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Written Question
Universal Credit
1 Nov 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any research has been conducted on the number of home visits being proactively offered to vulnerable claimants of universal credit.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Department are continuously reviewing and improving the services for vulnerable people who need to claim Universal Credit to ensure that it is supportive and responsive to their needs. Where claimants are unable to make or manage their claim on-line, telephone and face to face support is available. Where appropriate, home visits can be arranged for claimants when it is the most appropriate method of providing relevant support.


Written Question
Out of Area Treatment: Wales
8 Oct 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government’s policy is for NHS England receiving patients from Wales for healthcare.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Detailed arrangements for delivering healthcare between the National Health Service in England and the NHS in Wales across the England-Wales border are set out in the new ‘Statement of Values and Principles’ which can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/part-rel/x-border-health/


Written Question
Royal Liverpool Hospital: Genito-urinary Medicine
8 Oct 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations he has received on the decision of Liverpool Royal Hospital to reduce treatment for patients located in Wales for urinary tract care; and what steps the Government has taken to mitigate the effect of that decision on patients' health.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Liverpool University Hospital Trust contacted Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in March 2019 to outline its position regarding urology services for residents of North Wales. This position was twofold:

The Trust and the Health Board agreed that new referrals of bladder cancer patients for radical cystectomy would cease from 5 April 2019. This was due to reduced specialist surgical cover following a 12 month period of maternity leave from June 2019. Despite rigorous attempts, the Trust had been unable to provide short term cover in this area of national staff shortage. Whilst the Trust committed to treating all patients referred prior to 5 April, the acceptance of new referrals ended after this date. It was therefore considered that the best course of action for patients was for the Health Board to make alternative arrangements for new referrals.

The Trust informed the health board that it would be enacting Trust policy ensuring that specialist urological cancer surgery was prioritised for patients within its immediate locality.

The attached table contains the number of patients that have been treated from English and Welsh postcode at Liverpool Royal Hospital for urinary tract care in each of the last five years.

The Urinary Tract Outpatient number of patients will give the overall number of patients from Wales receiving treatment or review.


Written Question
Royal Liverpool Hospital: Genito-urinary Medicine
8 Oct 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients from (a) English and (b) Welsh postcode areas have been treated at Liverpool Royal Hospital for urinary tract care in each of the last five years.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Liverpool University Hospital Trust contacted Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in March 2019 to outline its position regarding urology services for residents of North Wales. This position was twofold:

The Trust and the Health Board agreed that new referrals of bladder cancer patients for radical cystectomy would cease from 5 April 2019. This was due to reduced specialist surgical cover following a 12 month period of maternity leave from June 2019. Despite rigorous attempts, the Trust had been unable to provide short term cover in this area of national staff shortage. Whilst the Trust committed to treating all patients referred prior to 5 April, the acceptance of new referrals ended after this date. It was therefore considered that the best course of action for patients was for the Health Board to make alternative arrangements for new referrals.

The Trust informed the health board that it would be enacting Trust policy ensuring that specialist urological cancer surgery was prioritised for patients within its immediate locality.

The attached table contains the number of patients that have been treated from English and Welsh postcode at Liverpool Royal Hospital for urinary tract care in each of the last five years.

The Urinary Tract Outpatient number of patients will give the overall number of patients from Wales receiving treatment or review.


Written Question
Prorogation: Legal Costs
4 Oct 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how much was spent by the UK Government in undertaking legal action in the (a) Cherry and others (Respondents) v Advocate General for Scotland (Appellant) (Scotland), (b) R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent) in the Supreme Court, (c) case number CO/3385/2019 in the High Court, (d) reclaiming motion by Joanna Cherry QC MP and others against the Advocate General in the Outer Court of Scotland and (e) (First) Joanna Cherry QC MP and others for judicial review in the Outer Court of Scotland cases.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

No estimate has been made of the total costs of the prorogation litigation, which only recently concluded. We expect to know the final figures in November.


Written Question
Digital Technology: Urban Areas
3 Oct 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to support the digitalisation of high streets in small towns and villages.

Answer (Jake Berry)

High streets are changing and this government is committed to helping communities adapt. The Prime Minister recently announced a £3.6 billion Towns Fund as part of government’s vision to unite and level up cities, towns, coastal and rural areas, including small towns and villages, across our country. This Fund includes £1 billion for the Future High Streets Fund to support transformation on our high streets, and it will support local places to identify investment opportunities to support adaptation of the high street in response to changing technology.

In addition, we are providing support  for local leadership on our high streets and town centres with a High Streets Task Force. This will provide high streets and town centres with expert advice to adapt and thrive to changes in the market, providing support to local areas to develop data-driven strategies and connecting local areas to relevant experts.

Digitisation of high streets also forms a part of judging criteria of the Great British High Street Awards 2019, with one of the four aspects of the judging criteria focusing on digital transformation. High streets have been asked to showcase how they have used innovative new technologies or digital connectivity to transform their high street community.

To support deployment of 5G and further improve mobile coverage, we launched a joint consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 27 August, on proposals to reform the planning regime in England. We are seeking views on the principle of amending or creating new permitted development rights for operators so that communities can benefit from extended coverage.

The Digital Skills Partnership also seeks to improve digital capability across the whole skills spectrum - from the essential skills that help reduce digital exclusion, to the skills workers need in an increasingly digital economy, and through to the advanced skills required for specialist roles. The government is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and combined authorities to help establish Local Digital Skills Partnerships across the country to tackle local digital skills challenges and build thriving and inclusive local economies.


Written Question
Sentencing: Females
9 Sep 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women received an immediate custodial sentence for (a) less than six months and (b) six months or more in each of the four Police Force areas in Wales in (i) 2014, (ii) 2015, (iii) 2016, (iv) 2017 and (v) 2018 in each offence category.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The Ministry of Justice has published information on the number of adult females sentenced to immediate custody broken down by custodial sentence length, by Police Force Area and by offence group in the Court Outcomes by Police Force area data tool available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/804509/court-outcomes-by-PFA-2018.xlsx

Select ‘All’ in the Court Type filter.

Select ’02: Female’ in the Sex filter and ’03: Adults’ in the Age Group filter.

Select ’15: Immediate Custody’ in the Outcome filter.

In the pivot table, filter Police Force Area to Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales.

In the pivot table field list, drag ‘Offence Group’ from Filters to Rows, beneath ‘Police Force Area’.

Custodial sentence lengths can be selected using the Custodial Sentence Length filter.

Police Force Areas provide breakdowns of where offences were dealt with (not where they were committed).


Written Question
Visas
18 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for visitor visas from (a) US, (b) Russian, (c) Indian and (d) Chinese citizens were (i) granted and (ii) declined in each of the last five years.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Applications for visit visas are considered against Appendix V of the Immigration Rules and on a case by case basis. Detailed information on how UK Visas and Immigration makes decisions on visitor cases is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visit-guidance.

Information on total entry clearance visas (the majority of which are visitor visas) broken down by nationality and outcome (grants, refusals, withdrawals, lapsed) is published in the quarterly Immigration Statistics Visas volume 1 table vi_02_q at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019-data-tables.

Please note that the large majority of US nationals coming to the UK as visitors do not require an entry clearance visa, as shown in the Immigration Rules at (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules).


Written Question
Visas
18 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for a decision on visitor visa application from (a) US, (b) Russian, (c) Indian and (d) Chinese citizens in each of the last five years.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Information on performance against service standards for UKVI international operations is published in the Migration transparency data, the latest publication of which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-operations-transparency-data-may-2019.

These indicate that the large majority of straightforward non-settlement visas (the large majority of which are visitor visas), 98.7%, are completed within the service standard of 15 working days.


Written Question
Visas
18 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what performance targets his Department has put in place for the time taken to make a decision on a visitor visa application form (a) US, (b) Russian, (c) Indian and (d) Chinese citizens.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Under our published customer service standards we aim to process straightforward non-settlement applications within 15 working days.

The information for the latest quarter available is published online.


Data on entry clearance visa processing times, including the percentage and number of visas that are processed within service standards, is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data (then listed by publication date under ‘UK Visas & Immigration’).


Written Question
Offenders: Employment
16 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, by what (a) criteria and (b) date the performance of his Department’s New Futures Network initiative supporting offenders into employment will be assessed.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

We are completing the roll-out of the New Futures Network, with 13 of the 15 geographical prison groups across England and Wales now covered.

The New Futures Network is responsible for three things:

  1. The availability and quality of work for prisoners in commercial workshops.
  2. Brokering partnerships with employers that produce workplace ROTL opportunities.
  3. Brokering partnerships that generate employment opportunities on release.

It will be assessed against those criteria at the end of this financial year, as part of the annual HMPPS reporting cycle.


Written Question
Prisoners' Release
16 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which Government Department is responsible for ensuring people due to be released from prison are released with a (a) valid photo ID, (b) bank account and (c) JobCentre appointment for universal credit.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for ensuring people are released from prison with a valid photo ID and a bank account. We recognise the importance of this support and have made changes so that Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) are clearly responsible for the provision of identification documents and bank accounts, as part of Through the Gate support to prisoners on release. We have invested an additional £22 million per annum to improve delivery of these vital services for the remainder of the CRC contracts.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has responsibility for Universal Credit and Jobcentre appointments. We are working closely with the DWP to agree a National Partnership Agreement which sets out how the two Departments work together to support ex-offenders into employment. We are also working with DWP to help support these work coaches, and to further ensure they have the tools and support to do their jobs effectively.


Written Question
Prisoners' release
16 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people leaving prison in England and Wales were released in the last 12 months with (a) a valid photo ID, (b) a bank account and (c) a JobCentre appointment for universal credit.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Department has dedicated Prison Work Coaches, who will support prisoners to complete their benefit claims and proceed to payment as quickly as possible. Our aim is to ensure claimants can access Universal Credit on the day of release in a bid to cut re-offending.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
12 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his Department plans to publish the pay award for prison officers following the recommendations made by the Public Sector Pay Review Board.

Answer (Edward Argar)

At this time I am unable to confirm when the response to the Prison Service Pay Review Body recommendations will be published.


Written Question
Personal Injury: Compensation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Litigant in Person portal will be expanded to include minor personal injury claims by April 2020.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working closely with a broad group of expert stakeholders to develop the new accessible IT Service. This will support and enable both represented and unrepresented claimants to progress all Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims where the value of the personal injury claims is under the new small claims track limit of £5,000.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many meetings (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have held with representatives of claimant bodies on the operation of the Litigant in Person portal in the last three months.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Secretary of State has not met with any representatives of claimant groups in the last three months. However, officials have met with representatives of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers on four occasions between April and June 2019 to discuss the whiplash reform programme generally, including aspects of the new IT Service.


Written Question
Personal Injury: Compensation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to publish his Department's response to Part 2 of the consultation paper, Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (whiplash) Claims Process.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is considering the issues raised in Part 2 of the consultation paper Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (whiplash) Claims Process and intends to publish its response by the end of this year.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that customers' experience of the litigant in person portal can be (a) monitored and (b) evaluated.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working closely with its key delivery partner (the Motor Insurers’ Bureau) and a broad group of expert stakeholders from across the personal injury sector to develop a new accessible IT Service. This will enable both represented and unrepresented claimants to progress Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims under £5,000.

Public testing of the IT Service is planned to begin in November 2019 and, in light of user’s experience, the Government will consider making some further modifications to the service before it goes live in April 2020, so that it is easy to understand and navigate.

In addition, the service will provide a significant amount of management information. The Government is committed to reviewing this management information and how the new service is operating to identify any required changes and improvements approximately eighteen months from implementation. This will include a full evaluation of all relevant data relating to the overall customer experience of claimants using the service.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that insurance companies do not submit incorrect Not Admitted responses through the Litigant in Person portal.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government wants to ensure that all claimants progress their claim efficiently and that claims for compensation are not unnecessarily delayed. As part of the new process, the Government is working in partnership with expert stakeholders to develop a bespoke alternative dispute resolution scheme to support unrepresented claimants and enable them to gain, at no cost to themselves, an independent view on the liability decision made by the defendant insurer. The new IT Service will also be publishing regular management data on how claims are handled by defendant insurers, including on how many times insurers are denying liability.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Litigant in Person portal will include the ability for the litigant to present all losses in relation to an accident.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working closely with a broad group of expert stakeholders to develop a new accessible IT Service. This will support and enable both represented and unrepresented claimants to progress Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims under the new small claims track limit of £5,000. The new service will enable claimants who can demonstrate a loss, to claim for special damages and vehicle related damages they have paid for themselves, as long as the total value of the claim does not exceed the upper limit of the small claims track.


Written Question
Legal Representation: Children and Vulnerable Adults
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Litigant in Person portal will provide adequate protection to (a) minors and (b) vulnerable people.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government confirmed on 3 July 2019 to the Justice Select Committee that it will exempt, for the time being, children and protected parties from the increase in the small claims track limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident related personal injury claims. This will mean that children and protected parties will not be required to use the new IT Service and the Pre-Action Protocol. The Government believes this is a pragmatic way forward which will enable further testing of the new processes before considering further whether they are extended to this group of claimants.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department plans to take to support a Litigant in Person to manage a claim through the portal if the litigant does not have access to the internet.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government recognises that there may be some claimants who will be unable or unwilling to access the new IT Service. As a result, the new platform is being designed to include specific support from a bespoke contact centre service to support those claimants who do not have access to, or cannot use, the digital service.


Written Question
Legal Representation
10 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse is of the (a) design, (b) construction and (c) annual operation of the Litigant in Person portal.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working in partnership with its key delivery partner, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, in designing and developing a new IT Service to enable injured claimants to progress their own Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims under the new £5,000 small claims track limit.

The costs associated with this new service will be funded by the insurance industry. As such, there are no costs to the public purse arising from the design, build and annual operation of the new service.


Written Question
Mersey Gateway Bridge: Fixed Penalties
9 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many fixed penalty notices have been issued to people crossing the Mersey Gateway bridge in each of the last five years.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Mersey Gateway Bridge and its tolling operation are the responsibility of Halton Borough Council and its operational company the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board. It is contracted to Merseyflow.

The Department of Transport does not hold the information requested.


Written Question
Mersey Gateway Bridge: Fixed Penalties
9 Jul 2019, midnight

Questioner: David Hanson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many unpaid fixed penalty notices for crossing the Mersey Gateway bridge resulted in action from a bailiff in each of the last five years.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Mersey Gateway Bridge and its tolling operation are the responsibility of Halton Borough Council and its operational company the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board. It is contracted to Merseyflow.

The Department of Transport does not hold the information requested.