Redcar site is closed down in a safe manner and with minimal impact to the environment and human health. The closure Plan which the Official Receiver is now implementing will deliver a ‘safe state’ position.

Government continues to work closely with all relevant parties to establish the potential costs of cleaning pollutants from the site.

19th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the need for security of supply of potash minerals.

Defra has not made an assessment of the security of supply of potash minerals. The UK currently has one domestic mine for supply and therefore depends on some imports. Import statistics provided to Defra by the Agriculture Industries Confederation show that 135,000 tonnes of straight potash fertilisers and 389,000 tonnes of potash-containing compound fertilisers were imported into the UK from a wide range of EU and non-EU countries in the 12 months to March 2015 making up approximately 40% of UK consumption.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the issuing of planning guidance as part of the proposed National Pollinator Strategy to ensure that future development is beneficial to bees and other pollinators.

Defra officials discussed the National Pollinator Strategy in relation to planning guidance with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in autumn 2013. DCLG published the National Planning Practice Guidance in March 2014, which is clear about biodiversity aims.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on the potential role of equivalence agreements in future trading relationships with the EU.

Cabinet discussions are confidential. However, the whole Government is focused on seeking to negotiate a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU, which will include free-flowing trade in both goods and services. Currently, we have unprecedented levels of regulatory convergence with other EU Member States. That forms a strong starting point for a discussion about access to each other's markets.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what plans he has to negotiate visa-free travel for British citizens in the EU as a part of negotiations for the UK to exit the EU.

The UK’s post-exit immigration framework is yet to be determined.

At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the future of the UK steel industry.

As we prepare for negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU, we will continue to consult with a broad range of stakeholders within Government and beyond in order to secure the best possible deal for the whole UK.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her counterpart in Ukraine on assistance for internally displaced people in that country.

DFID officials and staff of the British Embassy in Kyiv are in regular contact with the Government of Ukraine and international partners regarding assistance for internally displaced people in Ukraine. My predecessor, Sir Desmond Swayne, met the current Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced People during his visit to Ukraine in November 2015.

Since 2014, the UK has played a key role in supporting the humanitarian response in eastern Ukraine. For internally displaced people, this has included support to meet basic living requirements, providing training in business skills and help for those who have survived sexual and gender-based violence to access medical and legal services.

25th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will hold discussions with the US Secretary of Commerce on the importance and value of UK steel exports to the US.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will make an (a) assessment of the extent of the avoidance of duties on Chinese steel via its importation into the EU through (i) Russia, (ii) Vietnam and (iii) other countries and (b) estimate of the potential cost of such avoidance to the UK steel industry.

Whilst the UK is part of the European Union, trade defence is an EU competence. My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade would encourage industry to present any prima facie evidence of circumvention of anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures to the European Commission. Where evidence is sufficient to justify an investigation the Commission will do so and present any proposals for imposing or extending duties to Member States.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether he has had discussions with the EU Anti-Fraud Office on alleged attempts by Chinese companies to avoid duties on Chinese-made steel by importing such steel through non-EU countries.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has not had any discussions with the EU Anti-Fraud Office on this issue and the Department has not been made aware of allegations or presented with any evidence of this activity in its regular contact with the steel industry.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve access to bus services for people who are visually impaired.

The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) have achieved a step-change in the accessibility of local bus services, including for visually impaired people who benefit from the priority seating, colour-contrasting step edges and hand-holds that it requires. Around 94% of buses in England now comply with the requirements of the PSVAR.

The Bus Services Bill, which is currently before Parliament, includes powers to introduce an Accessible Information Requirement, for local buses throughout Great Britain to provide audible and visible next stop announcements.

I am also preparing to launch a consultation on the Accessibility Action Plan (AAP) which is a cross modal plan to build on our social inclusion agenda by reducing barriers to disabled people accessing transport services.

2nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the options available to increase the provision of audio-visual information on buses.

The Bus Services Bill includes powers to introduce an Accessible Information Requirement, for local buses throughout Great Britain to provide audible and visible next stop announcements. The impact assessment for these new powers considered a number of options to increase the provision of audio-visual information on buses and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/561964/bus-services-bill-accessibility-information-requirement-annex-a.pdf

13th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department holds data on the level of motor vehicle ownership in (a) England and (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last five years.

The numbers of vehicles registered in England and in the Middlesbrough and East Cleveland constituency at the end of each of the last five years are as follows:-

Year

Licensed vehicles (thousands)

Mid year Population Estimates (thousands)

Vehicles per 1000 population

(a) England

2011

29,069

53,107

547

2012

29,275

53,494

547

2013

29,692

53,866

551

2014

30,361

54,317

559

2015

31,047

54,786

567

(b) Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

2011

48.2

92.8

520

2012

48.4

92.6

523

2013

48.8

92.5

528

2014

49.9

92.7

539

2015

50.3

1

1

Vehicle statistics are derived from the DVLA vehicle register. This is an operational database used to handle the licensing of vehicles registered in the United Kingdom. The number of vehicles are those where the address of the registered keeper is located in (a) England and (b) within the Middlesbrough and East Cleveland constituency. Mid year population estimates published by the Office for National Statistics. 1. figures for 2015 are not yet available.

27th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of the British steel industry to future transport infrastructure projects in the UK.

The Department has been working closely with BIS, Cabinet Office and industry to consider how Government can help the UK steel industry meet the challenges it has been facing.

The bulk of infrastructure projects within the Department are being delivered by the Department’s Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB), in particular, Network Rail, Highways England and HS2. Cabinet Office guidance on the approach to steel procurement has been circulated to the Accounting Officers of each ALB and procurement and commercial teams within these organisations are aware of the need to:

  • Signal the future pipeline of requirements on steel sourcing and best practice in pre-procurement market engagement;

  • Ensure there is clear visibility of opportunities at sub-contractor level where the source of steel has not been defined by a Tier 1 contractor;

  • Assess the health and sustainability of potential suppliers in the supply chain at selection stage, including compliance with relevant health and safety and employment legislation;

  • Ensure that the price or cost calculations are based on an assessment of the whole-life cost and not lowest purchase price;

  • Take account of appropriate social and environmental impacts at the award stage where they are linked to the subject of the contract.

As with the rest of the materials for construction, steel is procured by the supply chain for the majority of our infrastructure projects. The Department and its ALBs are complying with the Cabinet Office guidance and ensuring that, for instance, where appropriate, assessment of social and environmental impacts are considered as part of the evaluation criteria. The Department and its ALBs also positively encourage bids from British companies and are holding discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible position to win contracts.

Activity currently underway is as follows:


Network Rail

  • Network Rail buys approximately 120,000 tonnes of steel for rails per annum directly from British Steel in Scunthorpe, which is around 96% of Network Rail’s total aggregated demand by value.

Highways England

  • Highways England does not procure steel materials directly, however over the last five years Highways England has used a category management framework as the main method of procuring steel gantries for the Strategic Road Network.

  • To date circa 95% of this steel has been drawn from British Steel in the UK, which equates to approximately 11,000 tonnes of steel. The approximate framework spend is £30 million, of which about 35% will be steel procurement i.e. raw materials, and will equate to around £10.5 million.

Crossrail

  • The 57km of steel required for the rails of Crossrail’s brand new central tunnel section is being sourced entirely from British Steel in Scunthorpe. This equates to 7,000 tonnes of steel.

  • Crossrail Ltd does not directly procure steel as this is undertaken by their tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. However, Crossrail keeps an oversight of its critical contracts and estimates that 85% of its supply chain providing steel to the project is UK based.

HS2

  • It is estimated that HS2 will need approximately 2 million tonnes of steel over the next 10 years. The procurement for the main civil engineering works between Euston and Birmingham is now underway with procurements for the stations and rail systems expected to commence later this year and for rolling stock in early 2017. Subject to Royal Assent, the project will start construction in 2017.

  • As with the rest of the materials for construction, steel is procured by the supply chain. HS2 positively encourages bids from British companies and is already holding discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible position to complete for contracts for the steel that will be needed for track, concrete reinforcements, overhead wires and other structures.
10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to paragraph 9.2.7 of the report by Lord Heseltine, Tees Valley: opportunity unlimited, published in June 2016, if he will make it his policy to provide a new strategic road Tees crossing.

The first Road Investment Strategy (RIS) recognises that tackling congestion on the A19 is a priority and includes a scheme to widen the A19 between the A1027 (Norton) and A689 (Wynyard).

In addition, the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the local authorities are working in partnership with Highways England to identify options for a new crossing of the Tees to enhance the road network. The Combined Authority has made a bid to the Department’s Large Majors scheme for 2016/17 to develop proposals. The results of bids into this fund are due to be published in July 2016.

Highways England has begun gathering evidence to support the development of the second RIS period which commences in 2020/21. The evidence from Lord Heseltine’s Report will be taken into account in this process.

22nd Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress has been made on increasing the number of wheelchair accessible stations from street to platform level at National Rail and London Underground stations.

We take improving station accessibility very seriously and the Access for All programme has delivered step free access at over 150 stations with a further 68 projects in construction or development. In addition, whenever infrastructure work is carried out at stations it must meet current accessibility standards. For example, when Crossrail fully opens in 2019, all 40 stations on the route will also have step free access.

Step free access to London Underground is a matter for Transport for London, but I understand that 66 Tube stations and 57 London Overground stations currently have step-free access, and Docklands Light Railway stations are all step-free.

22nd Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that broken accessibility equipment on buses is considered as a priority for repair.

From 1 January 2016 all single-deck buses designed to carry over twenty-two passengers on local and scheduled routes must comply with the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR), which require them to incorporate a wheelchair space and boarding facility, priority seating and other features to make journeys easier for a range of disabled people. Double deckers must comply by January 2017, and coaches by 2020.

Currently 89% of buses are compliant, and last year just 47 of the 7,343 public service vehicles subject to routine checks were found to have PSVAR related defects. Operators of vehicles found to be non-compliant are required to rectify faults promptly or risk enforcement action.

We expect all operators to comply with the law and are working with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to ensure it continues to be enforced effectively.

22nd Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that bus operators educate their drivers on wheelchair use of the accessible space on buses.

Buses subject to the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) must incorporate a designated wheelchair space.

Priorities for the use of this facility are currently the subject of proceedings at the Supreme Court.

The assistance provided by drivers can be key to giving many disabled people the confidence to travel by bus however, and we have asked Mott MacDonald to review disability-awareness training from across the transport sector to inform the development of best practice guidance for bus operators. Our aim is to ensure that every bus driver has the skills and knowledge to provide disabled customers with a first class service.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of bus services in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Teesside.

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision is primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. Decisions about the provision of subsidised services are a matter for individual English local authorities, in the light of their other spending priorities.

The Government is committed to supporting bus services in England. We are taking forward a Buses bill to provide local authorities with the tools they need to improve local bus services.

9th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for the replacement of pacer trains that form part of the Northern franchise deal with Arriva Rail North Limited.

As we have stated, Pacers will be removed by the end of 2019. It is for the new operator to decide how and when (by that date) this occurs.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the time the DVLA takes to process reapplications for a driving license after a suspension of that license for medical reasons.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not hold specific information about the processing times for driving licence applications, which were submitted following the revocation of a licence for medical reasons.


The DVLA aims to complete 90% of all cases that require further medical investigations within 90 working days and is working hard to identify ways of improving the time taken to deal with these cases. Additional caseworkers and medical advisers have been employed and new processes introduced to speed up the time it takes to receive the necessary information. Longer term, the DVLA is considering digital solutions to improve the service it provides in this area.

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the ability of young drivers to gain insurance cover of the recent increase in the insurance premium tax.

My officials have not made an assessment. There are a number of behavioural, educational and technological interventions that have the potential to help improve young driver safety and hence have an impact on insurance premiums. We need better evidence about what works best, so we’re working with insurance companies to see how we can assess the impact of telematics products, amongst other things, on young driver safety.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the rising cost of motor insurance.

A combination of legislative changes and working with stakeholders on reducing the frequency and cost of personal injury claims resulted in a 14% drop in average insurance premiums between 2012 and 2014.


This Government is determined to continue working with the insurance industry to tackle uninsured driving and reduce the cost of motor insurance.

27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of progress on High Speed 2.

In March, the Department for Transport published ‘HS2: On track’, which summarises the considerable progress made on the project since 2010 and sets out the next steps. HS2 remains on track, both in terms of Parliamentary process and in terms of practical preparations permitted under the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act.

The hybrid Bill for the first phase of HS2 is making good progress through Parliament. Of the 1,960 petitions received, over 500 have been dealt with so far during the Select Committee process, which began in July last year. This is approximately twice as many as were dealt with by the Crossrail Committee in 21 months of sittings.

Ground Investigation works have begun at both ends of the Phase One route. These works will inform the design stage of the major civil works due to start in 2017/2018, for which the initial stages of procurement of the enabling works have already commenced.

Following the close of the public consultation on the proposed route for Phase Two in January 2014, HS2 Ltd and the Department have been analysing route and station options as reflected in David Higgins’ reports of March and October 2014. The Government intends to announce the way forward on Phase Two later this year.

The Government has previously said it will deliver HS2 in the north sooner by preparing a dedicated hybrid Bill to lay during this Parliament. This is with a view to bringing HS2 to Crewe sooner than planned, subject to further analysis and decisions on preferred route. We will also look at the case for accelerating the construction of the route between Leeds and Sheffield, and allowing it to be used by for fast regional train services.

3rd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the extent to which chief officers of territorial police forces have used the Marine Navigation Act 2013 to permit port constables to act outside their port area for policing purposes connected with the port constable's police area.

Of the six English port police forces, able to use the Marine Navigation Act, the port police forces for Bristol, Dover and Teesport have sought and received the consent of the Chief Constable of the relevant territorial police force to exercise certain powers outside their port area, while a fourth, Liverpool Port Police, is currently seeking it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to paragraph 2,246 of the Budget 2014, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the Scottish Government matchfunding expenditure on a feasibility study on A1 improvements north of Newcastle.

The Department has committed to undertaking six feasibility studies as part of the process of identifying and funding solutions to tackle some of the most notorious and long-standing road hot spots in the country. The studies include work on the problems on the A1 north of Newcastle.

The Department has commenced conversations with the Scottish Government regarding the offer made as part of the Budget 2014 to extend the study further north into Scotland if the Scottish Government matchfund the costs.

Government expects to report back at Autumn Statement 2014 with solutions to alleviate congestion and tackle the problems on this route.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support Durham Tees Valley Airport has received from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund; and whether Durham Tees Valley Airport will benefit from the expansion of this fund announced in the Budget 2014.

The Department for Transport has received no applications in connection with Durham Tees Valley Airport for the funding set aside in last year's Spending Round for supporting air services. The Chancellor announced in this year's Budget that support will be provided for start-up aid for new air routes from the UK's regional airports. The Department for Transport is working with the Treasury to develop guidance that will clarify how the Government will ordinarily expect to interpret the European Union aviation State Aid guidelines on start-up aid, and explain how the funding process will work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on how many occasions practical driving tests have been appealed to magistrates' and sheriff courts in each year since 2008; how many such appeals were upheld; and for what reasons.

Since 2008 DVSA holds record of 12 practical driving test appeals that have come before the magistrate's court; we have no record of any practical driving test appeals that have come before the Sheriff's court. None of these appeals were upheld as detailed in the chart below.

Date and place of hearing Under S90 or S133 RTA Outcome
11.06.2008 - CroydonS133Dismissed
27.01.2009 - Bexley HeathS90Dismissed
25.03.2009 - CaernarfonS133Withdrawn
01/06/2009 - UNKNOWNS90Settled without prejudice prior to hearing
15.07.2009 LeicesterS90Dismissed
31.07.2009 LeicesterS133Withdrawn
5.11.2010 - UNKNOWNS90Failed to attend preliminary hearing
28.02.2011 CoventryS133Withdrawn
13.09.2011 SheffieldS90Not upheld
26.07.2012 WakefieldS90Cancelled preliminary hearing
02.08.2012 BournemouthS90Withdrawn
11.11.2013 WolverhamptonS133Withdrawn at hearing on judge's advice

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average age of rolling stock serving the (a) Tees Valley Line and (b) Esk Valley Line is.

The rolling stock operated on these two lines is a mixture of Class 142 and Class 156 units which were constructed between 1985 and 1989.

However, the age of rolling stock is a crude measure of quality – as a properly planned refurbishment of an older train can result in a very pleasant travelling environment and a "new train feel" but at a fraction of the cost of a new unit.

Information on the average age of rolling stock is available from the Office of Rail Regulation's website, by following this link:

http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/displayreport/report/html/53dcc4e1-3223-48f9-9e9c-10d51359cdd7

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many 18 to 21 year olds claim housing benefit in (a) the North East of England, (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, (c) Middlesbrough and (d) Redcar and Cleveland.

Information on the caseload of 18-21 year olds claiming Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance in the requested areas is available on DWP Stat-Xplore.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many 18 to 21 year olds claim the housing costs element of universal credit in (a) the North East of England, (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency, (c) Middlesbrough and (d) Redcar and Cleveland.

The information requested is not currently available. On 15th March 2017 we will be publishing further statistics on Universal Credit, which will be published in accordance with the relevant protocols in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

25th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2016 to Question 48471, if he will make it his policy to collect shift pattern data for (a) mining and (b) other potentially dangerous industries.

HSE does not plan to make any changes to its policy in collection of shift pattern data for the mining industry. HSE routinely makes use of available sources such as the Labour Force Survey to identify shift patterns and has commissioned research, where appropriate, to address specific issues.

If an investigation of a reported incident led an HSE inspector to believe that shift work (or any risks associated with shift work) was a potential causative factor, they would pursue that line of enquiry and take appropriate enforcement action where necessary.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made an assessment of whether the conditions have been met for the Pensions Regulator to issue a contribution notice to Tata Steel in relation to the British Steel Pension Scheme.

The assessment of whether it is appropriate to issue contribution notices is the responsibility of the Independent Pensions Regulator.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he made an estimate of the number of foreign companies employing migrant workers in the UK who have sued their employees for overpayment of wages upon their return to their country of origin.

DWP has not made an estimate of the number of foreign companies employing migrant workers in the UK who have sued their employees for overpayment of wages upon their return to their country of origin.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations he has received on migrant employees in the UK being forced to repay funds paid to them as a result of shortfalls in wages to their employers upon return to their country of origin; and if he will make a statement.

DWP has received no representations on migrant employees in the UK being forced to repay funds paid to them as a result of shortfalls in wages to their employers upon return to their country of origin.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had with the Pensions Regulator on using its powers to oblige Tata Steel to increase its support for the British Steel Pension Scheme.

The Pensions Regulator is independent, and how it uses its powers is a matter for the regulator. The Secretary of State and I regularly meet the independent Pensions Regulator about a variety of matters.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2016 to Question 44365, whether the Health and Safety Executive holds any data on changes to work patterns in the mining industry in each of the last five years.

The Health and Safety Executive do not hold any statistical data on changes to work patterns in the mining industry in the last five years.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made a decision not to provide any support for the British Steel Pension Scheme which would require new secondary legislation in the way proposed in the British Steel Pension Scheme: Public Consultation; and if he will make a statement.

The consultation paper set out various options for potentially helping the British Steel Pension Scheme as a part of a wider package of Government support to do what we can for UK steel, steel workers and affected localities. The consultation closed on 23 June, and we will respond in due course.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 September 2016 to Question 44288, how many of these incidents led to fatalities.

There have been three incidents leading to fatalities.

  • Four people died as a result of an inrush of water at the Gleision Mine in South Wales on 15 September 2011;
  • One person died as a result of a fall of ground at Kellingley Colliery, North Yorkshire on 27 September 2011;
  • One person died as a result of a sudden and powerful release of gas from rocks at Boulby Mine in East Cleveland on 17 June 2016.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what meetings he has had with Ministers of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the British Steel Pension Scheme.

Officials from both departments maintain regular contact on this issue.

So far, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has had one meeting with Ministers of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to discuss the British Steel Pensions Scheme, and future meetings are planned.

13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2016 to Question 44365, what assessment the Health and Safety Executive has made on the effect of long shift patterns on the incidence of (a) errors, (b) accidents and (c) injuries in (i) all sectors of the workforce and (ii) the mining industry.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not hold this information. However, HSE recognises that poorly designed shift-working arrangements and long working hours can result in fatigue, accidents, injuries and ill health and has produced guidance for employers on designing and implementing shift-working arrangements:

(http://www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors/topics/fatigue.htm).

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many accidents have occurred in mines in each of the last five years.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) operational data is derived from reports made under duties contained in the Reporting of Injuries and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) (and earlier versions). It is as follows:

Year

No. of reported injuries in underground mines in Great Britain* **

1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012

204

1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013

146

1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014

114

1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015

75

1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016

52

1 April 2016 – 31 August 2016

21

* A key change to RIDDOR occurred in April 2012, ie the threshold for reporting of those injuries to workers which result in the person being incapacitated for more than three days changed to over seven days.

** It should be noted that the reducing trend is, in part, due to the reduction in the number of large working mines in recent years.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations he has received on the recent fatalities at the Boulby Potash mine; and whether his Department has made an assessment of the need to take any such action in respect of those fatalities.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received one representation on recent incidents, from the hon. Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. HSE has carried out a variety of interventions with the operators of Boulby mine, ranging from the serving of Prohibition Notices to a detailed assessment of their safety and competency management systems. HSE is reviewing the circumstances of a number of recent incidents with a view to taking further enforcement action if appropriate.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on the number of health and safety incidents which have taken place in the mining industry when employees were working on shift patterns of more than (a) eight, (b) 10 and (c) 12 hours.

The Health and Safety Executive does not hold such information.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on the relationship between staffing levels and health and safety incidents in mines.

During its interventions, HSE assesses how dutyholders provide for and manage the provision of safety-critical competence at mines. This includes assessing whether staff with responsibility for safety-critical tasks are sufficiently experienced and resourced.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent accidents in the mining industry.

The Mines Regulations 2014 replaced all previous legislation relating to health and safety in mines. They provide a comprehensive and simple goal-setting legal framework to ensure that mine operators provide all the necessary protection for mineworkers and others from the inherent hazards in mining.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) targets interventions with the underground mining dutyholders and a mine’s past safety and health performance is taken into account when deciding on the detail of specific interventions.

HSE investigates reported accidents in mines in line with the criteria set out in its Incident Selection Criteria. Investigations focus on determining both the immediate and underlying causes in order to prevent recurrence. HSE also make recommendations for improved methods of work and systems for the wider industry if necessary and holds dutyholders to account through proportional enforcement where appropriate.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make financial support available to improve health and safety (a) at Boulby Potash mine and (b) in the mining industry.

The Government does not provide individual businesses or the mining industry with financial support to help them meet their health and safety duties. Protection of employees, or others who may be affected by work activities, is the responsibility of those who create the health and safety risks. The Health and Safety Executive’s programme of work for the mines industry is described further on its website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/programme.htm).

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what change there has been in the proportion of (a) pensioners and (b) children living in low income households in the North East of England in the last 12 months.

Estimates of (a) pensioners and (b) children living in low income households in the North East of England are published in the National Statistics Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. These are calculated on a three-year average basis as single year estimates are too volatile from year to year.

In the North East, the proportion of pensioners with incomes below 60% of median equivalised income, After Housing Costs, rose by 1ppt to 13% between 2011/12 – 2013/14 and 2012/13 – 2014/15, while the proportion of children with incomes below 60% of median equivalised income, Before Housing Costs, rose by 1ppt to 19% between 2011/12 – 2013/14 and 2012/13 – 2014/15.

The government has also set out a new life chances approach that will include a set of indicators to measure progress in tackling the root causes of poverty such as worklessness, educational attainment and family stability.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department make available to people whose mandatory reconsideration and appeal takes longer than seven weeks to resolve.

Claimants who are found fit for work through the Work Capability Assessment and wish to appeal may be entitled to claim either Universal Credit, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance during the reconsideration period. Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches work with all such claimants to tailor a package of support commensurate with their individual needs.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that medical assessors and people considering appeals have sufficient knowledge of muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular conditions and other rare and progressive conditions.

The assessment for Personal Independence Payment is carried out by registered health professionals who have specialist training in assessing the impact of disability and health conditions on an individual’s functional ability, including conditions such as muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular conditions and other rare and progressive conditions.

All health professionals receive comprehensive training in disability analysis which includes a functional evaluation as to how medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular conditions and other rare and progressive conditions, and the long-term medical treatment of those conditions, affect their ability to perform day-to-day activities. Prior to carrying out an assessment they routinely refresh their knowledge of any condition with which they are not fully familiar.

The Department’s Decision Makers and Appeal Writers receive training in health conditions to assess each case individually using the evidence provided by the claimant and the Health Professional, and can call on additional support from a Health Professional as necessary.

In all Personal Independence Payment assessments consideration is given to whether claimants can complete activities safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period.

We have also worked closely with medical experts and charities to make significant improvements to the Work Capability Assessment, including strengthening the training programme to put more emphasis on making sure that assessors do not just focus on how someone manages on a 'good day' but also consider their 'bad days' if they have a health issue that fluctuates.

6th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) men and (b) women will not qualify for a pension under the new state pension rules.

Men or women who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 will be eligible to receive the new State Pension and will do so as long as they have at least 10 qualifying years. Estimates of the number of pensioners in Great Britain who do not have 10 qualifying years will shortly be published in ‘Impact of New State Pension (nSP) on an Individual’s Pension Entitlement – Longer Term Effects of nSP’.

7th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he plans to publish the White Paper on supporting people with health conditions and disabilities to get into work.

As announced in the Spending Review, the Government will publish a White Paper in 2016 that will set out reforms to improve support for people with health conditions and disabilities.


Priti Patel
Home Secretary
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what underspend there has been on the Youth Contract scheme; and how any such underspend has been used.

The Government has announced a number of measures to reallocate the Youth Contract underspend.

In July 2013, the Deputy Prime Minister announced that out of the £1 billion initially allocated to the Youth Contract, £50 million of underspend would be made available to City Deals to support local youth initiatives. Additionally £5m of funding was made available to the devolved administrations to support further youth schemes.

Funding of £35 million was also allocated to extend the successful New Enterprise Allowance scheme. The scheme has already helped over 40,000 people start up their own business. A further £20m was allocated for start-up loans.

Further funds were allocated to enable pilots for 18-21 year olds with low levels of skills including maths and English, and 16/17 year olds to receive help from Jobcentre Plus.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department make available to people whose mandatory reconsideration and appeal takes longer than seven weeks to resolve.

Claimants who are found fit for work through the Work Capability Assessment and wish to appeal may be entitled to claim either Universal Credit, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance during the reconsideration period. Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches work with all such claimants to tailor a package of support commensurate with their individual needs.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the Government plans to publish the new carers strategy.

The Department expects to publish the new national strategy for carers in the spring. No publication date has yet been set.

1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much of the NHS budget was spent on commissioning private providers in each of the last five years.

The requested information is supplied in the following table:

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

£ million

£ million

£ million

£ million

£ million

Total commissioner spend on independent sector

5,320

5,669

6,467

8,067

8,722

Total National Health Service revenue expenditure

100,266

102,570

106,495

110,554

114,730

Spend on independent sector as a percentage of total NHS revenue spend

5.3%

5.5%

6.1%

7.3%

7.6%

1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many patients have had to wait longer than (a) two weeks, (b) five weeks, (c) 10 weeks and (d) 15 weeks between being assessed for hip replacement surgery and that surgery taking place.

Information is collected representing the time from decision to admit to treatment for knee and hip replacement surgery. The latest available data is for 2015-16 and is shown in the following table.

A count of finished admission episodes (FAEs) 1 with an eligible time waited from decision to admit to treatment for main2 or secondary3 procedure for hip and knee replacements (and revisions) with waiting times (in days) of two and five weeks (14 - 35 days), between five and 10 weeks (36 - 70 days), between 10 and 15 weeks (71 - 105 days) and longer than 15 weeks (106 days and over) in England for 2015-16

Time Waited (Days)

Hip operations (FAEs)

Knee operations (FAEs)

2-5 weeks (14-35 days)

8,826

9,341

5-10 weeks (36-70 days)

17,893

19,672

10-15 weeks (71-105 days)

16,220

18,992

15 weeks and over (106 days and over)

20,941

27,169

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS Digital, Activity in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Notes

  1. Total admissions with eligible time waited information

The total number of eligible admissions includes waiting list, booked admissions and planned (elective) admissions. A waiting list admission is one in which a patient has been admitted electively into hospital from a waiting list, having been given no date of admission at the time a decision to admit was made. Booked admissions are those in which the patient was admitted electively having been given a date at the time it was decided to admit. Planned admissions are usually part of a planned sequence of clinical care determined mainly on clinical criteria, which, for example, could require a series of events, perhaps taking place every three months, six months or annually. A FAE is the first period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FAEs are counted against the year or month in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period.

  1. Main procedure

The first recorded procedure or intervention in each episode, usually the most resource intensive procedure or intervention performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main procedure when looking at admission details, (eg time waited), but a more complete count of episodes with a particular procedure is obtained by looking at the main and the secondary procedures.

  1. Secondary procedure

As well as the main procedure, there are up to 23 (11 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and three prior to 2002-03) secondary procedure fields in HES that show secondary procedures performed on the patient during the episode of care.

1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many patients have waited longer than (a) two weeks, (b) five weeks, (c) 10 weeks and (d) 15 weeks between an assessment for knee replacement surgery and for that surgery taking place.

Information is collected representing the time from decision to admit to treatment for knee and hip replacement surgery. The latest available data is for 2015-16 and is shown in the following table.

A count of finished admission episodes (FAEs) 1 with an eligible time waited from decision to admit to treatment for main2 or secondary3 procedure for hip and knee replacements (and revisions) with waiting times (in days) of two and five weeks (14 - 35 days), between five and 10 weeks (36 - 70 days), between 10 and 15 weeks (71 - 105 days) and longer than 15 weeks (106 days and over) in England for 2015-16

Time Waited (Days)

Hip operations (FAEs)

Knee operations (FAEs)

2-5 weeks (14-35 days)

8,826

9,341

5-10 weeks (36-70 days)

17,893

19,672

10-15 weeks (71-105 days)

16,220

18,992

15 weeks and over (106 days and over)

20,941

27,169

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS Digital, Activity in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Notes

  1. Total admissions with eligible time waited information

The total number of eligible admissions includes waiting list, booked admissions and planned (elective) admissions. A waiting list admission is one in which a patient has been admitted electively into hospital from a waiting list, having been given no date of admission at the time a decision to admit was made. Booked admissions are those in which the patient was admitted electively having been given a date at the time it was decided to admit. Planned admissions are usually part of a planned sequence of clinical care determined mainly on clinical criteria, which, for example, could require a series of events, perhaps taking place every three months, six months or annually. A FAE is the first period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FAEs are counted against the year or month in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period.

  1. Main procedure

The first recorded procedure or intervention in each episode, usually the most resource intensive procedure or intervention performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main procedure when looking at admission details, (eg time waited), but a more complete count of episodes with a particular procedure is obtained by looking at the main and the secondary procedures.

  1. Secondary procedure

As well as the main procedure, there are up to 23 (11 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and three prior to 2002-03) secondary procedure fields in HES that show secondary procedures performed on the patient during the episode of care.

1st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to reduce waiting times for orthopaedic operations in the last 12 months; and whether waiting times for such operations have reduced in the last 12 months.

NHS England publishes monthly data on referral to treatment waiting times to report performance against the right that patients have to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions. These data show that average median waiting times for patients on a waiting list to start trauma and orthopaedic treatment in admitted patient or outpatient settings were 7.4 weeks at the end of December 2015 and 8.1 weeks at the end of December 2016.

Maintaining waiting time performance is a key objective in the Government’s Mandate to NHS England for 2016-17. Both NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing support and challenge to National Health Service commissioners and providers to reduce waiting times for hospital treatment.

25th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the average travel distance to GP services for patients in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Redcar and Cleveland, (d) Middlesbrough and (e) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency.

Information on average travel distance to general practice services for patients is not collected by the Department or by NHS England.

11th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of particle pollutants on children's health and development in the UK.

The independent expert advisory Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) published a statement on the evidence linking air pollution to effects on children’s health in 2008. This acknowledged the conclusions of a report by the World Health Organization (2005) of effects on children’s health, including development of lung function, but also noted that the evidence for some effects was from areas where levels of air pollutants were higher than those found in the United Kingdom.

In 2010 COMEAP published a statement on the evidence linking air pollution with childhood asthma. The evidence confirmed that exposure to ambient concentrations of air pollutants is associated with an increase in exacerbations of asthma in those who already have the condition. The evidence for air pollution causing new cases of asthma is less clear. However, COMEAP concluded that it is possible that air pollution plays a part in the induction of asthma in some individuals who live near busy roads, particularly roads carrying high numbers of heavy goods vehicles.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to target the recruitment of new GPs to practices with high levels of clinical need and deprivation.

NHS England, Health Education England (HEE), the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners (GPs) have been working together to support recruitment in areas to which it has traditionally been hard to recruit to.

NHS England is offering £20,000 bursaries to attract over 100 GP trainees to work in areas of the country where GP training places have been unfilled for a number of years. The offer is open to GP trainees committed to working for three years in one of the locations. The initiative is designed to relieve pressure on some of the GP practices in England currently facing the most severe recruitment challenge.

The GP Forward View complements the 10 point plan that was introduced in January 2015. A £10 million investment was announced by NHS England from the infrastructure fund to kick start a new plan to expand the general practice workforce. The money is being used to recruit new GPs, retain those that are thinking of leaving the profession, encourage doctors to return to general practice and to develop a multi-professional workforce. HEE is responsible for five areas of the 10 Point Plan:

- Promoting General Practice;

- Improve Breadth of Training;

- Training Hubs;

- New Ways of Working (which includes the Primary Care Workforce Commission); and

- Easy Return to Practice.

12th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ask the Foods Standards Agency to review the licence granted for BHM Food Group Ltd to operate an abattoir in Boosbeck.

BHM Food Group Ltd are no longer approved to operate as a slaughterhouse. They remain conditionally approved as a cutting plant and minced meat establishment. A third and final approval assessment will be conducted by 11 November 2016 to check their compliance against all relevant requirements of food law. If they have not met all these requirements their application for full approval will be refused.

The Food Standards Agency is aware of concerns raised by local residents regarding the environmental impact of a slaughterhouse sited within the village of Boosbeck. However, the Agency is not the competent authority for environmental hygiene matters which inform planning consent. Both of these roles (Environmental Health and Planning) are fulfilled by the local authority.

12th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has had any meetings with representatives of the Prescription Charges Coalition.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lord Prior) met with representatives of the Prescription Charges Coalition on 25 May 2016.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the financial cost to local authorities of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for people who are placed in care homes or hospitals for their care or treatment.

The Department published an impact assessment on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in 2008; it has made no further estimate. The Law Commission’s review of the safeguards, which has been commissioned by the Department, is expected to be published at the end of the year.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to tackle obesity in (a) the North East and (b) England.

We launched Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action on 18 August. A copy of the plan is attached and is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/546588/Childhood_obesity_2016__2__acc.pdf

4th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the level of alcohol dependency in the criminal justice system.

Research shows that around three quarters of people in contact with the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom have a problem with alcohol and over a third are dependent on alcohol; this includes those in police custody, those in probation settings and those in the prison system.

Public Health England has advised that in 2014/15 there were 79,952 new presentations to alcohol treatment in the community. 7,688 (10%) of these were referred to treatment via the criminal justice system (including arrest referral services, prisons and probation). See Report on Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Service 2014-15, table 4.5.1, which is available at:

http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/adult-statistics-from-the-national-drug-treatment-monitoring-system-2014-2015.pdf

4th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to develop (a) interventions for people with alcohol problems before they commit criminal offences and (b) support for people with alcohol problems within the criminal justice system; and if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of research by Professor Newbury-Birch of Teesside University, published in June 2016, on alcohol and the criminal justice system.

Across government, we have sought new ways to help rehabilitate offenders and support them to improve their health and live crime free lives. We take account of available evidence and research findings when developing new responses to alcohol dependency for people in the criminal justice system.

Liaison and Diversion services which currently cover 53% of the population in England, provide early interventions for individuals of all ages, including those with alcohol problems, and inform decision-makers in the criminal justice system when sentencing people referred to these services.

Liaison and Diversion services can help limit the number of court hearings, avoiding costly adjournments and periods on remand. Where appropriate, vulnerable offenders including those with drug and alcohol problems can be diverted away from the criminal justice system entirely.

27th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce health inequalities.

Reducing health inequalities is a priority for this Government.

We are acting to reduce health inequalities by addressing the social causes of ill health, promoting healthier lifestyles for all and tackling differences in outcomes of NHS services, all underpinned by legal duties.

We have taken an evidence-based, strategic approach to reducing health inequalities, based on sound governance, accountability and good partnership working and are moving towards greater use of metrics and measurement taking more account of the action taken to respond to the latest evidence, data and trends. This approach is reflected across the health system and beyond with NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) playing their part.

Achieving measureable and sustained reductions in health inequalities is integral to the Department’s Shared Delivery Plan 2015-20, and reflected in the Government’s mandate to NHS England, the NHS Constitution, NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, PHE’s Evidence into Action and supporting strategic and business plans at national and local level. NHS England’s Business Plan for 2016/17 prioritises closing the gap for groups experiencing poorer health outcomes, a poorer experience of, and access to, healthcare. PHE is supporting local and national efforts to address health inequalities by providing knowledge and intelligence, and evidence-informed tools and advice.

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act introduced new duties on the Secretary of State, NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and Monitor to have regard to the need to reduce health inequalities in decision-making and carrying out functions. We have also made having regard to the need to reduce health inequalities a condition of the public health grant to local authorities.

27th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve health outcomes in the North East.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 statutory duties, Public Health England (PHE) works with local authorities to improve the health of local populations and provide services including drug and alcohol misuse as well as sexual health services.

PHE works very closely with local authorities, and are undertaking a number of projects in the North East to improve health and address health inequalities.

16th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with neuromuscular conditions who require a cough assist machine have access to a machine commissioned by their clinical commissioning group.

NHS England has been working with Muscular Dystrophy UK through the Bridging the Gap project to address areas of concern raised by patients and their representatives, one of which is the provision of cough assist machines for people with neuromuscular conditions.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning and funding cough assist machines, where appropriate. A number of CGGs have now developed commissioning policies for these devices based on one developed by Walsall CCG, which has been shared nationally as an example of good practice by Muscular Dystrophy UK.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will provide additional funding to South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group for improvements and new facilities at Guisborough Primary Care Hospital.

We are making additional resources available to the National Health Service by backing the NHS Five Year Forward View with £10 billion a year real terms additional funding by 2020-21, compared to 2014-15, with £3.8 billion real terms growth in 2016-17.

It is for the local NHS to determine how best to use the funds available to it to improve local services. In 2016-17, the South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group will receive £413.3 million - a cash increase of 3.05%.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of clinical trial capacity at muscle centres.

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

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress is being made on establishing NHS-funded neuromuscular networks in each region.

NHS England is responsible for commissioning specialised neurological services, including some services for patients with neuromuscular disorders. NHS England has published a service specification for neurological care that includes an exemplar service specification for neuromuscular conditions that sets out what providers must have in place to offer evidence-based, safe and effective services. The specification can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/d04-neurosci-spec-neuro.pdf

National Health Service providers, working with local area teams, may establish neuromuscular networks if they consider it would benefit service provision; such decisions are a local matter.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans NHS England has to integrate standards for specialist neuromuscular care within the paediatric neurology service specification.

Children with neuromuscular conditions are included within the current service specification for paediatric neurology:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/e09-paedi-neurology.pdf

18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to (a) reduce waiting times for children to receive an assessment for a mental health condition and (b) address the disparity between those waiting times across different NHS mental health trusts.

Waiting times are not currently collected centrally, however the Government accepts there is variation in waiting times and is committed to improving access and is introducing the first ever waiting time standards for mental health services.


These include an access and waiting time standard for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder. This states that National Institute of Health and Care Excellence concordant treatment should commence within a maximum of four weeks from first contact with a designated healthcare professional for routine cases and within one week for urgent cases. Data collected in 2016 will help inform incremental percentage increases in compliance with the standard, with the aim of 95% of patients being treated within the standard’s timescale by 2020.


We have also introduced an access and waiting times standard on Early Intervention in Psychosis announced in Mental health services: achieving better access by 2020 which came into force in April 2015. Whilst focused on all ages, most individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis are in the 16-25 age group.


The setting of a blanket access and waiting time standard for children and young people’s mental health services is not feasible due to the wide range of conditions, services and care pathways this covers. However, NHS England will be working with partner organisations to lead work on the development of further access and waiting time standards for children’s mental health as part of the transformation programme on children and young people’s mental health.


At a local level, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have worked with local partners to produce Local Transformation Plans for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing that will set out how they will improve support for children and young people in line with the vision in Future in mind. In addition, CCGs have legal duty to consider the need to reduce inequalities in access to, and outcomes from healthcare services, and we would expect commissioners to have due regard to waiting times as part of this.


The new Mental Health Services Dataset will begin from January 2016, to provide data for both adults and children on outcomes, length of treatment, the source of referral, location of appointment and demographic information.

16th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve tests for Lyme disease to ensure early diagnosis.

Public Health England regularly review new tests for Lyme disease and participate in a Europe wide Quality Assurance programme to ensure that the most suitable tests available are used.

16th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to address the reported shortfall of £107 million in the Department's 2015 budget and the consequent imbalance in funding for mental health services.

With the financial controls package and help from system leads, we are working towards delivering a balanced position against the overall spending controls in this financial year, despite an unprecedented level of deficit in the National Health Service provider sector.


The NHS must now put in place cost-control measures we have introduced, like clamping down on agency spend, limiting the use of management consultants and making sure trusts have to justify the pay package of any manager who is paid more than the Prime Minister, while we continue to work with hospitals on ways to improve productivity and reduce waste.


This year, we are investing £173 million of additional money in mental health, including £30 million for services for young people with eating disorders. We are taking a targeted and phased approach to the additional investment, to enable local areas to develop additional capacity and a collaborative approach across health, education and children’s services. This is what is needed to make a real difference.


We remain committed to providing the additional £1.25 billion investment in mental health services over the next five years, as announced in the Budget 2015.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what contingency plans he has prepared to ease pressures on A&E services during winter 2015-16.

This year winter planning has been integrated into the overall planning process for the National Health Service with winter monies put into clinical commissioning group baseline funding. As part of planning for the winter, each local system has been asked to implement eight high impact interventions to improve patient flow, the key driver of performance.

To support the systems under the most pressure, the Emergency Care Improvement Programme will provide intensive expert support over winter to drive improvements in performance.

8th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to reduce the mortality rate from drug misuse in the North East.

The latest rise in drug misuse deaths – particularly in the North East – is a great concern and highlights the need for further local and national action. We need to ensure the most vulnerable users can access drug treatment and harm reduction services, where they have the best chance of recovery.

Public Health England will continue to support local authorities in delivering effective recovery services for everyone who needs them. They are providing local authorities and commissioners with expert advice, evidence, and management information including outcomes and value for money data. This can help to ensure that the local services are evidence-based, effective and integrated with local health, housing and employment support.

27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what data protection measures are in place when sending patient data to a country that does not appear on the European Commission's list of countries recognised as providing adequate protection.

All National Health Service organisations are expected to comply with their existing obligations for data protection. Organisations that consider sending data overseas must follow existing information governance guidance that includes a comprehensive assessment of the risks and mitigations possible. Such risk considerations should be undertaken on a case by case basis by the NHS organisation concerned and may vary according to the data and overseas locations involved. Use of the standard contract clauses provided by the Information Commissioner should also be made, with appropriate data assurance checks implemented.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many treatments on the Cancer Drugs Fund list scored points for addressing unmet need when appraised by the decision making panel.

Since April 2013, the following three drugs have been reviewed by NHS England’s Cancer Drugs Fund panel and added to the Cancer Drugs Fund list after scoring points for unmet need.

- lenalidomide (Revlimid) for transfusion-dependent anaemia due to low- or intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes associated with an isolated deletion 5q or an isolated deletion 5q plus one other cytogenetic abnormality when other therapeutic options are insufficient or inadequate.

- ponatinib (Iclusig) for Chronic-phase, accelerated-phase, or blast-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) with the T315I mutation or Philadelphia-chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph+ ALL) with the T315I mutation.

- vismodegib (Erivedge) for patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma (aBCC) who are no longer appropriate for any other treatment options.

All decisions made by NHS England’s Cancer Drugs Fund panel including the detail of agreed scores for each drug reviewed by the panel since its formation in April 2013, are published on its website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/pe/cdf/

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that NHS England acknowledges unmet need when re-evaluating treatments for pancreatic cancer on the Cancer Drugs Fund list.

The decision-making process adopted by the Cancer Drugs Fund panel is set out in the Standard Operating Procedures of the Fund, which are available on NHS England’s website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/pe/cdf/

This document sets out the factors the panel will take into account, including unmet need.

NHS England has assured the Department that no patient whose treatment is currently being funded through the Fund will have funding withdrawn, as long as it is clinically appropriate that they continue to receive that treatment. In addition, no drug will be removed from the Fund where it is the only therapy for that condition.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the practicality and safety of the recycling of prosthesis components issued by the NHS.

No such assessment has been made of the practicality and safety of the recycling of prosthesis components issued by the National Health Service, or the cost to the NHS of repairs to prostheses in each of the last five years.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of repairs to prostheses in each of the last five years.

No such assessment has been made of the practicality and safety of the recycling of prosthesis components issued by the National Health Service, or the cost to the NHS of repairs to prostheses in each of the last five years.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps (a) his Department and (b) NHS England have taken to ensure that accessible information is produced about multiple sclerosis treatment options.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis: Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care’, published in 2003, set outs best practice in the care, treatment and support for people with this condition. The guidance emphasises that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should be involved in all decisions relating to their treatment and care and are supported to manage their condition. It also sets out that clinicians and other members of a patient’s healthcare team such as nurses and social workers, are responsible for discussing with patients the frequency and methods of reviewing their care needs.

We have made no recent assessment of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the National Health Service in England. However, NICE has published technology appraisal guidance recommending a number of drugs for use in treating MS, subject to certain clinical criteria. There is a legal requirement on the NHS to provide funding for treatments and drugs recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of NICE technology appraisal guidance being published. Clinicians should discuss with patients, including those with relapsing and remitting MS, the availability of any new treatments and the guideline makes clear that commissioners should ensure that all people with MS have ready access to a specialist neurological service which includes the provision of specific pharmacological treatments.

The guideline also stresses the importance of clinicians communicating clearly with patients which includes making leaflets and other information resources available. The provision of these resources is a matter for local NHS organisations.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to increase the role of people with multiple sclerosis in decision-making processes relating to their treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis: Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care’, published in 2003, set outs best practice in the care, treatment and support for people with this condition. The guidance emphasises that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should be involved in all decisions relating to their treatment and care and are supported to manage their condition. It also sets out that clinicians and other members of a patient’s healthcare team such as nurses and social workers, are responsible for discussing with patients the frequency and methods of reviewing their care needs.

We have made no recent assessment of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the National Health Service in England. However, NICE has published technology appraisal guidance recommending a number of drugs for use in treating MS, subject to certain clinical criteria. There is a legal requirement on the NHS to provide funding for treatments and drugs recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of NICE technology appraisal guidance being published. Clinicians should discuss with patients, including those with relapsing and remitting MS, the availability of any new treatments and the guideline makes clear that commissioners should ensure that all people with MS have ready access to a specialist neurological service which includes the provision of specific pharmacological treatments.

The guideline also stresses the importance of clinicians communicating clearly with patients which includes making leaflets and other information resources available. The provision of these resources is a matter for local NHS organisations.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the NHS in England; and if he will take steps to increase the availability of such treatments.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis: Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care’, published in 2003, set outs best practice in the care, treatment and support for people with this condition. The guidance emphasises that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should be involved in all decisions relating to their treatment and care and are supported to manage their condition. It also sets out that clinicians and other members of a patient’s healthcare team such as nurses and social workers, are responsible for discussing with patients the frequency and methods of reviewing their care needs.

We have made no recent assessment of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the National Health Service in England. However, NICE has published technology appraisal guidance recommending a number of drugs for use in treating MS, subject to certain clinical criteria. There is a legal requirement on the NHS to provide funding for treatments and drugs recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of NICE technology appraisal guidance being published. Clinicians should discuss with patients, including those with relapsing and remitting MS, the availability of any new treatments and the guideline makes clear that commissioners should ensure that all people with MS have ready access to a specialist neurological service which includes the provision of specific pharmacological treatments.

The guideline also stresses the importance of clinicians communicating clearly with patients which includes making leaflets and other information resources available. The provision of these resources is a matter for local NHS organisations.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that regular reviews of treatment and care by multiple sclerosis (MS) specialists are available for all people with MS in England.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis: Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care’, published in 2003, set outs best practice in the care, treatment and support for people with this condition. The guidance emphasises that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should be involved in all decisions relating to their treatment and care and are supported to manage their condition. It also sets out that clinicians and other members of a patient’s healthcare team such as nurses and social workers, are responsible for discussing with patients the frequency and methods of reviewing their care needs.

We have made no recent assessment of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the National Health Service in England. However, NICE has published technology appraisal guidance recommending a number of drugs for use in treating MS, subject to certain clinical criteria. There is a legal requirement on the NHS to provide funding for treatments and drugs recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of NICE technology appraisal guidance being published. Clinicians should discuss with patients, including those with relapsing and remitting MS, the availability of any new treatments and the guideline makes clear that commissioners should ensure that all people with MS have ready access to a specialist neurological service which includes the provision of specific pharmacological treatments.

The guideline also stresses the importance of clinicians communicating clearly with patients which includes making leaflets and other information resources available. The provision of these resources is a matter for local NHS organisations.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that all people with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis are invited to talk with a specialist about potential treatment options arising from new disease-modifying drugs.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis: Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care’, published in 2003, set outs best practice in the care, treatment and support for people with this condition. The guidance emphasises that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should be involved in all decisions relating to their treatment and care and are supported to manage their condition. It also sets out that clinicians and other members of a patient’s healthcare team such as nurses and social workers, are responsible for discussing with patients the frequency and methods of reviewing their care needs.

We have made no recent assessment of the provision of licensed treatments for multiple sclerosis in the National Health Service in England. However, NICE has published technology appraisal guidance recommending a number of drugs for use in treating MS, subject to certain clinical criteria. There is a legal requirement on the NHS to provide funding for treatments and drugs recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of NICE technology appraisal guidance being published. Clinicians should discuss with patients, including those with relapsing and remitting MS, the availability of any new treatments and the guideline makes clear that commissioners should ensure that all people with MS have ready access to a specialist neurological service which includes the provision of specific pharmacological treatments.

The guideline also stresses the importance of clinicians communicating clearly with patients which includes making leaflets and other information resources available. The provision of these resources is a matter for local NHS organisations.

11th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the quality of provision of primary care in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

No assessment has been made centrally. NHS England is responsible for the commissioning of primary care health services and for securing the best possible outcomes for patients.

11th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will meet the hon. Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland to discuss the proposed closure of (a) minor injuries units at Guisborough and East Cleveland Hospitals, (b) Skelton Medical Centre, (c) Park End Clinic and (d) Skelton NHS Walk-in-Centre.

These are matters for the local National Health Service. The hon. Member should engage with the NHS at a local level.

This Government is committed to devolving decision-making about local NHS services to local clinicians and communities. It is general practitioners clinicians, patients and local authorities who are best placed to determine the nature of their NHS services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will meet the hon. Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland to discuss recent developments in South Tees NHS Foundation Trust.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has had these issues debated in the House on more than one occasion, most recently at a Westminster Hall Debate on 5 November 2013. He has also had several meetings with Ministers.

The National Health Service (NHS) regulator, Monitor, is continuing to investigate the South Tees NHS Foundation Trust and the results of its investigation will be published in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect on demand for accident and emergency services at James Cook University Hospital of the proposed closure of minor injuries units at (a) East Cleveland and (b) Guisborough hospitals.

No such assessment has been made. This is a local process, not one led from Whitehall. The Government has made clear that any proposed service reconfiguration should be clinically led, not driven from the top down. A public consultation on the proposed changes in South Tees NHS Foundation Trust is currently taking place and is due to close on 31 July. No decisions have been made on the proposed closure of the minor injuries units at East Cleveland and Guisborough Hospitals.
1st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) the extent of and (b) who is responsible for growth in the level of violence in the Donbas region of Ukraine; and whether such violence constitutes a breach of the ceasefire agreement.

The increase in fighting and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in recent days around the town of Avdiivka in the Donbas represents a serious escalation. We have called publicly for all sides to demonstrate restraint, facilitate humanitarian access, and to commit to a full and sustained ceasefire, in line with the provisions of the Minsk Agreements.

Such fighting is clearly in breach of the ceasefire commitments set out in the Minsk Agreements. We are clear that the conflict in Ukraine has been caused, and is sustained by, deliberate Russian destabilisation of Ukraine.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is planning to take in respect of Russia as a result of the findings of the independent MH17 Joint Investigation Team.

The Joint Investigation Team's ongoing investigation is essential to ensure that those responsible for this incident are brought to justice. Its initial criminal report has provided clear evidence that the missile that brought down MH17 was Russian-made, and launched from within territory held by Russian-backed separatist groups. We have urged Russia to engage constructively with the findings, the ongoing investigation, and any resulting attempts to prosecute those identified as the perpetrators.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the treatment of the Tatar minority in occupied Crimea.

The human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated significantly since the Russia's illegal annexation. We are deeply concerned about the treatment of Crimean Tatars who face regular harassment including arrests, detentions, disappearances, threats to seize property, and restrictions on their rights of worship, assembly and expression, including a ban on the Mejlis council. We are aware of reports that 18 Crimean Tatars are currently held in Russian-run prisons and several more are under arrest for opposing the illegal annexation of Crimea. International human rights organisations such as the UN and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe are barred from entering Crimea. We continue to call on Russia to allow them immediate and unfettered access.
4th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the (a) UK's and (b) EU's sanctions policy for Russia.

The UK has been at the forefront of international efforts – in the EU, NATO, G7 and OSCE – to hold Russia to account for its aggression in Ukraine, and will continue to do so. The European Council, like the G7, has agreed that sanctions are linked to full implementation of the Minsk agreements. The Government will continue to push for this commitment to be upheld. EU economic sanctions against Russia were recently extended by unanimity for a further six months, until 31 January 2017.
1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK emergency travel documents have been issued to (a) British nationals, (b) non-British Commonwealth citizens and (c) non-British EU citizens in each year since 2010.

Between 01 January 2010 and 31 May 2014 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued 115,239 Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs). The breakdown by year is as follows:

• 2010 – 14,367
• 2011 – 27,467
• 2012 – 28,880
• 2013 – 30,006
• 2014 to 31 May – 14,609

A further breakdown of this information according to nationality is not available and could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

26th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans unilaterally to grant China market economy status in the event of the UK leaving the EU and its single market.

The UK remains a full member of the EU until we formally exit and all rights and obligations under the EU, including trade defence measures, still apply. We will continue to support the EU’s trade agenda and we look forward to the Commission’s proposals on Market Economy Status later in the Autumn.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many claimants in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Redcar and Cleveland and (d) Middlesbrough have had a tax credit claimed stopped and subsequently reinstated by Concentrix in each of the last 12 months.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently focussed on resolving the outstanding cases but will be preparing analysis, which will be available in due course. HMRC does not keep records of the total number of people who had their tax credits payments withheld, or for how long

12th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have had their tax credits stopped and subsequently reinstated by Concentrix due to incorrect information held on claimants cohabiting.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently focussed on resolving the outstanding cases but will be preparing analysis, which will be available in due course. HMRC does not keep records of the total number of people who had their tax credits payments withheld, or for how long

12th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of (a) the amount of money wrongly withheld from benefit claimants due to errors made by Concentrix and (b) the average length of time that payments were mistakenly withheld.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently focussed on resolving the outstanding cases but will be preparing analysis, which will be available in due course. HMRC does not keep records of the total number of people who had their tax credits payments withheld, or for how long

2nd Sep 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to amend the Lifetime ISA proposal so that the 25 per cent government bonus can be used towards a deposit on a first home.

As is usual with new financial products, the Government continues to work closely with industry on the finer details of the policy, including on the operation of withdrawals for first house purchase. Ministers will provide a statement on the position in due course.

26th Feb 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to provide additional funding for projects identified by the forthcoming Northern Transport Strategy.

The government will need to consider the proposals from both Transport for the North and the National Infrastructure Commission before taking any funding decisions. The Government looks forward to the publication of both reports in the coming weeks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide financial support to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to compensate for the loss in business rates due to closure of the Redcar steel works.

The Government has announced an £80 million support package for Redcar. We are working with the local Task Force to design a package that will include funding for workers to retrain, support to start their own business, and help for local businesses to grow and create jobs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps HM Revenue and Customs is taking to ensure that public sector bodies do not underpay VAT.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) deploys its resources according to risk and has a continuous programme of work assuring tax compliance across a range of taxes, including VAT, in the public (and private) sector. Since 2008 there has been a dedicated operational unit responsible for compliance activity in the public sector, and they aim to treat the public sector in the same way as HMRC treats similar customers in the private sector.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HM Treasury received in VAT charged on ebooks in (a) 2012-13 and (b) 2013-14.

No reliable estimate has been possible for the value of VAT levied on the sale of e-books purchased in 2012‑13 and 2013-14.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what impact assessment he has made of the effect of pensioners savings bonds on the private sector investment market.

The Budget set an upper limit of £10 billion for the level of inflows that National Savings and Investments (NS&I) should attract into the fixed-rate savings bonds for people aged 65 or over. This is less than 1% of the total UK retail savings market.

The NS&I savings bonds announced at Budget should therefore not stop other institutions from attracting deposits or increasing lending. Furthermore, the introduction of New ISAs with an annual subscription limit of £15,000 will provide additional opportunities for banks and building societies to attract retail deposits.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposed role for National Savings and Investment (NS&I) offering pensioner savings bonds with NS&I's objective of reducing the cost to the taxpayer of Government borrowing.

NS&I's purpose is to provide cost effective financing for the Government that balances the interest of savers, taxpayers and the wider markets.

Given that the NS&I fixed-rate savings bond for people aged 65 or over are a Budget measure designed to offer targeted support to a particular group of savers, the costs of raising funding through these bonds, rather than gilts, was represented in Table 2.1 of the Budget 2014 document.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 12W, on individual savings accounts and with reference to HM Revenue and Custom's policy paper published on the new ISA and changes to Junior ISA and the Child Trust Fund, what assessment he has made of the consequences for (a) the economy, (b) capital markets and (c) business of a shift in savings portfolio composition away from securities towards cash.

HM TREASURY

Tom Blenkinsop MP

MIDDLESBOROUGH SOUTH & CLEVELAND EAST

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 12W, on individual savings accounts and with reference to HM Revenue and Custom's policy paper published on the new ISA and changes to Junior ISA and the Child Trust Fund, what assessment he has made of the consequences for (a) the economy, (b) capital markets and (c) business of a shift in savings portfolio composition away from securities towards cash. 193987

DAVID GAUKE

From 1 July 2014 the overall annual New ISA subscription limit will be increased to £15,000 and can be used for either cash or stocks and shares investments, or any combination of the two, up to this limit. At the same time the annual Junior ISA and Child Trust Fund subscription limits will be increased to £4,000.

These measures were part of a wider Budget packaged aimed at supporting savers. These ISA measures will reduce income tax on savings for people constrained by the current limits, improving incentives to save and increasing real household disposable incomes. Over 6 million people each year are expected to benefit from these increases, including over 5 million adults currently constrained by the cash ISA limit, three quarters of whom are basic rate taxpayers and a third are pensioners.

As HMRC's published Tax Information and Impact Note explains, the increase to real household disposable incomes resulting from the New ISA changes might feed through to higher consumption or savings in the household sector. There may also be a shift in the savings portfolio composition towards cash deposits. At the same time there may be an overall increase in savings invested in securities.

Stocks and shares, and cash offer very different risk and expected return profiles, and the tax treatment will be just one factor affecting investors' choice between them. In 2012-13, the FTSE All-Share Index grew by 5.6 per cent (excluding dividend yield). In contrast bank and building society deposit returns averaged 1.95 per cent.

For individuals who prefer to hold their savings portfolio in stocks and shares rather than cash, the New ISA will provide a significant increase to the amount that can be invested and held within the tax-advantaged ISA wrapper for 2014-15, from £11,880 to £15,000.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on trends in the level of doorstep crime in each of the last five years.

The Home Office does not hold specific information on the number of ‘doorstep crimes’. These crimes will be recorded by police under the relevant offence that has been committed, for example burglary or theft.

If the crime is a fraud, then this will be recorded by Action Fraud rather than the police. Information on the number of door to door sales and bogus tradespeople frauds recorded by Action Fraud is published in the Office for National Statistics Publication ‘Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2016’ at the link below (Table A5):

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with social media companies on improving their cooperation with police investigations.

The Home Secretary engages regularly with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that our law enforcement agencies are able to undertake effectively their core function of protecting the public. As more and more communications take place online, this of course includes providers of telecommunications services such as social media companies.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average Fire and Rescue response times were to incidents in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Redcar and Cleveland and (d) Middlesbrough in each of the last five years.

National Statistics on Fire and Rescue response times are published annually, including response times for other types of fire incident. The most recent publication, for 2014/15, was published in 2015 and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

Accompanying data tables can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

The next publication on fire and rescue response times for 2015/16 is due for release in late 2016.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many reports of sexual offences Cleveland Police received in each of the last five years; and what proportion of those reports led to prosecutions.

The number of sexual and violence against the person offences recorded by Cleveland police from 2011/12 to 2015/16 are given in the table.

The Home Office does not hold data on the number of prosecutions resulting from offences recorded by the police. Information on crimes assigned a charge or summons outcome is available from April 2014, when data on outcomes were first collected linked specifically to their associated crimes. Previously, outcomes data supplied by forces related to the volume recorded regardless of when the crime was committed. The new method of collection was implemented to provide greater transparency and highlight how each crime recorded in any period is resolved by the police.

The table shows the proportion of sexual and violent offences that resulted in a police charge or summons in 2014/15 and 2015/16. In addition, it shows the proportion of each offence group that has not been assigned an outcome. This is important to note, in particular for sexual offences, because length of investigations mean that the most recent year has more crimes that have yet to be assigned an outcome than the previous year.

Not all charges or summonses will lead to a prosecution, the Ministry of Justice hold and publish data on prosecutions.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many reports of offences of violence against the person were reported to Cleveland Police in each of the last five years; and what proportion of those reports led to prosecutions.

The number of sexual and violence against the person offences recorded by Cleveland police from 2011/12 to 2015/16 are given in the table.

The Home Office does not hold data on the number of prosecutions resulting from offences recorded by the police. Information on crimes assigned a charge or summons outcome is available from April 2014, when data on outcomes were first collected linked specifically to their associated crimes. Previously, outcomes data supplied by forces related to the volume recorded regardless of when the crime was committed. The new method of collection was implemented to provide greater transparency and highlight how each crime recorded in any period is resolved by the police.

The table shows the proportion of sexual and violent offences that resulted in a police charge or summons in 2014/15 and 2015/16. In addition, it shows the proportion of each offence group that has not been assigned an outcome. This is important to note, in particular for sexual offences, because length of investigations mean that the most recent year has more crimes that have yet to be assigned an outcome than the previous year.

Not all charges or summonses will lead to a prosecution, the Ministry of Justice hold and publish data on prosecutions.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle the increase in sexual offences on Teesside.

Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and the Government has made protecting women and girls from violence and supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence a key priority. We want victims to have the confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will get the support they need and that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

These are under-reported crimes, and the Office for National Statistics report that recent increases in police recorded crime are likely due to improved recording by the police and an increase in the willingness of victims to come forward and report to the police. The number of prosecutions and convictions for sexual offences are at their highest ever levels.

The Government continues to support improvements to the criminal justice system’s response to victims of sexual violence. We have supported the publication of data on rape for every police force in the country as a basis for improving recording and investigations of rape and ensure that guidance on investigating and prosecuting rape is implemented in every police force area. The Rape Action Plan, led by the Crown Prosecution Service and the police, is helping to ensure that every report of rape is treated seriously and every victim is given the help they deserve.

8th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make provisions to allow military personnel who have served in Northern Ireland as part of Operation Helvetic to receive operational service medals, where merited.

There are currently in excess of 4,000 UK Service personnel deployed on operations throughout the world. Each of these operations is kept under constant review and when appropriate, a recommendation for medallic recognition is made to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals for their consideration.

12th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to protect members of the armed services who served in Operation Banner from persistent legal claims.

Members of the Armed Forces, including veterans, who face legal action as a result of their service in Northern Ireland during Operation BANNER are offered and helped with legal and pastoral support, by the Ministry of Defence and the chain of command.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support his Department is offering to (a) former members of the Armed Forces who are under investigation for incidents that occurred during Operation Banner and (b) the families of those former members.

Where veterans are being interviewed as potential suspects in connection with incidents that arose as part of their service, taxpayer-funded legal support (including counsel where appropriate) will be provided for as long as is necessary, regardless of how long ago the incident took place, or the length of the veterans' service. The Department will also support any application for anonymity and/or screening that the individual chooses to make in relation to any court appearances that may be necessary. In addition, pastoral care is provided through Regimental Associations, directly by the Ministry of Defence - through Veterans UK - and in partnership with charities who support ex-service personnel, according to each individual's needs and circumstances. This support is provided direct to the veterans themselves; there is no separate programme of support for families in these circumstances, although we would be willing to consider help in individual cases.

13th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department received any bid from steel companies with plants in the UK to supply plate steel for the Successor class of nuclear submarines.

The management of the steel procurement process for the Successor Programme is the responsibility of the Prime Contractor, BAE Systems. The Ministry of Defence's involvement with suppliers was limited to conducting a technical assessment during the tendering process to ensure bids met specifications.

The tendering process was progressed and concluded by the Prime Contractor, no viable UK bid was received for this part of the Successor submarine manufacture. Other stages of construction will include grades of steel manufactured by British suppliers and I encourage them to take the opportunity to bid.

Overall, 85% of BAE System's supply chain for the new submarines is based in the UK.

30th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of steel production to the resources of the armed forces.

In the main, defence requirements for steel are sourced by our prime contractors taking into account cost, time and quality. The Ministry of Defence complies with Cabinet Office guidance on steel procurement and works closely with contractors to ensure supply of steel products.

While defence steel requirements are relatively small, UK suppliers have already provided significant quantities of steel for our biggest defence procurement programmes. We are also positively encouraging bids from British companies to make sure they are in the best possible position to win future contracts.

18th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) each English region have joined the (i) Army Reserves, (ii) Royal Naval Reserves and (iii) Royal Air Force Reserves in each year since 2010.

This information is not held in the format requested. Statistical data on recruitment to the Reserve Forces can be found in the Defence Statistics Quarterly Personnel Report at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-armed-forces-quarterly-personnel-report-2014

25th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the amount of business rates paid by state schools in England in each of the last five years.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
25th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he has made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of business rate relief for fee-paying schools in England for each of the last five years.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 20 March 2017 to Question 68027, when his Department plans to respond to the discussion paper, Parking reform: tackling unfair practices.

We have already taken steps to tackle rogue and unfair practices by private parking operators, including the banning of wheel clamping and towing.

Private parking companies receive DVLA data on the condition that it will only be used to help follow up alleged parking contraventions. It cannot be further processed for any other purpose. The audit by the Information Commissioner’s Office in March 2016, judged the DVLA’s procedures to offer high assurance that processes to mitigate the risks of non-compliance with the Data Protection Act are in place.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
15th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that private parking ticket costs are not excessive.

We have set out a clear manifesto commitment to tackle aggressive parking enforcement and excessive private parking charges. This Government is taking steps to tackle rogue and unfair practices by private parking operators. We have put in place a range of measures to reform the behaviour of private parking companies, including the banning of wheel clamping and towing.

The discussion paper entitled ‘Parking reform: tackling unfair practices’, sought thoughts and comments on the private parking sector. My Department published a summary of the responses on 11 May 2016. I am actively considering responses to the discussion paper, and options for reform.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an estimate of the costs to the Exchequer of the discount on non-domestic rates given to independent schools in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) the South East, (d) Middlesbrough and (e) Redcar and Cleveland in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold information on the cost of relief given to independent schools.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the effect of the business rates revaluation on state schools in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Middlesbrough and (d) Redcar and Cleveland.

The effect of the revaluation of business rates on schools in England, the North East, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland will depend on the specific circumstances and location of the relevant property. A £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme will provide support for the minority of properties which face an increase in rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation, and applies equally to schools.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
11th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the proportion of households without working smoke alarms in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Redcar and Cleveland and (d) Middlesbrough in each of the last five years.

The Department for Communities and Local Government holds data on the proportion of households without smoke alarms in England from the English Housing Survey which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2014-to-2015-smoke-alarms-in-english-homes-report

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will publish a response to the recommendations in the report by Lord Heseltine, entitled Tees Valley: opportunity unlimited, published in June 2016.

This independent report is for consideration by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and wider stakeholders. Government will not issue a formal response, but is committed to supporting Tees Valley Combined Authority relationship with Government across the wide range of areas identified in the report. Local leaders are planning a formal update event for the report in the Autumn.

9th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will provide additional resources to the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership to assist them in the key role envisioned for them in the independent report, Tees Valley: opportunity unlimited, published on 7 June 2016.

Officials in the Cities and Local Growth Unit will continue to work with the Tees Valley to implement their current devolution deal – including additional resources of £15 million per year, and over £100 million in already agreed growth deals. Tees Valley Combined Authority is already putting in place plans for implementing Lord Heseltine’s report. Government is committed to work coherently with local leaders to support the economic growth opportunities that have been identified.

15th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the cost to the public purse was of the promotional film for the Northern Powerhouse project, Gunning for growth.

The Northern Powerhouse is GREAT investment film, paid for by GREAT, was created to promote investment into all parts of the Northern Powerhouse. It has already been shown in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. It was produced by Leeds agency Motiv Productions at a one off cost of just over £20,000.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many businesses in Redcar and Cleveland have taken part in the retail relief scheme in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16 to date.

Information on business rates and reliefs collected by each local authority are published in the ‘National non-domestic rates collected by councils in England’ statistical series, which are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-non-domestic-rates-collected-by-councils

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how he plans to respond to the recent request from the Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council for a transitional sum of £1 million in lieu of raising the adult social care precept.

The Spending Review recognised that demographic changes are leading to increased demand for adult social care. To support those most in need, we provided a social care package of up to £3.5 billion by 2019-20. This package includes giving all councils with responsibility for adult social care the option of an extra 2% council tax precept, as long as the precept is spent on adult social care. It is for Redcar and Cleveland to decide if they wish to take up this flexibility.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
27th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to make the level of discount received for tenants who exercise the Right to Acquire the same as for those who exercise the Right to Buy.

The Government has a manifesto commitment to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

The voluntary agreement we have made with the National Housing Federation will give 1.3 million housing association tenants the opportunity to buy their home with an equivalent discount to the Right to Buy, delivering the manifesto commitment.

This will include those tenants who currently have a Right to Acquire.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what progress has been made on creating a Tees Valley combined authority; and whether an elected mayor is a pre-condition for any such authority.

The five councils in the Tees Valley have proposed a combined authority and we are now carefully considering the proposals. An elected mayor is not a pre-condition for a combined authority. My rt. hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been clear that the transfer of major power to a city will only happen to those cities who have a metro mayor.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with Cleveland Fire Brigade about the introduction of public service mutuals.

I and my officials meet representatives from fire and rescue authorities from time to time on a range of matters. Since becoming Fire Minister in July, neither my officials nor I have had a meeting with Cleveland Fire Brigade to discuss the introduction of public service mutuals.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend sections 44 and 45 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act to permit fire authorities to contract out the full provision of fire and rescue services.

We are supportive of fire and rescue authorities looking at new and innovative ways of delivering their services to best meet the needs of their communities.

We have no current plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend sections 44 and 45 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act and I refer the hon. Member to the previous Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for fire services (Brandon Lewis) speech in an Adjournment Debate on 13 May 2013 (Official Report, column 470 onwards) where he set out the Government's position on mutuals very clearly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions his Department has had with local authorities in the Tees Valley on the creation of a combined authority.

On 16 June 2014 the Government signed a City Deal with the Tees Valley in which the local leaders committed to develop plans to strengthen governance, including progressing the idea of a combined authority for the area.

It is for the local areas themselves to decide, given their circumstances, what governance arrangements will best enable effective and collaborative decision taking, which is transparent and locally accountable, thus delivering successfully the implementation of the area's Strategic Economic Plan. Where councils come forward with a proposal for a combined authority that commands wide local support, if the Secretary of State considers that the statutory conditions are met, he will invite Parliament to approve an Order which enables the combined authority to be established.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend sections 44 and 45 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act to permit fire authorities to contract out the full provision of fire and rescue services.

We are supportive of fire and rescue authorities looking at new and innovative ways of delivering their services to best meet the needs of their communities.

We have no current plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend sections 44 and 45 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act and I refer the hon. Member to the previous Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for fire services (Brandon Lewis) speech in an Adjournment Debate on 13 May 2013 (Official Report, column 470 onwards) where he set out the Government's position on mutuals very clearly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she is taking to improve the safety of prison staff at work.

Prisons should be places of safety and reform. Improving safety and decreasing violence is an urgent priority for the Government.

Prison officers are some our finest public servants. We do not underestimate the challenges faced by everyone working in prisons. We will continue to support our staff to help them maintain safe and secure prisons.

Funding of £14 million will be given to 10 prisons with some of the highest rates of violence for additional staff to implement new offender management arrangements, including dedicated prisoner contact time.

We will be setting out our plans for prison safety and reform in a White Paper in the coming weeks, including our plans to reduce prison violence.

11th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment her Department has made of the levels of the use of (a) illegal drugs and (b) legal highs in prisons in the UK in each of the last 5 years.

Prisons should be places of safety and reform. The increase in psychoactive substances in prisons has contributed to a rise in prison violence, making offenders more volatile and their reactions more difficult to judge and manage. Improving safety and decreasing violence is an urgent priority for the Government.

We have introduced legislation to restrict the supply and possession of psychoactive substances in prisons, and put in place new penalties for possession of a psychoactive substance in custody. Following a successful trial in 34 prisons over the summer, we have introduced an innovative new programme of mandatory drug testing for psychoactive substances in all prisons.

Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) figures for prisons in England and Wales are published by financial year on gov.uk. MDT for psychoactive substances began in September 2016 and figures will be published in due course.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment she has made of the relationship between the use of (a) illegal drugs and (b) legal high in prisons and incidents of violence against prison staff.

Prisons should be places of safety and reform. Improving safety and decreasing violence is an urgent priority for the Government.

The increase in psychoactive substances in prisons has contributed to a rise in prison violence, making offenders more volatile and their reactions more difficult to judge and manage.

We have introduced legislation to restrict the supply and possession of psychoactive substances in prisons, and put in place new penalties for possession of a psychoactive substance in custody. Following a successful trial in 34 prisons over the summer, we have introduced an innovative new programme of mandatory drug testing for psychoactive substances in all prisons.

We will be setting out our plans for prison safety and reform in more detail, including our plans to reduce prison violence, in a White Paper in the coming weeks.

13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of prohibited steps orders on access to families across the Scottish English border; and on the movement of families and individuals across that border.

The welfare of the child is the court’s paramount consideration when making a prohibited steps order and such orders restricting the freedom of a parent to choose his or her place of residence are exceptional.

15th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the (a) gender, (b) age and (c) ethnicity of people who have served on juries.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service does not collect the information requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of books to prisoners; and if he will make a statement.

There have been no changes in the availability of books in prisons Every prison has a library, to which every prisoner has access. Up to 12 books may be held by prisoners in their cell at any one time and additional volumes may be stored locally at the prison.

The National Offender Management Service works closely with schemes such as the Shannon Trust Reading Network,which includes peer mentoring.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many former non-state actors who were formerly paramilitaries have been charged following a referral by the Northern Ireland Historical Enquiries Team to the Police Service of Northern Ireland or Public Prosecution Service.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold this information.

Operational matters relating to the Historical Enquiries Team and the Legacy Investigations Branch are the responsibility of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many (a) current and (b) former members of the Armed Forces currently under investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Legacy Investigations Branch were previously informed by the Northern Ireland Historical Enquiries Team that there would be no further action against them.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold this information.

Operational matters relating to the Historical Enquiries Team and the Legacy Investigations Branch are the responsibility of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

14th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the potential effect on funding for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to 2023 of the Northern Ireland Executive's plan to remove all peace walls in Northern Ireland by that date.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is funded by the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland. Allocation of the PSNI’s budget is a matter for the Chief Constable.

As the Government’s Northern Ireland manifesto at the General Election set out, we will always give our fullest possible backing to the men and women of the PSNI who do such a superb job. That is partly why this Government has provided specific Additional Security Funding totalling £230 million in the last parliament and £160 million in the current parliament.

The UK Government has also provided specific funding to the NI Executive to contribute to conditions that will allow the removal of peace walls.

In addition, I refer the hon Gentleman to the answer I gave to question UIN 52739 today.

14th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on its plans to remove all peace walls in Northern Ireland by 2023.

The Northern Ireland Executive’s plan to remove peace walls in Northern Ireland by 2023 formed part of its wider ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy which set out proposals for tackling the entrenched sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland and for building a shared society.

In 2013, the UK Government announced an economic pact ‘Building a Prosperous and United Community’ which specifically provided for a £100m extension of Executive borrowing powers to help rebalance the economy and to assist in the delivery of their plans to build a shared future. Subsequent to this, as part of the Fresh Start Agreement, the UK Government provided additional funding of £60m over five years to ensure the Executive expedited its commitments under the ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy, including those relating to peace walls.

I have had a number of discussions with members of the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to the implementation of both the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, and I will continue to do so.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the proposal for a British Bill of Rights and its potential implications for the Good Friday Agreement.

I am aware of the importance of human rights in the Belfast Agreement and the Government remains committed to that Agreement.

My officials continue to work closely with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice on these issues and we will engage fully with the devolved administrations in advance of any reforms.