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Written Question
Coronavirus: East Yorkshire
18 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of lateral flow tests in East Yorkshire constituency.

Answered by Maggie Throup

In December 2021, we delivered approximately 280 million lateral flow device (LFD) tests and we have since procured new stocks and increased delivery capacity. We expect to deliver 90 million LFD tests a week across the United Kingdom, including East Yorkshire and County Durham, including seven million a day through GOV.UK. In England, this includes approximately 12 million tests a week through pharmacies.

For polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, we increased capacity before Christmas and developed a network which processed over four million tests by 10 January 2022. We expect that there is currently sufficient capacity to process PCR tests.


Written Question
Crime: Rural Areas
17 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help reduce rural crime.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

We are committed to driving down rural crime, which is why the Government is providing funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit. We have also tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce tougher sentencing and improved police powers for hare coursing.

Furthermore, to help ensure that the public are protected against crime, including rural crime, this government has recruited 9,814 additional police officers with 176 of these being recruited by Humberside Police, as of 30 June this year.


Written Question
Drugs: Misuse
17 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions are in place to ensure that drug policy and its enforcement are consistent and uniform across the country; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The Government’s recently published Drug Strategy and the significant funding made available to implement the Strategy provide a strong foundation for consistent policy and enforcement across the country. The Strategy emphasises a partnership approach to tackling illicit drugs. We work closely with the National Crime Agency, the National Police Chiefs Council and with police forces across the country, as well as with the devolved administrations, on tackling illicit drugs and to share best practice.

In relation to the enforcement of drug-related offences, the police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with these. How police forces choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.


Written Question
A1: Stibbington
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the A1 near Stibbington and south of Wansford (a) was last inspected for potholes and (b) is next scheduled for re-surfacing.

Answered by Trudy Harrison

National Highways’ inspectors carry out weekly safety inspections of the A1. The A1 near Stibbington and south of Wansford was last inspected for potholes and other safety defects on 11 January 2022.

Where safety critical defects, including potholes, are identified, they are made safe within 24 hours. The inspection on 11 January identified a safety critical pothole in the northbound A1 carriageway, that was then made safe overnight on 11/12 January 2022.

Permanent repairs are carried out according to the severity of the defect, often within 28 days.

No resurfacing is currently scheduled for the A1 near Stibbington and south of Wansford. National Highways does, however, have plans to improve the skid resistance of the road surface at the A1 Wansford southbound junction and for drainage improvements at the northbound entry slip road on the A1 at Stibbington.


Written Question
Mobile Phones: East Riding
10 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which locations in the East Riding of Yorkshire will receive improved mobile coverage under the Shared Rural Network.

Answered by Julia Lopez

We are unable to give specific details of where the Shared Rural Network (SRN) will deliver mobile coverage uplifts at this stage. However, we can confirm that, by the end of the programme, Yorkshire and The Humber will see 4G connectivity from all four mobile network operators increase to 90% from 81%, and from at least one mobile network operator expand from 95% to 99%.

The SRN is not the only focus for infrastructure investment for mobile connectivity. Mobile network operators independently invest around £2 billion annually in enhancing and improving their networks.


Written Question
Veterinary Medicine: Labour Turnover and Recruitment
5 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to (a) increase the number of and (b) encourage recruitment and retention of farm animal vets; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Victoria Prentis

Since 2019 four new veterinary schools have opened in the UK at Harper Adams University, Scottish Rural College, the University of Central Lancashire, and the University of Aberystwyth in conjunction with the Royal Veterinary College. This will potentially increase the number of students entering veterinary education to around 1600 per year across all schools, an increase of 45% since 2014. This will help boost the number of UK graduates in the long term. These new schools at the Scottish Rural College and Aberystwyth in particular, have a syllabus with specific focus on agriculture to help produce farm vets. We are consulting with veterinary stakeholders, which include the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association on their work to improve the recruitment and retention across the profession.


Written Question
Tax Evasion: Cryptocurrencies
5 Jan 2022

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the existing HMRC enforcement regime with regards to tax evasion using cryptocurrencies; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Lucy Frazer

Cryptoassets present unique challenges to HMRC as they can be easily acquired and transferred, including across borders, but do not usually record the identity of their owners.

HMRC has used powers provided by Parliament to gather information from cryptoasset exchanges. HMRC has written to customers where data shows they own, or have owned, cryptoassets. They have advised them of the tax consequences of common transactions.

HMRC also applies traditional enforcement approaches, such as enquiring into tax returns.

The UK continues to work with international partners, including multinational organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, to cooperate, share information, and develop responses.

The majority of individuals and businesses wish to pay the tax that is due, and the Government wants to help them get their tax affairs right. HMRC has published guidance on the taxation of cryptoassets, which is among the most detailed guidance released by any tax administration, on what is a complex topic.

HMRC has developed its capability to deal with risks arising from cryptoassets through the development of in-house training and the use of blockchain forensic tools.

HMRC will continue to actively monitor the compliance risks as this technology develops and the uses and users of cryptoassets change.


Written Question
Energy Supply: Charging Points
16 Dec 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) frequency of power surges when Distribution Network Operators erroneously supply electricity outside the allowed fluctuations and (b) potential effect of those fluctuations on the safety of electric vehicle charging points; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Greg Hands

The Electricity System Operator is responsible for keeping the overall frequency and voltage of the GB electricity network within the statutory limits and publishes annual data on system excursions. Conditions on the electricity distribution network, or internal wiring at a premises, can alter the voltage at a specific Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point. EV charging points are designed to operate over wide voltage and frequency ranges. They are also fitted with internal protective devices to limit damage should excursions exceed safe limits. Should any customers have concerns about voltage management at their premises, they can raise them with their Distribution Network Operator for investigation.


Written Question
Cheques
16 Dec 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with UK Finance on the future of the cheque; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by John Glen

Cheques remain an important part of the UK’s payments landscape and, whilst there has been a decline in cheque volumes, they continue to be used by many individuals, businesses, and charities. In order to secure the future of cheque usage in the UK, HM Treasury introduced legislative measures in 2015 to allow UK banks and building societies to introduce ‘cheque imaging’. Cheque image clearing allows a digital image of a cheque to be sent for clearing, rather than the paper cheque itself.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel


Written Question
Space Debris
6 Dec 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the volume of debris and space junk including obsolete satellites that are orbiting the earth; what assessment he has made of the potential danger such items in orbit pose to (a) human life and (b) operational satellites in orbit; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by George Freeman

The UK is the leading contributor to the European Space Agency’s Space Safety programme, who estimate there may be more than 36,000 pieces of space debris in orbit larger than 10cm. This is just the number we can reliably track, there are likely to be many millions of smaller objects:

https://www.esa.int/Safety_Security/Space_Debris/Space_debris_by_the_numbers.

Debris and the risk it poses to UK satellites is monitored 365 days of the year by the UK Space Agency and Ministry of Defence. The UK is taking action on space debris by enhancing our national capabilities to warn of dangerous collisions in orbit and agree new international rules on sustainable operations in space.


Written Question
Alfred Bean Hospital
2 Dec 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) develop and (b) improve the services available at the Alfred Bean Hospital in Driffield.

Answered by Edward Argar

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with East Riding Council and Driffield Town Council, local partner agencies and communities to understand, develop and improve local services. This includes reviewing services available at the Alfred Bean Hospital.


Written Question
Bridlington and District Hospital
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 17694, on Bridlington and District Hospital, what recent progress has been made on the (a) development of the stroke inpatient rehabilitation service within Bridlington Hospital and (b) virtual outpatient and multi-disciplinary consultations referenced in that Answer.

Answered by Edward Argar

The stroke inpatient rehabilitation service is now fully operational at Bridlington Hospital, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. This service is accepting patients from the Bridlington and Scarborough area who require continuing care following discharge from a hyper acute stroke unit in York or Hull. The Trust is currently examining possible solutions for virtual outpatient and multi-disciplinary consultations to be undertaken in some areas of specialist care.


Written Question
Roads: Japanese Knotweed
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help prevent the growth of invasive Japanese knotweed alongside highways.

Answered by Trudy Harrison

National Highways has a legal responsibility to prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading to adjoining land where it is on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and where National Highways is the landowner.

National Highways works on the principle that once a location has been identified and the extent of the infestation established, an appropriate method of control is then enacted to ensure eradication and to prevent re-infestation. Where Japanese knotweed is identified on adjacent land, National Highways will work with landowners to ensure eradication and prevention. National Highways, its service providers and supply chain, follow the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Environment Agency guidance.

On the local network, local highway authorities have a duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways network in their area, this includes issues such as overgrown vegetation. The Act does not set out specific standards of maintenance, as it is for each individual local highway authority to assess which parts of its network need repair and what standards should be applied, based upon their local knowledge and circumstances.


Written Question
Reservoirs
26 Nov 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of existing water reservoirs to meet future demand; what plans he has to build further reservoirs or otherwise increase storage capacity; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Rebecca Pow

The Government recognises the need for new water resources infrastructure, including reservoirs and water transfers, alongside reducing leakage and conserving water to provide a secure supply of water for future generations and to protect our environment.

The National Framework for water resources, launched in March 2020, brings together industry, regulators and government to transform the way we use and look after our water supplies, including the need to reduce demand, halve leakage and develop new supplies.

As part of the current price review round (PR19), Ofwat has allocated a £469 million fund for water companies to expedite and progress the development of new water infrastructure, which includes new reservoirs. Additionally, the Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) has been formed to help accelerate the development of new water infrastructure and design future regulatory frameworks to enable this development.

Water companies have the statutory duty to provide clean and reliable water to customers under the Water Industry Act 1991. Statutory water resources management plans show how water companies will meet this duty and manage water supply and demand for at least the next 25 years. These plans are revised every five years and updated plans will be consulted on in 2022.


Written Question
Animal Experiments: Licensing
26 Nov 2021

Questioner: Greg Knight (CON - East Yorkshire)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will (a) undertake a review of the monitoring process in place for adherence to licenses issued under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and (b) bring forward legislative proposals to improve that process; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Damian Hinds

The Home Office Regulator has, on a number of occasions this year, presented to stakeholders and duty holders on its regulatory reform programme that includes changes to the monitoring processes in place for adherence to licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

In July of this year the Regulator initiated a new operating model that delivers a more structured and integrated framework aligned with leading regulatory practice. The assessment of compliance in this new model is achieved through a variety of methods including full system audits, thematic audits, for cause audits, determination and follow up of action plans, review of reports, investigations and management of cases of potential non-compliance.

In October of this year the Regulator commenced a new system of full system audits that form part of an integrated system to assess compliance across the regulated community. Full details of the full system audit process and the evidence for assessment of compliance against the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and associated licence conditions, are available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-research-technical-advice#process-and-standards-for-establishment-full-system-audits.