Helen Whately Written Questions

29 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Helen Whately


Date Title Questioner
29 Jul 2019, 4:47 p.m. Aviation Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish a response to the consultation document entitled, Aviation 2050-the future of UK aviation, published in December 2019.

Answer (Grant Shapps)

It remains the government's intention to publish an Aviation 2050 strategy later this year, which will respond to the recent consultation.

8 Jul 2019, 1:55 p.m. Domestic Abuse: Mental Health Services Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what protections he plans to introduce in the Domestic Abuse Bill to provide for the mental health needs of victims of domestic abuse.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The Government is committed to improving the response to victims of domestic abuse through the provisions set out in our draft Domestic Abuse Bill and consultation response.

We are carefully considering the recommendations from the Joint Committee on the draft Domestic Abuse Bill about improving access to public services for victims of domestic abuse and their children and will be responding to the Committee’s report in due course.

We want to improve the provision of mental health services to ensure that they are available to anyone in need of such services, including domestic abuse victims. We have therefore committed to investing at least an additional £2.3bn per year in mental health services by 2023/24

On 17 June the Prime Minister announced a wide-ranging package of measures to strengthen the response to mental health, including training for all new teachers on how to spot the signs of mental health issues, additional funding to support local authorities to deliver local suicide prevention plans and updated professional standards for social workers across England to increase their knowledge and skills when helping those with mental health issues.

20 Jun 2019, 2:38 p.m. Travellers: Caravan Sites Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to place on a statutory basis the good practice guidance to local authorities in relation to their use of powers on unauthorised encampments.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

As stated in the Government response to the consultation on powers for dealing with unauthorised development and encampments , we will in due course create a power to place new guidance on a statutory footing.

20 Jun 2019, 2:35 p.m. Travellers: Caravan Sites Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for publishing the details of the £1.5 million fund for local authorities to enforce planning rules and tackle unauthorised development; how local authorities will be able to bid for that funding; and when that funding will be allocated.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

We will announce further details of the £1.5 million fund for planning enforcement over the summer.

18 Jun 2019, 3:46 p.m. Trespass Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he plans to undertake a public consultation on proposals to strengthen police powers in response to trespassing.

Answer (Nick Hurd)

On 6 February, the Home Secretary announced a set of measures to extend powers available to the police, which we believe will enable unauthorised encampments to be tackled more effectively. The Written Ministerial Statement can be found at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-02-06/debates/19020635000011/EnforcementAgainstUnauthorisedEncampments.

The Home Secretary also made clear that the Home Office would conduct a review into how the Government can criminalise unauthorised encampments. This review is currently underway, and a public consultation will be launched on the final set of proposals this summer.

18 Jun 2019, 3:46 p.m. Travellers: Caravan Sites Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timeframe is for his Department to undertake a review of the potential criminalisation of unauthorised developments.

Answer (Nick Hurd)

On 6 February, the Home Secretary announced a set of measures to extend powers available to the police, which we believe will enable unauthorised encampments to be tackled more effectively. The Written Ministerial Statement can be found at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-02-06/debates/19020635000011/EnforcementAgainstUnauthorisedEncampments.

The Home Secretary also made clear that the Home Office would conduct a review into how the Government can criminalise unauthorised encampments. This review is currently underway, and a public consultation will be launched on the final set of proposals this summer.

21 May 2019, 11 a.m. Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Rehabilitation Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department has planned to support the alcohol and drug treatment system.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Government is giving local authorities £16 billion over the current five-year spending review to fund public health activities and services. Local authorities shall receive over £3.1 billion in 2019/20, ring-fenced exclusively for use on public health. As part of the Public Health Grant conditions, services must have due regard for the uptake, investment and improvement of their local services. Decisions on investment in particular services are a matter for individual local authorities. Future investment will be determined by the forthcoming Spending Review.

14 May 2019, 2:22 p.m. Yemen: Peace Negotiations Helen Whately

Question

What diplomatic steps he is taking to support a peace process in Yemen.

Answer (Andrew Murrison)

The security situation in Yemen is of great concern. Working with partners and agencies, we are monitoring developments and doing all we can to end the conflict. The UK has played a leading role in diplomatic efforts and will continue to do so. My Right Honourable Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Yemen in March. He also hosted a ministerial Quad meeting last month to discuss implementation of the Hodeidah agreement and next steps in the political process. I welcome reports over the weekend that the Houthis have begun their withdrawal from Hodeidah.I look forward to receiving independent verification from the UN and hearing the assessment of the UN Special Envoy during his briefing to the Security Council.

30 Apr 2019, 1:47 p.m. Employment: Females Helen Whately

Question

What steps his Department is taking to support women at work.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Industrial Strategy aims to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase earning power for all.

This includes removing barriers faced by women in accessing and progressing at work and in starting and growing a business, as explored in the recent Rose Review.

We are also giving parents more choice about who is the primary carer in the first year of their babies’ lives through the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme.

27 Mar 2019, 12:32 p.m. Asylum: Children Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children are unaccompanied asylum seeking children in each local authority area.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The latest information on the number of looked-after children who were unaccompanied asylum seeking children, by local authority, can be found in table LAA4 of the statistical release ‘Children Looked-After in England: Including Adoption: 2017 to 2018’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018. These figures show the numbers at 31 March 2018.

The available population estimates for the number of children in each local authority are mid-year estimates published by the Office for National Statistics and these are reproduced in the underlying data that accompany this release.

26 Mar 2019, 10:20 a.m. Apprentices: Taxation Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many apprenticeship finishes there have been in each Government Department by gender since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

Answer (Oliver Dowden)

The Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally.

26 Mar 2019, 10:20 a.m. Apprentices: Taxation Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many apprenticeship starts there have been in each Government department by gender since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

Answer (Oliver Dowden)

The Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally.

20 Feb 2019, 11:47 a.m. General Practitioners: Faversham and Mid Kent Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients are registered with each GP in Faversham and Mid Kent Constituency; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of GPs per head of population.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The number of patients registered to individual general practitioners (GPs) is not collected or held centrally. The number of patients registered in each GP practice in England is published monthly in NHS Digital’s ‘Patients Registered at a GP Practice’ publication. Practices are grouped according to their clinical commissioning group not parliamentary constituency.

Each general practice is required to provide services to meet the reasonable needs of their registered population. There is no recommendation for how many patients a GP should have, as the demand each patient places on their GP is different and can be affected by various factors, including rurality and patient demographics. The workforce required for each practice to meet patient needs also includes a range of health professionals in addition to GPs themselves, and the best skill mix is for practices to determine.

The average number of patients seen at each GP practice in the Faversham and Mid Kent constituency per day is not held centrally. The average number of appointments per day is only available nationally or for individual clinical commissioning groups.

General practices are independent contractors to the National Health Service and their contracts require them to provide essential and additional services at such times within core hours, as are appropriate to meet the reasonable needs of patients. Core hours for GP practices contracted under General Medical Services (GMS) contracts are defined as 8:00 – 18:30, Monday – Friday, excluding weekends and bank holidays. Core hours for locally negotiated Personal Medical Services and Alternative Provider Medical Services are set out in their contract but largely mirror GMS opening hours or longer.

It is for each practice to determine any appointments system which they feel best meets the needs of their patients. Also, it is for GP practices to organise the delivery of their services to meet the terms of their contracts and to meet quality and safety standards set by the Care Quality Commission. Contractually, GP practices should report any disruption in the delivery of their services which could compromise their ability to meet the needs of their patients. GP practices may seek support from their local commissioner, including agreement to close the practice list to new patients or temporary suspension of patient registrations.

20 Feb 2019, 11:47 a.m. General Practitioners: Faversham and Mid Kent Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average number of patients seen at each GP practice in the Faversham and Mid Kent constituency per day; and what guidance his Department provides on the safe number of patient contacts.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The number of patients registered to individual general practitioners (GPs) is not collected or held centrally. The number of patients registered in each GP practice in England is published monthly in NHS Digital’s ‘Patients Registered at a GP Practice’ publication. Practices are grouped according to their clinical commissioning group not parliamentary constituency.

Each general practice is required to provide services to meet the reasonable needs of their registered population. There is no recommendation for how many patients a GP should have, as the demand each patient places on their GP is different and can be affected by various factors, including rurality and patient demographics. The workforce required for each practice to meet patient needs also includes a range of health professionals in addition to GPs themselves, and the best skill mix is for practices to determine.

The average number of patients seen at each GP practice in the Faversham and Mid Kent constituency per day is not held centrally. The average number of appointments per day is only available nationally or for individual clinical commissioning groups.

General practices are independent contractors to the National Health Service and their contracts require them to provide essential and additional services at such times within core hours, as are appropriate to meet the reasonable needs of patients. Core hours for GP practices contracted under General Medical Services (GMS) contracts are defined as 8:00 – 18:30, Monday – Friday, excluding weekends and bank holidays. Core hours for locally negotiated Personal Medical Services and Alternative Provider Medical Services are set out in their contract but largely mirror GMS opening hours or longer.

It is for each practice to determine any appointments system which they feel best meets the needs of their patients. Also, it is for GP practices to organise the delivery of their services to meet the terms of their contracts and to meet quality and safety standards set by the Care Quality Commission. Contractually, GP practices should report any disruption in the delivery of their services which could compromise their ability to meet the needs of their patients. GP practices may seek support from their local commissioner, including agreement to close the practice list to new patients or temporary suspension of patient registrations.

19 Feb 2019, 5:26 p.m. Vaccination: Cost Effectiveness Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the recommendations made by the Committee on cost effectiveness methodology for immunisation programmes and procurement, published in February 2018.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department is currently considering its response to the Committee on Cost Effectiveness Methodology for Immunisation Programmes and Procurement (CEMIPP). The consultation on the CEMIPP report closed on 28 June 2018. The Department is currently considering its response to make sure that rules for immunisation are fair, transparent and justifiable.

19 Feb 2019, 5:26 p.m. Vaccination: Cost Effectiveness Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish a response to the consultation the Cost effectiveness methodology for vaccination programmes, published on 26 February 2018.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department is currently considering its response to the Committee on Cost Effectiveness Methodology for Immunisation Programmes and Procurement (CEMIPP). The consultation on the CEMIPP report closed on 28 June 2018. The Department is currently considering its response to make sure that rules for immunisation are fair, transparent and justifiable.

7 Feb 2019, 4:04 p.m. Sexual Harassment: Employment Helen Whately

Question

What steps the Government is taking to tackle sexual harassment at work.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The Government strongly condemns sexual harassment in the workplace, and is committed to seeing it end.

We will consult this summer to ensure legal protections against workplace harassment are robust, and we are working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission on a new code of practice to ensure that employers are clear on their responsibilities.

31 Jan 2019, 4:30 p.m. M20: Noise Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of noise levels on the M20 between Junctions 8-9.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The noise levels on this section of the M20 have been assessed as part of DEFRA’s Noise Action Plan. This identified 10 areas between M20 Junction 8-9 which required investigation because of the level of noise.

Action has been taken to mitigate noise at five out of the 10 areas with the installation of noise insulation. Highways England are working to address the remaining five areas, including trials to test options to reduce the noise generated by concrete road surfaces.

31 Jan 2019, 3:39 p.m. M20: Accidents Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of accidents on the M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Below are the accident figures for the number of reported accidents on the M20 Junctions 8-9 in each of the last 10 years

Number of reported road accidents on the M20 (Juncs: 8-9)1, 2007 to 2017

Year

Number of accidents

2007

8

2008

12

2009

15

2010

6

2011

6

2012

10

2013

8

2014

5

2015

6

2016

11

2017

7

Source: DfT Stats19

1. Includes all the slip roads on and off at each of the junctions.

21 Dec 2018, 1:29 p.m. Suicide Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to promote the implementation of the suicide prevention frameworks developed by Health Education England and the Royal College of Psychiatrists National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Health Education England (HEE) published the suicide and self-harm prevention competency frameworks for children and young people, adults, and public health in October 2018. HEE is reviewing existing suicide training provision in relation to the competency frameworks, to inform the development of a compendium of training resource for the workforce and potential commissioning of future training.

HEE is hosting a roundtable event in 2019, which I will be attending, with a wide range of services including health, public health and other emergency services to map out their training needs in relation to the competency frameworks, and is working with MindEd to produce a children and young persons’ module that will build on and reference the competency framework in relation to suicide prevention.

HEE has also worked with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance to ensure that the competency framework is referenced on their website.

In addition, throughout 2019, members of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Delivery Group will explore how the Competency Frameworks can be used and promoted within their networks.

22 May 2018, 2:10 p.m. Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetables Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote the consumption of UK (a) fruit and (b) vegetables.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Government recommends eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day as part of a healthy balanced diet.

The national food model the Eatwell Guide provides a visual representation of the types and proportions of the foods needed for a healthy, balanced diet, and depicts a diet rich in fruit and vegetables; the guide can be accessed here:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/

In 2016, the Government’s 5 A Day campaign was refreshed with publication of a new set of 5 A Day logos by Public Health England. The 5 A Day message is embedded in the Eatwell Guide and communicated alongside other healthy eating advice including the Start4Life, Change4Life and One You campaigns, the NHS Choices website as well as Public Health England’s catering guidance.

The School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme provides 2.3 million children in Key Stage 1 with a portion of fresh fruit or vegetables each day at school; over 16,000 institutions are signed up to this scheme. Approximately 445 million pieces of fruit and vegetables are distributed to children annually. Schools are encouraged to use it as an opportunity to educate children about fruit and vegetables and to assist a healthy, balanced diet.

8 May 2018, 4 p.m. Mental Health Services: Children and Young People Helen Whately

Question

What steps he is taking to increase the provision of mental health services for children and young people.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We are making an additional £1.4 billion available in order to transform services and ensure access to specialist mental health services for 70,000 additional children and young people by 2020/21 each year. Our recent joint health and education Green Paper will revolutionise provision of services in schools, bolster links between schools and the National Health Service and pilot a four week waiting time.

8 Jan 2018, 4:53 p.m. Eating Disorders Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the report of the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman, Ignoring the Alarms: How NHS Eating Disoider Services are Failing Patients, what steps he is taking to ensure that NHS organisations respond to complaints about breaches of patient safety in a coordinated, open and transparent way.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

It is important for all complaints to National Health Service organisations to be robustly investigated, with responses sent that cover the issues raised in an open and sensitive manner. In order fully to learn from mistakes, it is vital that, where appropriate, there is effective co-operation and co-ordination across organisational boundaries.

The Department continues to work with system partners, including NHS England and NHS Improvement, to improve the handling of, and responses to, complaints and more general feedback across the healthcare system.

21 Dec 2017, 8:56 a.m. Lower Thames Crossing Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the new Lower Thames Crossing on traffic congestion on the (a) A229 (b) A249 (c) M2 Junctions 3, 5 and 7.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Forecasts of traffic impacts across all routes affected by the Lower Thames Crossing including A229, A249 and M2 were included in the economic assessment that informed the selection of the scheme’s preferred route. This appraisal was reported in section 4 of the Post-Consultation Scheme Assessment Report Volume 5.

Highways England are now undertaking more detailed consideration of the traffic impacts of the proposals across the local and wider road network.

This further assessment will inform the detailed design of the scheme and will be published in 2018 ahead of the scheme’s statutory consultation.

29 Nov 2017, 1:52 p.m. Mental Illness: Surveys Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what are the reasons for the time taken to publish the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in the UK Data Archive; and when he expects an approval system for researchers to apply for access to data in that archive to be implemented.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) in the UK Data Archive was published on 29 September 2016. As the APMS data was identified as containing particularly sensitive data, additional technical disclosure control measures were considered necessary by the NHS Digital Disclosure Control Panel to minimise the risk of re-identification. The complexity of these requirements and the rigorous level of testing required given the sensitivity of the data have resulted in the delays to making the dataset available for secondary use.

A version of the APMS 2014 dataset has been transferred to the UK Data Service, and researchers are now able to apply for access using the NHS Digital on-line Data Access Request Service available at.

https://dataaccessrequest.hscic.gov.uk/

20 Nov 2017, 3:52 p.m. Motorways: Kent Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of the UK's freight traffic uses the Kent motorway network; and what proportion of funding for motorway resurfacing has been allocated to the M20 in the last five years.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department produces estimates of vehicle miles by vehicle type and road type. Based on 2016 estimates, 16.6 billion HGV miles were travelled on Britain’s roads. 1.9% of these HGV miles occurred on the Kent motorway network.

11% of all motorway resurfacing in the South East region during the last five years occurred on the M20.

16 Nov 2017, 2:24 p.m. M20: Accidents Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) fatal accidents and (b) serious accidents took place on the M20 between junctions 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 London-bound and coast-bound in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15, (iii) 2015-16 and (iv) 2016-17; and how that figure compares to the average number of such accidents for all UK motorways.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The information requested for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 is set out in the table below.

Highways England responds to requests for collision data using validated STATS19 data, which forms part of the National Statistics.

FINANCIAL YEAR ( APR-MAR )

Fatal accidents

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

M20 between junctions 6 and 7 ( coast-bound)

0

0

0

M20 between junctions 7 and 6 ( London – bound )

0

0

2

M20 between junctions 8 and 9 ( coast-bound)

0

0

0

M20 between junctions 9 and 8 ( London – bound )

1

0

0

Serious accidents

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

M20 between junctions 6 and 7 ( coast-bound)

0

0

0

M20 between junctions 7 and 6 ( London – bound )

0

0

0

M20 between junctions 8 and 9 ( coast-bound)

4

1

3

M20 between junctions 9 and 8 ( London – bound )

4

1

1

The equivalent accident numbers for all UK motorways in each of these years is as follows:

Number of accidents - Motorways

Year

Fatal

Fatal and Serious

2013

97

641

2014

85

680

2015

96

712

2016

87

769

Highways England do not currently have the data available by route for 2016-17.

16 Nov 2017, 2:21 p.m. Motorways: Noise Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which parts of the motorway network his Department defines as noise important areas; when Junctions 6 to 9 of the M20 were last assessed to establish whether noise exceeded the levels of the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006; and how noise levels between Junctions 6 to 9 of the M20 compare to such levels on other parts of the motorway network.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Noise important areas are defined by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, under the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006. There are 13 noise important areas between junctions 6 and 9 of the M20. There are no noise levels defined in these Regulations so it is not possible to state how many areas are in exceedance, but noise levels along this stretch of motorway are broadly similar to other parts of the motorway network with similar levels of traffic flow.

19 Oct 2017, 2:57 p.m. Agriculture: Seasonal Workers Helen Whately

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) non-UK EU and (b) other seasonal agricultural workers who have come to the UK in each of the last five years.

Answer (George Eustice)

Until 2016, Defra published data on the estimated number of seasonal agricultural workers in all UK countries in “Agriculture in the UK”, which is a Defra publication. Since 2016, data is published for England only, collected by the June Horticulture and Agriculture Survey. Data from the past 5 years is shown in the table below.

Defra does not collect data on the nationality of those workers.

Seasonal, casual & gang labour

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

UK numbers

67 000

61 000

66 000

67 000

N/A

England-only numbers

44 985

39 203

43 036

44 939

43 894