Robert Flello

Labour - Former Member for Stoke-on-Trent South

Panel of Chairs
11th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Transport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Finance and Services Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Justice)
8th Oct 2010 - 2nd Oct 2013
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
17th Jul 2005 - 30th Oct 2007


Division Voting information

Robert Flello has voted in 1935 divisions, and 20 times against the majority of their Party.

13 Mar 2017 - Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Labour No votes vs 145 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 172 Noes - 142
8 Feb 2017 - Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 68 Labour No votes vs 85 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 409 Noes - 126
23 Feb 2015 - Serious Crime Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Labour Aye votes vs 178 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 292
15 Jul 2014 - Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (Business of the House) - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 181 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 436 Noes - 49
15 Jul 2014 - Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Labour Aye votes vs 185 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 56 Noes - 454
21 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Labour No votes vs 194 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 161
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Labour Aye votes vs 190 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 163 Noes - 321
5 Feb 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 216 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 400 Noes - 175
28 Jan 2013 - Succession to the Crown Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Labour Aye votes vs 154 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 38 Noes - 371
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Robert Flello 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
Robert Flello 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
23 Nov 2011 - Schengen Governance - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 171 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 461 Noes - 23
7 Sep 2011 - Health and Social Care (Re-committed) Bill - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 208 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 368
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 48 Labour Aye votes vs 230 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 299
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 49 Labour Aye votes vs 227 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 206 Noes - 298
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 194 Noes - 306
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 45 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 183 Noes - 308
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Labour No votes vs 261 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 129
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 152 Labour No votes vs 162 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 416 Noes - 163
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Robert Flello voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 156 Labour Aye votes vs 157 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 305 Noes - 267
View All Robert Flello 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 Robert Flello's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Robert Flello

20th March 2017
Robert Flello signed this EDM on Tuesday 25th 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
1st March 2017
Robert Flello signed this EDM on Tuesday 25th April 2017

OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Tabled by: Mark Durkan (Social Democratic & Labour Party - Foyle)
That this House supports Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month which takes place in March 2017; notes that over 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer across the UK each year; is concerned that just one in five women are able to name the lead symptom of bloating; recognises that early diagnosis …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 19
Labour: 17
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Independent: 4
Conservative: 4
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Ulster Unionist Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Robert Flello's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Robert Flello, 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.


Robert Flello has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Robert Flello has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Robert Flello


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 12th November 2010

Robert Flello has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


212 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
8 Other Department Questions
11th Nov 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions she has had on Kashmir with the Prime Minister of India and Indian officials during her recent visit to that country.

During my visit I discussed a variety of issues with Prime Minister Modi, including Kashmir.

The UK's long-standing position, held by successive Governments, is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the disruption at Calais to the economy in the last three months.

Understanding the full cost to the economy would require a detailed analysis of business supply chains. This information can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

21st Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he took the decision not to provide funding to trainees to support the cost of gaining a large goods vehicle licence.

There is a longstanding principle, dating back to 2005, which was communicated to the sector in the 2007/08 funding year, that, in general, we do not provide funding for provision that is either an employer or a statutory requirement. Instead, we believe that these costs should be met by employers or individuals themselves.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons a person registering title to a property is not required to provide proof of the applicant's identity; and whether he plans to review the requirements for proving identity when registering title to a property.

Land Registry is the land registration authority for England and Wales. It requires confirmation of a person’s identity (including when the person is a corporate body, for example a company) when an application is made to register:

· a transfer of a property or a transfer of a mortgage, both for value and not for value, for example, by way of gift;

· a lease of property, both for value and not for value,

· a surrender of a registered lease,

· a mortgage

· a discharge or release of a mortgage when the discharge or release is in paper form.

Confirmation of identity is also required on:

· the first registration of a freehold or leasehold estate following an event which induces registration, for example a sale or mortgage,

· the voluntary first registration of a freehold or leasehold estate where the title deeds have been lost or destroyed.

The confirmation of identity is required for both the person disposing or granting the interest, for example, the seller, and also for the person acquiring the interest, for example, the buyer.

Land Registry also requires confirmation of identity when a person changes their name and the change is evidenced by deed poll, a statutory declaration or statement of truth, and when a citizen applies to change their address in the land register.

Land Registry does not routinely require confirmation of identity in other situations but may ask for this before completing a registration if it considers it prudent to do so.

Confirmation of identity is also not required where the value of the land involved in a disposal does not exceed £6,000.

Land Registry’s requirements are based on the most significant fraud risks which are where an application is made to change the registered owner of a registered estate or a mortgage or their details in the register. It keeps its counter-fraud requirements under regular review and has from time-to-time introduced additional requirements to deal with identified threats.

9th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will take steps to ensure that employees working on zero-hours contracts, who are in practice working regular hours over an extended period, have the right to a fixed-term contract.

All employees on zero hours contracts can already, after 26 weeks, request a move to fixed hours contracts under flexible working legislation, brought in on 30 June 2014. We are also currently banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts and the employment status review currently taking place is looking further at the employment rights zero hours workers have.

15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if the Government will launch an inquiry into the price of fuel to identify the reasons for the disparity between global oil prices and the domestic prices paid by motorists.

The Government has made it clear to the industry that it is vital the benefits of plunging oil prices are passed on quickly to the domestic prices paid by motorists.

UK national average pump prices are now at their lowest levels since March 2010 for diesel and at its lowest since Dec 2009 for petrol. We expect fuel retailers to cut prices further as the decline in crude oil prices in recent weeks continues to feed through the system.

We continue to monitor price movements very closely.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps he is taking to help households with energy bills.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to Questions 906709, 906716, 906719, 906724 and 906725:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141218/debtext/141218-0001.htm#14121837000006

1st Nov 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which government departments allow professional drivers making deliveries to departmental premises to use employee toilet facilities.

It is for individual departments to determine their own access arrangements. The Cabinet Office's own protective security arrangements apply to staff, contractors and all visitors. It is not the policy of the department to publish what those arrangements are.

9th Jun 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people are resident in the areas covered by each clinical commissioning group in England; and how many births were recorded in each such area in each of the last three years.

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 assessment he has made of the effectiveness of civil contingencies processes in his Department.

The Cabinet Office works with other government departments, devolved administrations, emergency responders and other organisations to enhance the UK’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. The effectiveness of these arrangements is reviewed regularly to ensure lessons arising from emergencies are identified and actioned.

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of sustainable, renewable energy which can be generated from a water mill.

The level of electricity generation is dependent on the flow rate of the water and the difference in elevation between the intake and the outlet. Capacities for run of river plants tend to be below 2 Megawatts and more typically below 500 Kilowatts. Current UK hydro capacity is estimated at 1,750 Megawatts with further potential of around 1,000 Megawatts, mostly at small scale in remote locations.

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many water mills there are in the UK in (a) total, (b) fully working condition, (c) need of repair and (d) need of full rebuilding.

The Government does not keep data on water mills.

The majority of hydro capacity in Great Britain was installed in Scotland in the first hydro revolution in the 1950s, with a smaller amount installed in Wales. The majority of these installations are still operating. In 2015, it was estimated that there were 1,065 operational plants with a capacity of 1,750 Megawatts, generating 6 Terawatt hours (equivalent to 1.8% of UK electricity supply)[1].

The Government does not monitor the condition of existing hydro power plants in the UK. It is a business decision for companies to determine when to carry out repairs and refurbishments.

[1] www.gov.uk/government/statistics/regional-renewable-statistics

19th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what legal powers TV Licensing have to compel an occupier who does not have television receiving equipment to notify TV Licensing that no television licence is required.

There are no legal powers to compel an occupier to notify TV licensing that no TV licence is required. All TV Licensing letters ask people who don’t need a licence to get in touch in order to update their records.

19th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has received any representations about the tone of letters sent by TV Licensing to occupiers who do not have television receiving equipment but who choose not to notify TV Licensing of that fact.

We have received one representation about the tone of letters sent by TV Licensing to an occupier who did ​not have television receiving equipment but who chose not to notify TV Licensing of that fact.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make representations to the BBC as part of the Charter renewal process on the level of coverage of (a) World Youth Day 2016 and (b) the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Under the terms of the BBC’s Charter and Agreement, the BBC is operationally and editorially independent of Government and there is no provision for the Government to intervene in the Corporation’s day-to-day operations

14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many new entrants there were for religious education initial teacher training courses in each of the last five years.

The numbers of new entrants to religious education initial teacher training (ITT) courses in England, and the target levels, for each of the last five years are as shown in Table 1 below.

The numbers of people achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) in religious studies in each of the last five years are as shown in Table 2 below.

Table 1: New entrants to Religious Education ITT courses.

Year

Postgraduate ITT new entrants

Postgraduate ITT target

Percentage of the postgraduate target achieved

Undergraduate ITT new entrants

2011/12

463

446

104%

15

2012/13

471

439

107%

12

2013/14

367

450

82%

12

2014/15

386

537

72%

8

2015/16

411

650

63%

14


Table 2: Final year religious education trainees obtaining QTS awards.

Year

Postgraduate

Undergraduate

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

2009/10

755

96

851

89%

12

2

14

86%

2010/11

762

78

840

91%

19

2

21

90%

2011/12

464

71

535

87%

17

7

24

71%

2012/13

419

65

484

87%

25

5

30

83%

2013/14

321

23

344

93%

12

0

12

100%


Further information is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training

14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the target was for new entrants on to Religious Education initial teacher training courses in each of the last five years.

The numbers of new entrants to religious education initial teacher training (ITT) courses in England, and the target levels, for each of the last five years are as shown in Table 1 below.

The numbers of people achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) in religious studies in each of the last five years are as shown in Table 2 below.

Table 1: New entrants to Religious Education ITT courses.

Year

Postgraduate ITT new entrants

Postgraduate ITT target

Percentage of the postgraduate target achieved

Undergraduate ITT new entrants

2011/12

463

446

104%

15

2012/13

471

439

107%

12

2013/14

367

450

82%

12

2014/15

386

537

72%

8

2015/16

411

650

63%

14


Table 2: Final year religious education trainees obtaining QTS awards.

Year

Postgraduate

Undergraduate

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

2009/10

755

96

851

89%

12

2

14

86%

2010/11

762

78

840

91%

19

2

21

90%

2011/12

464

71

535

87%

17

7

24

71%

2012/13

419

65

484

87%

25

5

30

83%

2013/14

321

23

344

93%

12

0

12

100%


Further information is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training

14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people achieved qualified teacher status in religious studies in each of the last five years.

The numbers of new entrants to religious education initial teacher training (ITT) courses in England, and the target levels, for each of the last five years are as shown in Table 1 below.

The numbers of people achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) in religious studies in each of the last five years are as shown in Table 2 below.

Table 1: New entrants to Religious Education ITT courses.

Year

Postgraduate ITT new entrants

Postgraduate ITT target

Percentage of the postgraduate target achieved

Undergraduate ITT new entrants

2011/12

463

446

104%

15

2012/13

471

439

107%

12

2013/14

367

450

82%

12

2014/15

386

537

72%

8

2015/16

411

650

63%

14


Table 2: Final year religious education trainees obtaining QTS awards.

Year

Postgraduate

Undergraduate

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

Number awarded QTS

Number not awarded QTS

Total

Percentage awarded QTS

2009/10

755

96

851

89%

12

2

14

86%

2010/11

762

78

840

91%

19

2

21

90%

2011/12

464

71

535

87%

17

7

24

71%

2012/13

419

65

484

87%

25

5

30

83%

2013/14

321

23

344

93%

12

0

12

100%


Further information is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the use of water mills to generate electricity.

No specific discussions have occurred at Ministerial level on the use of water mills to generate electricity. However officials from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency cooperate closely to ensure that small-scale hydropower is exploited in a sustainable way so as to minimise environmental and other impacts.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information her Department holds on who took the decision to request the use of a helicopter to winch passengers off the bus in Dailley, Ayrshire, during the floods of December 2015.

These decisions would have been taken by the Scottish Government, as flooding is a devolved matter.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information her Department holds on who took the decision not to use a professional heavy vehicle recovery operator to recover the bus which was trapped in floodwater in Dailley, Ayrshire, in December 2015.

These decisions would have been taken by the Scottish Government, as flooding is a devolved matter.

7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the animal carcass rendering industry on transportation of carcasses to rendering sites.

Defra officials held constructive discussions with the rendering industry on this issue on 26 August 2015.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
12th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what analysis and research her Department has undertaken into the potential risk to human health of the transportation of animal carcasses and animal products in unsealed and unrefrigerated vehicles to rendering facilities.

Defra has not undertaken research into the potential risk to human health of the transportation of animal carcasses and animal products in unsealed and unrefrigerated vehicles to rendering facilities.

EU animal by-products (ABP) legislation, which is in force to protect public and animal health, requires animal carcasses and other ABP material to be collected and transported in sealed new packaging or covered leak-proof containers or vehicles at an appropriate temperature. Non-compliance with this requirement is a criminal offence under the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013. In addition, the Government has been urging the rendering industry to consider what improvements can be made to current practice when transporting ABPs and on the issue of cooling carcasse material.

The Department understands that the rendering industry is currently undertaking and funding its own research into the costs and benefits of chilling ABPs during storage and transport.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what (a) financial and (b) other assistance her Department has contributed to international support for children with microcephaly and their families.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has worked with the Department for Heath (who are leading the UK government’s response), Public Health England and the Foreign Commonwealth Office to help develop the UK strategy on Zika and support the World Health Organisation (WHO) galvanise an effective international response. There are four strands of this strategy which are: (a) galvanising effective leadership and international coordination; (b) ensuring a risk-based approach to identify priority regions/countries and likely impact of further spread; (c) shaping and contributing to country and regional responses and (d) playing a lead role in the international research response.

DFID has programmes in a number of countries which will support the Zika response. To date, countries in currently affected regions of Latin America and the Caribbean have not made specific requests for financial and/or other assistance from us to support children with microcephaly. We will continue to carefully assess any requests, offer additional assistance where needed and adapt any existing programmes to the needs required. We have already committed £200,000 of bilateral aid in support of Haiti’s Ministry of Health community mobilisation activities. DFID and Wellcome Trust will contribute £10 million (DFID up to £5million) for Zika research. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, working with other government departments and WHO.

4th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department takes to ensure that UK aid is not provided to coercive family-planning schemes or to organisations that are complicit in such schemes.

The UK Government supports the work of various international organisations and agencies to promote informed choice, universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s empowerment. All UK support to improve sexual and reproductive health – including for family planning – must be provided in the context of informed choice.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
4th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 1 June 2015 to Question 20, what the evidential basis is for the statement that sex selection is not caused by the availability of abortion services or technologies; whether her Department considers that antenatal scanning equipment facilitates sex-selective abortion; and if she will make a statement.

The World Health Organisation document “Preventing gender-biased sex selection. An interagency statement”, available online, includes more information and extensive references on these issues.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
4th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 1 June 2015 to Question 20, whether any UK funding is provided to multinational organisations that assist organisations that are closely involved with China's one-child policy.

No organisations the UK funds, who work in China, promote the one-child policy. The UK Government supports the work of various international organisations and agencies to promote informed choice, universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s empowerment, including voluntary family planning.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of sex-selective abortion on the gender balance in China and India; what assessment her Department has made of whether UK-funded equipment is not used to carry out sex-selective abortions in countries which receive UK aid; and on what evidence her Department has made that assessment.

The UK Government does not promote or support abortion on the grounds of gender. The practice of sex selection is not caused by the availability of abortion services or technologies but is a consequence of deep rooted discrimination against women, poverty and cultural preference for sons. Our work on girls' education, women's empowerment, skills and jobs aims to increase the ‘value’ of girls and women in society and therefore tackle the pressures and incentives that drive preferences for male children.

The UK has never supported or funded the one child policy and closed its bilateral aid programme to China in March 2011. In India, our partners are strongly committed to implementing India’s 1994 National Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Regulation Act, which bans the use of medical technologies for sex selection purposes.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
20th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in the rail freight grant on the volume of freight that will be carried by (a) rail and (b) road.

Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) awards made so far will help to remove about 140,000 fewer lorry journeys from road and onto rail in 2017/18 than the current year end forecast for 2016/17. For 2018/19, it is about 160,000 fewer.

This assessment is based on the first bid round for 2017/18 and 2018/19 funding which was held in December 2016.

20th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 February 2017 to Question 64112, if he will publish details of Mark Thurston's previous experience, which was used to inform the decision to appoint him to the role of Chief Executive Officer of HS2 Ltd.

Mark Thurston brings a huge array of varied experience across 30 years in the infrastructure sector around Europe, and in UK rail especially. This includes starting out as an apprentice at TfL, to major international engineering and infrastructure companies The Nichols Group and CH2M. At CH2M, he was the lead for the Programme Partner joint venture on the Olympics and Crossrail as well as overseeing all of CH2M’s European operations. He has held roles at Metronet, Railtrack and Brown and Root Engineering and Construction.

20th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria were used to set the £535,000 per annum base salary of the new chief executive officer of HS2.

HS2 Ltd conducted an extensive global search for the right candidate to take forward one of the largest and most exciting infrastructure programmes in the world.

The salary was identified as the level necessary to attract and then secure the right candidate to lead the HS2 Project. It has been bench-marked against the salaries for similar senior positions in comparable industry roles. It is a competitive salary for the demands of the role and the skills required.

The job specification which set out the skills and experience criteria were published on the HS2 Ltd website.

Skills

► Information analysis - An ability to assimilate complex, ambiguous and often incomplete information, in order to take action providing clear direction and purpose to the organisation and its stakeholders.

► An ability to understand and focus on detail as needed whilst maintaining the strategic vision and overview to keep the project focused.

► Public speaking & Ambassadorial skills - to lead innovation within the broader industry, working with technical bodies, trade associations, the supply chain and government.

► Ability to build, lead and motivate top executive teams and consensus within these teams and the board.

Knowledge

► An ability to assimilate complex, ambiguous and often incomplete information, in order to take action providing clear direction and purpose to the organisation and its stakeholders.

► Knowledge of best practice approaches to embedding continuous improvement culture as the organisation shifts from concept to delivery and adapts accordingly.

► Knowledge of inclusive leadership techniques and approaches.

Qualifications: Applicants will most likely have a strong academic or professional training and have experience of dealing with complex engineering and business issues.

Experience

► Experience of leading a successful transformation of a large complex commercially-focused delivery organisation, achieving significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and customer service.

► Experience of leading an ingrained Health and Safety culture through personal leadership and commitment.

► Experience of effective strategic risk management, change control processes and capital allocation on large scale capital intensive projects or within organisations delivering in this environment.

► Experience of dealing with the procurement of a complex supply chain.

17th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria his Department set out in recruiting the new Chief Executive Officer of HS2 Ltd on a record of successful delivery.

HS2 Ltd conducted an extensive global search for the right candidate to take forward one of the largest and most exciting infrastructure programmes in the world. The process was led by Sir David Higgins, supported by Heidrick and Struggles (an international executive search firm) that identified 20 candidates from four continents (including America, Australia, Asia, as well as Europe).

The job specification which set out the skills and experience criteria were published on the HS2 Ltd website.

Skills

► Information analysis - An ability to assimilate complex, ambiguous and often incomplete information, in order to take action providing clear direction and purpose to the organisation and its stakeholders.

► An ability to understand and focus on detail as needed whilst maintaining the strategic vision and overview to keep the project focused.

► Public speaking & Ambassadorial skills - to lead innovation within the broader industry, working with technical bodies, trade associations, the supply chain and government.

► Ability to build, lead and motivate top executive teams and consensus within these teams and the board.

Knowledge

► An ability to assimilate complex, ambiguous and often incomplete information, in order to take action providing clear direction and purpose to the organisation and its stakeholders.

► Knowledge of best practice approaches to embedding continuous improvement culture as the organisation shifts from concept to delivery and adapts accordingly.

► Knowledge of inclusive leadership techniques and approaches.

Qualifications: Applicants will most likely have a strong academic or professional training and have experience of dealing with complex engineering and business issues.

Experience

► Experience of leading a successful transformation of a large complex commercially-focused delivery organisation, achieving significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and customer service.

► Experience of leading an ingrained Health and Safety culture through personal leadership and commitment.

► Experience of effective strategic risk management, change control processes and capital allocation on large scale capital intensive projects or within organisations delivering in this environment.

► Experience of dealing with the procurement of a complex supply chain.

17th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what due diligence processes his Department and HS2 Ltd carried out on the suitability of the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HS2 Ltd; and what that CEO's experience is of leading a major UK infrastructure project.

HS2 Ltd’s search consultants, Heidrick and Struggles, conducted a worldwide search and an advertisement was placed in the Sunday Times. Candidates were interviewed initially by Heidrick and Struggles and a shortlist was developed. The final interview was conducted by a panel of 7, which included the Chair of HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport (DfT) Permanent Secretary, the Director General for High Speed 2, a senior Treasury Official and non-Executive Directors of HS2 Ltd and DfT. References were taken and the appointment was approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mark Thurston brings a huge array of varied experience across 30 years in the infrastructure sector around Europe, and in UK rail especially. This includes starting out as an apprentice at Transport for London, to major international engineering and infrastructure companies The Nichols Group and CH2M. At CH2M, he was the lead for the Programme Partner joint venture on the Olympics and Crossrail as well as overseeing all of CH2M’s European operations.

17th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what work will be undertaken by the new chief executive of HS2 Ltd on Crossrail and the Olympic Delivery Authority at CH2M; and what his (a) role, (b) job specification and (c) job title is for those two projects.

The new CEO Mark Thurston has left CH2M and will not be working on, Crossrail, the Olympic Delivery Authority or any other projects on behalf of CH2M. He will solely be working for HS2 Ltd.

14th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that future franchises which incorporate reforms to the structure of the railways integrating Network Rail will incentivise new freight terminals and services.

Rail Freight is a crucial part of our rail network. We published a Rail Freight Strategy in September 2016 which reaffirms our commitment to the rail freight industry and explains how we will work to advance its interests.

The Strategy commits to ensuring that the Government, in developing its strategy for new franchise competitions, will consider how rail freight can be more systemically considered in this process.

We want to ensure any proposals for rail reform work for everyone on the network, and we will be engaging with stakeholders as any new proposals develop.

Alongside this, progress has already been made with Network Rail creating a virtual freight and national passenger operator route to ensure the interests of freight operators are represented.

7th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Ministerial Statement of 6 December 2016, HCWS 322, Rail update, what discussions he has had with the Rail Delivery Group on his proposals to change the operation of Network Rail.

We engage with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on a regular basis to inform our thinking on a range on matters. We will work closely with stakeholders across industry, including the RDG, as we develop these specific proposals.

7th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Ministerial Statement of 6 December 2016, HCWS 322, Rail update, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposals in that Statement.

We follow the standard business case process to inform proposals and ensure value for money.

7th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that after changes to Network Rail are made the national rail network is maintained in a suitable condition for rail freight.

Rail freight is an integral part of the railway and will continue to be as we consider how greater alignment between track and train can help deliver a better service for users of the rail network.

The Shaw Report very much recognised the importance of rail freight, and I welcome the reforms Network Rail has already undertaken in response, including the Freight and National Passenger Operators route to ensure the interests of freight are represented.

I believe it is important that we make sure any future reforms to the rail system work for all users of the network. There are a number of potential models for how greater alignment might be achieved, and I want to reassure you that the Department will be consulting with all stakeholders, including the rail freight industry, as thinking on these proposals develops.

24th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which organisations and individuals have been invited to attend the logistics industry round table to discuss driver shortage and future recruitment on 17 November 2016.

The invitation list for the round table is yet to be finalised. People from a number of organisations have been asked to keep the time on 17th November available. The organisations (other than Government) involved are Abbey Logistics Group, the British International Freight Association, British Ports, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Freight Transport Association, Freightlink Europe, Labyrinth Solutions, the Rail Delivery Group, Rail Freight Group, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the Road Haulage Association, Unite the Union, the UK Major Ports Group and the UK Warehousing Association.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what system is available to the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency to ensure compliance with cabotage regulations.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) ensures compliance with the cabotage regulations by carrying out roadside checks, which are conducted by DVSA enforcement examiners.

13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to address non-payment of tolls, charges, penalties and fees by non-UK drivers.

The Government takes the recovery of non-payment of tolls, charges, penalties and fees very seriously by UK and non UK drivers. The following sets out the steps used by the different organisations responsible in addressing the non-payment of UK charges and penalties.

When a non-UK vehicle uses the Dartford Crossing without paying the Dart Charge, Highways England uses a European debt recovery agency to issue a Penalty Charge Notice. Highways England also runs seasonal compliance campaigns, providing translated material at ports, airports and poster sites in the Calais area to build broader awareness for foreign drivers heading to the UK.

For the HGV levy, the Government has effective enforcement procedures that are delivering 95% compliance rates in Great Britain. The Driver and Vehicle and Licencing Agency (DVLA) has the powers to target non-compliant vehicles, and hold them until a penalty is paid.

Enforcement of road traffic legislation is an operational matter for the police. They are able to issue penalties for speeding, and those who cannot provide a verified UK address can be required to make an on-the-spot roadside payment, known as a fixed penalty deposit.

Local authorities have powers to clamp or remove foreign vehicles to ensure drivers comply with parking restrictions and pay any penalties.

The Government will continue to look at the ways we collect tolls, charges, penalties and fees by non-UK drivers and ensure improvements are made where necessary.

13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the amount in tolls, charges, penalties and fees which remain unpaid by (a) commercial and (b) domestic drivers from outside the UK in each of the last five years.

The Government takes recovery of non-payment of tolls, charges, penalties and fees very seriously both by UK and non UK drivers. When it is non-payment from a non UK driver a European debt recovery agency is used to support recovery of outstanding charges.

It is not possible to identify the amount in tolls, charges, penalties and fees which remain unpaid by (a) commercial and (b) domestic drivers from outside the UK in each of the last five years without incurring disproportionate cost as this information could only be obtained by a search of all tolling, charging, penalty charging and fee systems.

7th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Highways England vehicles there are available for motorway patrol; how many such vehicles are deployed at any one time; and how many such vehicles deployed carry defibrillators.

Highways England’s traffic officer service has 198 vehicles. On a typical weekday, there are approximately 90 vehicles deployed during the day shifts and around 49 for night times. Where there are major events or severe weather warnings, with likely impacts on the strategic road network, additional vehicles will be used.

None of the vehicles carry defibrillators.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will place in the Library a copy of the training syllabus, training manuals and associated materials on training for Highways England traffic officers for moving vehicles from live lanes to emergency refuge areas.

The training of carriageway clearance for new Traffic Officers is within a 5 week training programme and supported by an additional 6 week coaching period. For existing experienced Traffic Officers a 1 day practical course in Enhanced Carriageway Clearance is mandated.

The courses are delivered by experienced Traffic Officers and are regularly reviewed. A significant proportion of the learning experience is practical and scenario based. Because of the nature of the training, it would not be appropriate to place any written material, out of context, in the Library. However, Highways England have offered Honourable Members of the Transport Select Committee a visit to one of their Regional Control Centres to observe their Traffic Officers in action.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with trades unions officials representing Highways England traffic officers on the potential danger of serious injury or death arising from trying to move a heavy goods vehicle from a live lane using a Highways England traffic officer 4 by 4 vehicle.

The Trade Union that represents Highways England Traffic Officers was consulted throughout the life of the enhanced carriageway clearance project, which focused on carriageway clearance of vehicles of all types. Trade Union representatives attended a number of meetings and specific workshops.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much compensation has been paid from the public purse to owners of heavy goods vehicles damaged as a result of being moved by Highways England traffic officers from live lanes to (a) hard shoulders and (b) emergency refuge areas in the last 12 months.

Highways England has not received any claims relating to heavy goods vehicles damaged as a result of being moved by Highways England traffic officers in the last 12 months. Hence, no compensation has been paid.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Highways England traffic officers have been (a) trained to move heavy goods vehicles from live motorway lanes on Smart motorways to emergency refuge areas and (b) not so trained but issued with an instruction manual to move such vehicles.

As at 6 June 2016, 910 Highways England Traffic Officers have been trained in the activity of carriageway clearance. This training is appropriate for all vehicle types as it is designed to provide specific criteria which Traffic Officers must follow to determine whether it is safe to remove any vehicle from a carriageway to a place of relative safety.

In addition, all Traffic Officers who work on smart motorway sections are trained in the specifics of that operational environment before they are designated as safe to operate. No operational activity is undertaken by Highways England Traffic Officers without appropriate training and supporting safe systems of work.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Highways England traffic officers have moved heavy goods vehicles from live lanes to (a) hard shoulders and (b) emergency refuge areas in the last 12 months.

Highways England does not specifically record how many Highways England traffic officers have moved heavy goods vehicles from live lanes to hard shoulders or emergency refuge areas.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on signing the Luxembourg rail protocol.

The United Kingdom signed the Luxembourg Rail Protocol on the 26th February 2016.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce HGV testing waiting lists at Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency testing centres.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is reducing vocational waiting times by recruiting more examiners, improving its forecasting model to better match resource with demand and redeploying examiners from lower wait centres to those with higher waiting times.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he took and when to address the flooding that disrupted rail services between Rugby and Milton Keynes on Wednesday 9 March 2016.

This was an operational matter for Network Rail and the train operators, who did what they could to keep services moving so far as was safely practicable in the difficult conditions. Given the reduced line capacity available, it was necessary for the train operators to substantially thin out the level of service; the resulting serious disruption to passengers on the route is regretted.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many times there has been disruption to rail services arising from flooding between Rugby and Milton Keynes in each of the last five years.

This information is not held by the Department as it is an operational matter for Network Rail.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on an exemption from the European Commission on the Directive 2006/125/EC on driving licences to enable electric vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be driven on a B licence.

The UK has not sought an exemption from Directive 2006/126/EC to enable electric vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be driven on a Category B licence. Any driver that holds a full category B licence issued before 1 January 1997 has a “grandfather right” to drive vehicles in category C1 – not for hire and reward. We will continue to monitor the situation.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the briefing by the National Audits Office entitled Delivering major projects in government, published on 6 January 2016, what plans his Department has to increase the amount of data it publishes on major projects.

The Department for Transport (DfT) accounts for a whole life value of £92bn within the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).


The DfT follows the Cabinet Office transparency policy by publishing the Department’s data in line with requirements, including the annual publication of GMPP data, SRO appointment letters and individual project cases.


The Department continually assures project delivery in relation to costs, timings and benefits through clear governance and project and programme management (PPM) requirements, which must be satisfied throughout the life cycle of a project. This includes investment board endorsement at key project planning and delivery stages, and independent assurance within the Department. Further external assurance is provided for example by the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA). The department uses a widely understood and highly regarded economic tool, known as WebTAG, for calculating costs.


In addition to individual project assurance, the Department works with the IPA on both GMPP and its own portfolio reporting requirements. The Department has been actively involved in work to improve the collection, collation and analysis of key areas of project delivery, including costs and benefits, in line with the recent IPA review and refresh of GMPP data collection.


As part of the Department’s internal governance, regular portfolio reporting on the aggregated performance and health of major projects is presented to the Department’s investment board. The Department has recently assessed the maturity of its portfolio reporting and has an action plan to further develop its capability in key areas.


The Department reports infrastructure projects that are £50m or more on the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which details public and private infrastructure investment which is either forecast, being delivered, or completed. It is published on the Treasury’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-july-2015).


13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of its methods of alleviating road congestion on motorways after an incident; and what plans his Department has to improve those methods.

Highways England Traffic Officers play an important role in keeping traffic moving by helping road users in the event of a breakdown or collision, clearing debris from the motorways and returning the road back to normal.


To assess how well Highways England are performing in clearing incidents, a target has been set to clear 85% of all lane impact incidents on the motorway network with one hour, as set out in the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) and reported on annually. Highways England works closely with the other emergency responders including police forces, ambulance authorities, and fire and rescue services to improve its incident response.


13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to paragraph 2.1 of the briefing by the National Audit Office entitled Delivering major projects in government, published on 6 January 2016, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of its monitoring the benefits of (a) ongoing and (b) complete infrastructure projects.

The Department for Transport (DfT) accounts for a whole life value of £92bn within the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).


The DfT follows the Cabinet Office transparency policy by publishing the Department’s data in line with requirements, including the annual publication of GMPP data, SRO appointment letters and individual project cases.


The Department continually assures project delivery in relation to costs, timings and benefits through clear governance and project and programme management (PPM) requirements, which must be satisfied throughout the life cycle of a project. This includes investment board endorsement at key project planning and delivery stages, and independent assurance within the Department. Further external assurance is provided for example by the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA). The department uses a widely understood and highly regarded economic tool, known as WebTAG, for calculating costs.


In addition to individual project assurance, the Department works with the IPA on both GMPP and its own portfolio reporting requirements. The Department has been actively involved in work to improve the collection, collation and analysis of key areas of project delivery, including costs and benefits, in line with the recent IPA review and refresh of GMPP data collection.


As part of the Department’s internal governance, regular portfolio reporting on the aggregated performance and health of major projects is presented to the Department’s investment board. The Department has recently assessed the maturity of its portfolio reporting and has an action plan to further develop its capability in key areas.


The Department reports infrastructure projects that are £50m or more on the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which details public and private infrastructure investment which is either forecast, being delivered, or completed. It is published on the Treasury’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-july-2015).


13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on rail freight movements of the re-opening of the Carno station in Powys.

The case for re-opening Carno station is one of a number of possibilities that the Welsh Government is discussing. The interests of all users of the rail network, including freight operators, are protected through the contractual access regime overseen by the Office of Rail and Road.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what analysis his Department has undertaken of the effect of a new rail freight depot near Northampton on the local economy.

The development of proposals for rail freight interchanges is a matter for the private sector and therefore the Department has not undertaken any such analysis.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the briefing by the National Audit Office, entitled Delivering major projects in government, published on 6 January 2016, what steps his Department is taking to (a) correct inconsistent reporting of costs referred to in that briefing and (b) ensure more accurate reporting of costs on major projects.

The Department has issued clear guidance on how projects should report financial data. This includes whether costs are reported as real or nominal and further information on how costs are calculated. The Department is working with the Infrastructure Project Authority (IPA) to ensure consistent portfolio reporting across Government.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the vulnerability to flooding of (a) rail and (b) road networks; and what steps his Department is taking to protect such infrastructure from the risk of floods.

My Department is constantly working to maintain and improve the resilience of transport to a full range of hazards.


Network Rail are well aware of the risks from flooding and other severe weather events, and measures to improve the resilience of the network, including addressing specific concerns and recommendations arising from previous flooding events, are integral to their current 5 year programme of investment, maintenance and renewals.


Local highway authorities have a duty to maintain their network and prepare for severe weather with regards to local roads. The Government has allocated a record £6.1 billion to fund local highways maintenance between now and 2021, continuing the increase in funding that started during the last Parliament.


Highways England are responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network, and will invest £78 million over the next 5 years on a range of measures to improve flood resilience and water quality on the network.



13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the National Audit Office report, Delivering major projects in Government, published on 6 January 2016, what steps his Department is taking to ensure all infrastructure projects are delivered on time and on budget.

The Department for Transport (DfT) accounts for a whole life value of £92bn within the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).


The DfT follows the Cabinet Office transparency policy by publishing the Department’s data in line with requirements, including the annual publication of GMPP data, SRO appointment letters and individual project cases.


The Department continually assures project delivery in relation to costs, timings and benefits through clear governance and project and programme management (PPM) requirements, which must be satisfied throughout the life cycle of a project. This includes investment board endorsement at key project planning and delivery stages, and independent assurance within the Department. Further external assurance is provided for example by the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA). The department uses a widely understood and highly regarded economic tool, known as WebTAG, for calculating costs.


In addition to individual project assurance, the Department works with the IPA on both GMPP and its own portfolio reporting requirements. The Department has been actively involved in work to improve the collection, collation and analysis of key areas of project delivery, including costs and benefits, in line with the recent IPA review and refresh of GMPP data collection.


As part of the Department’s internal governance, regular portfolio reporting on the aggregated performance and health of major projects is presented to the Department’s investment board. The Department has recently assessed the maturity of its portfolio reporting and has an action plan to further develop its capability in key areas.


The Department reports infrastructure projects that are £50m or more on the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which details public and private infrastructure investment which is either forecast, being delivered, or completed. It is published on the Treasury’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-july-2015).


13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the National Audit Office report, Delivering major projects in Government, published on 6 January 2016, what steps his Department is taking to increase transparency of costs, times and benefits of infrastructure projects.

The Department for Transport (DfT) accounts for a whole life value of £92bn within the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).


The DfT follows the Cabinet Office transparency policy by publishing the Department’s data in line with requirements, including the annual publication of GMPP data, SRO appointment letters and individual project cases.


The Department continually assures project delivery in relation to costs, timings and benefits through clear governance and project and programme management (PPM) requirements, which must be satisfied throughout the life cycle of a project. This includes investment board endorsement at key project planning and delivery stages, and independent assurance within the Department. Further external assurance is provided for example by the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA). The department uses a widely understood and highly regarded economic tool, known as WebTAG, for calculating costs.


In addition to individual project assurance, the Department works with the IPA on both GMPP and its own portfolio reporting requirements. The Department has been actively involved in work to improve the collection, collation and analysis of key areas of project delivery, including costs and benefits, in line with the recent IPA review and refresh of GMPP data collection.


As part of the Department’s internal governance, regular portfolio reporting on the aggregated performance and health of major projects is presented to the Department’s investment board. The Department has recently assessed the maturity of its portfolio reporting and has an action plan to further develop its capability in key areas.


The Department reports infrastructure projects that are £50m or more on the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which details public and private infrastructure investment which is either forecast, being delivered, or completed. It is published on the Treasury’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-july-2015).


10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations have been made to his Department on fraud involving the tax status of lorry drivers.

The Road Haulage Association has made my Department aware of concerns about widespread fraud involving the tax status of lorry drivers. The Road Haulage Association has raised these concerns directly with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions Ministers or officials have had with HM Treasury regarding the disparity between diesel and petrol prices in the last three months.

Ministers and officials meet regularly with HM Treasury on a wide range of issues.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for cyclists in London to undergo a safety training course for their own and pedestrians' protection.

Policy for cycle training in London is devolved to Transport for London (TfL). All London boroughs offer free or heavily subsidised child and adult cycle training to anyone who lives, works or studies in London. TfL funds cycle training through the boroughs’ Local Implementation Plan (LIP), Borough Cycling Programme and other funding streams.


TfL works closely with the London boroughs and the cycle training industry to ensure all cycle training delivered in London complies with the national standards set by the Department of Transport (DfT). Children (under 16’s) are offered DfT’s nationally recognised ‘Bikeability’ cycle training.


TfL also provides free adult cycle training to London employees through the Cycling Workplaces programme. This scheme offers organisations in London with five or more employees a range of cycling goods and services to help kick-start cycling in the workplace and encourage more people to commute by bike. Employers can request “Commuter Cycle Skills Sessions” (cycle training) for their employees. In addition to cycle training, businesses can order cycle safety seminars, cycle parking and cycle safety and security checks for their employee’s bikes through the online scheme.



12th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2014 to Question 216696, what assessment he has made of the success of the European debt recovery agency in recovering outstanding charges.

It is too soon to assess the success rate of the European debt recovery agency (EDRA) in recovering outstanding charges. 33,100 penalty charge notices have been issued to the EDRA since mid-February. The Highways Agency is closely monitoring and capturing information relating to charges paid.

12th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 November 2014 to Question 215438, and with reference to the speech of 4 February 2015 to CPRE and the Campaign for Better Transport by the Minister of State in his Department, what steps the Government is taking to work with local authorities and the private sector to improve service stations.

It is Government policy that the provision of parking and other facilities is generally a matter for the private sector and local authorities, who are best placed to judge local traffic conditions and needs.

As I said in my speech of 4 February, I take a keen interest in the quality and aesthetic of service stations, and I intend shortly to establish a panel to look at what could be done further to improve standards; looking at their design and the services they offer.

In addition, I note the Honourable Member for Devizes (Claire Perry) is working closely with stakeholders in the haulage and freight industry and is keen to improve service station facilities for HGV drivers.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact that HS2 will have on rail freight operations on the West Coast Mainline.

The Department expects that Hs2 will offer a number of opportunities to the freight industry. The released capacity enabled by Hs2 could provide space for an extra 20 West Coast Main Line freight paths per day. Furthermore, the construction itself will provide significant business opportunities, as preliminary analysis suggests that five million cubic metres of excavated material will need to be moved by rail.

The Department understands that there may be concerns about the impact of construction on the existing rail freight network. Works on or near the existing railway during construction, however, will be undertaken in such a way to minimise adverse impacts as far as reasonably practicable. For example, as many works as possible will be undertaken in the normal night time and weekend maintenance periods so as to minimise disruption to passenger and freight services.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what incentives are in place for freight operators to reduce road freight and use other modes of transport.

The Department for Transport provides incentives to encourage the transfer of freight from road to rail and water where the cost is higher than road and where there are environmental benefits to be gained.

Grants towards the operating costs of running rail and water freight services are provided through the Mode Shift Revenue Support and Waterborne Freight Grant schemes.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the (a) number of women employed in the Merchant Navy and (b) positions they hold.

The information held by the Department for both men and women is given in the table below. It comes from a manpower survey conducted by the Chamber of Shipping of its membership, and relates to officers and ratings who are working regularly in a sea-going activity. It therefore excludes seafarers who are not employed by Chamber of Shipping members, although the number of such seafarers is expected to be small.

UK Merchant Navy Officers and Ratings by Gender and the Departments in which they are employed, 2013

Male

Female

UK Officers

Deck

2,032

86

Engine (inc. Dual deck/engine)

1,737

20

Technical

454

5

Catering/Hotel/Other

422

246

Total

4,645

357

UK Ratings

Deck

2,040

16

Engine

287

1

General Purpose

48

0

Catering/Other1

2,216

1,230

Total

4,591

1,247

Notes:

1. Technical ratings and ratings with unknown professions are included in this category.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the use of interrupter devices to falsify driving records.

In order to tackle the use of tachograph interrupter devices, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) use a number of initiatives and strategies. During 2013/14 DVSA carried out 91,519 drivers hours and tachograph system checks at the roadside, which resulted in 12,671 prohibitions being issued for detected offences. Out of those offences, 259 interrupter devices were found.

Over the last four years DVSA examiners have identified 998 vehicles where interrupter devices had been used. This resulted in the vehicles’ prohibition and immobilisation, prosecution of the driver and follow up action for the responsible operator. DVSA ensure that they have a constant presence in key strategic locations on the road network and can target high risk vehicles using automatic number place recognition equipment. They have also recently added on-board diagnostic equipment to its suite of enforcement targeting tools, this equipment facilitates electronic interrogation of vehicle electronic control units, which can identify where tachograph interference has taken place, with historic data being available.

Where offences are found at the roadside for UK operators, formal follow-up action is instigated and further investigations are made, often resulting in formal legal action being taken. Vehicles will have their interrupter devices removed at an approved tachograph calibration centre.

Where offences are found at the roadside for foreign operators, fixed penalty notices are issued and vehicles are prohibited and immobilised, their interrupter device will also be removed. Information on these offences is passed to the national enforcement bodies of the vehicles concerned for further action.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assistance the Government provides for freight operators who want to adapt their operations to low emissions restrictions.

The Government is committed to supporting the rollout of low and ultra low emission alternatives across all vehicle sectors and will invest £500m over the period 2015 to 2020 to support their development, manufacture and use in the UK. A lack of publicly accessible gas refuelling infrastructure has been identified as a significant barrier to the increased uptake of cleaner gas fuelled HGVs and so we have allocated £4m to support the early deployment of gas refuelling stations. This will support freight and logistics operators in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses and give freight operators more confidence to invest in this market-ready low emission technology.

15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will commission work to compare the cost and success of hard shoulder running on smart motorways with the Siemens eHighway.

The Highways Agency is not considering undertaking work to compare the cost and success of hard-shoulder running on smart motorways with the Siemens eHighway. Smart motorways provide primarily congestion management for all vehicles whereas the Siemens eHighway focuses on freight traffic and the associated environmental benefits in terms of Nitrous Oxide and Carbon Dioxide reduction. Whilst costs could be compared the two approaches have significantly different objectives and outcomes.

15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will commission trials of the Siemens eHighway in the UK similar to those conducted in California.

The Highways Agency is currently investigating the feasibility of inductive wireless power transfer technology that meets the needs of all vehicles. This is in alignment with the work defined as part of the Innovation funding in the Roads Investment Strategy. There are currently no plans to trial other technologies.

10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vehicle breakdowns there have been on smart motorways when the hard shoulder was in use as a running lane.

The Highways Agency does not hold this information. The Highways Agency records details of vehicle breakdowns in ‘live’ lanes. The number of vehicle breakdowns in live lanes within Smart Motorway sections in the last three years are as follows:-

2012 – 11,516

2013 – 11,154

2014 (up to and including November) – 9692

10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) shortest and (b) longest distance is between refuelling stations on the UK motorway network.

The closest spacing between two Motorway Service Areas in England is around 10 miles, and the longest spacing is approximately 35 miles. In the case of the longest spacing, if a driver is short of fuel and has just passed a Motorway Service Area, it is possible for the driver to use the next available junction to return to the service area they have just passed, and would therefore be closer to a service area than this.

10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how the EU vehicle eCall system will be implemented in the UK.

The eCall system will be implemented in the UK for new passenger cars and vans through the EU whole vehicle type approval scheme. The wider aspects involving the communication infrastructure is the responsibility of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). The implementation issues are considered by the DCMS-chaired 999/112 Liaison Committee.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assistance the Government is providing to port companies and shipping operatives in responding to the introduction of the EU low-sulphur fuel regulation.

Pollutant emissions from ships are regulated by an international treaty in Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention. The sulphur provisions in MARPOL, which were adopted in 2008, are substantially mirrored in the EU Directive 2012/33/EU.

This year, the Government was successful in supporting shipowners and ports who apply for EU assistance under the TEN-T programme to help purchase innovative technologies – including infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering. We are now considering other potential measures for providing EU and domestic financial support for industry.

Moreover, we have secured a commitment to enable shipowners to discuss their plans for compliance with the European Commission, in confidence, to help resolve any outstanding difficulties. We are promoting the importance of a targeted, consistent and proportionate enforcement regime for marine sulphur across the EU. We have been instrumental in bringing forward the date for IMO’s fuel availability review, which should provide industry more time to prepare for the 0.5% global sulphur limit, which will apply outside European waters in 2020 or 2025.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to bring scooters and motorcycles under present regulations on low emission zones.

The Government believes that Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are one of a number of measures that can provide an opportunity to promote growth and reduce air pollution in urban areas. Defra provides guidance to local authorities on the design of LEZs such as which vehicles should be covered and what emissions standards they should meet. The Government believes that decisions on whether or not to introduce LEZs, and the vehicles they cover, should be a matter for local authorities.

The Mayor of London is proposing to create an ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) where almost all the vehicles running during working hours are either zero or low emission. A public consultation on the ULEZ is taking place between 27 October 2014 and 9 January 2015.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve daytime and overnight facilities for road freight drivers.

It is Government policy that the provision of parking and other facilities for lorry drivers is a matter for the private sector and local authorities, who are best placed to judge local traffic conditions and needs. However, DfT Circular 02/2013, issued in September 2013, requires that all motorway and trunk road service areas and truck stops signed on or from the Strategic Road Network must offer free parking for two hours and free toilets with hand washing facilities to all motorists. Depending on the type of facility signed, some must offer shower and washing facilities to HGV drivers and hot food and drink to all motorists.

16th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2017 to Question 61445, on health services: contracts, if he will publish the paper referred to in that Answer with any commercially sensitive information redacted.

NHS England’s internal meeting papers are not routinely published.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with North Staffordshire Clinical Care Group on lines of responsibility for cancer and end-of-life care services delivered for the Group by private sector organisations.

There have been no discussions between my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and North Staffordshire Clinical Care Group on lines of responsibility for cancer and end of life care services.

24th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will place in the Library copies of all reports by NHS England on the contracting out of cancer and end-of-life care in Cambridge and in North Staffordshire.

A paper was presented to the NHS England Regional (Midlands and East) Executive Team meeting in November 2016. This is not in the public domain as is commercially sensitive.

NHS England also advises there has been no procurement or contracting out of cancer and end-of-life care services in Cambridge.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the proposed salary and permitted allowances are for the chairs of each sustainability and transformation plan body.

Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) footprints are not statutory bodies, but collective discussion forums which aim to bring together health and care leaders to support the delivery of improved health and care based on the needs of local populations. They do not replace existing local bodies, or change local accountabilities. Each footprint has been asked to determine governance arrangements for agreeing and implementing their STP. Individuals who are leading the development of STPs within each footprint, which include National Health Service provider Chief Executives, clinical commissioning group accountable officers and local authority senior leaders, are responsible for convening and chairing system-wide meetings, facilitating the open and honest conversations that will be necessary to secure sign up to a shared vision and plan. In the overwhelming majority of cases this is a voluntary, non-statutory role and they are not being paid over and above the remuneration they receive for their existing role. Their salary details will be available in the individual annual reports of the organisations by whom they are substantively employed.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what mechanisms his Department has in place to ensure that areas of deprivation receiving higher levels of health funding per head of population do not subsidise less deprived areas as a result of sustainability and transformation plan footprints covering a wide geographic area.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans are designed to set out a local roadmap for closing the health, care and quality and financial gaps faced by the National Health Service over the coming years. The health gap includes inequalities in health and healthcare, and we expect plans to set out how these will be addressed by NHS bodies working with local government. In addition, NHS England’s method for allocating funding to clinical commissioning groups corrects for inequalities by allocating greater funding to areas that have historically been underfunded.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many patients were subject to do not resuscitate orders in the last year for which figures are available.

This information is not collected centrally.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department provides to district nurses on discussing do not resuscitate orders with patients and next of kin.

The Department has not itself issued guidance on this subject, but has commended to National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts guidance for healthcare professionals prepared jointly by the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing entitled Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The latest version of the guidance was published in October 2014 and took account of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, handed down in June 2014, in the case of R (on the application of Tracey) v (1) Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2) Secretary of State for Health. The Court of Appeal concluded that there was duty to consult a patient, or those close to the patient, about a Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decision unless that consultation is likely to cause physical or psychological harm to the patient.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department provides to hospitals on discussing do not resuscitate orders with patients and next of kin.

The Department has not itself issued guidance on this subject, but has commended to National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts guidance for healthcare professionals prepared jointly by the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing entitled Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The latest version of the guidance was published in October 2014 and took account of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, handed down in June 2014, in the case of R (on the application of Tracey) v (1) Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2) Secretary of State for Health. The Court of Appeal concluded that there was duty to consult a patient, or those close to the patient, about a Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decision unless that consultation is likely to cause physical or psychological harm to the patient.

13th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Care Quality Commission report, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS-Richmond, Quality Report, published in November 2015, what steps his Department is taking to improve safety in abortion clinics.

The termination of pregnancies is a regulated activity. All providers of regulated activities must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and must meet all of the relevant Regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety, which includes independent sector termination of pregnancy providers and managers. The CQC is responsible for monitoring and, where appropriate, inspecting providers in relation to their ongoing compliance with meeting those requirements. Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures which the CQC inspect against.

The CQC has made a public commitment to undertake inspection of all independent providers of termination of pregnancy services using their new inspection approach and will continue to respond to risk as appropriate and take regulatory action as required.

On the issue of whether the Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on consultation on disposal arrangements following termination, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 April 2016 to Question 32357.

We have no plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on the administration of drugs. The administration of drugs is managed through the CQC’s fundamental standards and through inspection visits.

13th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Care Quality Commission report, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS-Richmond, Quality Report, published in November 2015, whether his Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on consultation on disposal arrangement following terminations.

The termination of pregnancies is a regulated activity. All providers of regulated activities must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and must meet all of the relevant Regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety, which includes independent sector termination of pregnancy providers and managers. The CQC is responsible for monitoring and, where appropriate, inspecting providers in relation to their ongoing compliance with meeting those requirements. Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures which the CQC inspect against.

The CQC has made a public commitment to undertake inspection of all independent providers of termination of pregnancy services using their new inspection approach and will continue to respond to risk as appropriate and take regulatory action as required.

On the issue of whether the Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on consultation on disposal arrangements following termination, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 April 2016 to Question 32357.

We have no plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on the administration of drugs. The administration of drugs is managed through the CQC’s fundamental standards and through inspection visits.

13th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Care Quality Commission report, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS-Richmond, Quality Report, published in November 2015, whether his Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on the administration of drugs.

The termination of pregnancies is a regulated activity. All providers of regulated activities must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and must meet all of the relevant Regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety, which includes independent sector termination of pregnancy providers and managers. The CQC is responsible for monitoring and, where appropriate, inspecting providers in relation to their ongoing compliance with meeting those requirements. Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures which the CQC inspect against.

The CQC has made a public commitment to undertake inspection of all independent providers of termination of pregnancy services using their new inspection approach and will continue to respond to risk as appropriate and take regulatory action as required.

On the issue of whether the Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on consultation on disposal arrangements following termination, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 April 2016 to Question 32357.

We have no plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on the administration of drugs. The administration of drugs is managed through the CQC’s fundamental standards and through inspection visits.

13th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that abortion clinics transfer women to hospital at the earliest stage necessary in the case of serious incidents.

The termination of pregnancies is a regulated activity. All providers of regulated activities must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and must meet all of the relevant Regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety, which includes independent sector termination of pregnancy providers and managers. The CQC is responsible for monitoring and, where appropriate, inspecting providers in relation to their ongoing compliance with meeting those requirements. Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures which the CQC inspect against.

The CQC has made a public commitment to undertake inspection of all independent providers of termination of pregnancy services using their new inspection approach and will continue to respond to risk as appropriate and take regulatory action as required.

On the issue of whether the Department plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on consultation on disposal arrangements following termination, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 April 2016 to Question 32357.

We have no plans to issue guidance to abortion clinics on the administration of drugs. The administration of drugs is managed through the CQC’s fundamental standards and through inspection visits.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the time taken to transfer women from abortion clinics to hospitals in cases of serious complications following abortions; and if he will make a statement.

In May 2014, the Department published updated requirements (Procedures for the Approval of Independent Sector Places for the Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion)) which the providers of independent sector abortion services must agree to comply with to be approved by the Secretary of State to perform abortions. This includes the requirement to have in place procedures and protocols to deal with emergencies and the transfer to specialist services. A copy of the guidance is attached.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that women are appropriately transferred from abortion clinics to hospitals at the earliest point in the case of emergencies.

In May 2014, the Department published updated requirements (Procedures for the Approval of Independent Sector Places for the Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion)) which the providers of independent sector abortion services must agree to comply with to be approved by the Secretary of State to perform abortions. This includes the requirement to have in place procedures and protocols to deal with emergencies and the transfer to specialist services. A copy of the guidance is attached.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that all women undergoing abortions are given the opportunity to decide on disposal arrangements following a termination.

The Human Tissue Authority has produced guidance The disposal of pregnancy remains following pregnancy loss or termination. A copy of the guidance can be found at:

https://www.hta.gov.uk/faqs/disposal-pregnancy-remains-faqs

All providers of termination of pregnancy services are expected to follow this guidance.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received about concerns identified by the Care Quality Commission at a British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion clinic in Richmond; and if he will make a statement.

One representation has been received in relation to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection of BPAS Richmond. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that requirements under the Health and Social Care (HSC) Act 2008 are met by the providers of termination of pregnancy services including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety as set out in Part 3 to the 2014 Regulations, and Regulation 20 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which is specific to independent sector termination of pregnancy providers. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that the requirements under the HSC Act 2008 are maintained through a system of monitoring and, where appropriate, inspection visits. It is for the CQC and the provider to address required and recommended actions identified following an inspection.

Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures.

Departmental officials meet regularly with representatives from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) but have not met since the CQC report on BPAS Richmond was published.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that safeguarding policies at British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion clinics reflect national guidance on sexual exploitation of children and risks of female genital mutilation.

In May 2014, the Department published updated requirements (Procedures for the Approval of Independent Sector Places for the Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion)) which the providers of independent sector abortion services, including the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, must agree to comply with to be approved by the Secretary of State to perform abortions. This includes compliance with legal requirements and having regard to any statutory guidance relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults and having policies and protocols in place for dealing with these groups. A copy of the guidance is attached.

All clinical staff working in abortion services should be trained to at least level 3 of the intercollegiate framework, Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received on Care Quality Commission findings that it was policy for a British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in Richmond to act outside of the licence for an anaesthetic; and if he will make a statement.

One representation has been received in relation to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection of BPAS Richmond. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that requirements under the Health and Social Care (HSC) Act 2008 are met by the providers of termination of pregnancy services including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety as set out in Part 3 to the 2014 Regulations, and Regulation 20 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which is specific to independent sector termination of pregnancy providers. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that the requirements under the HSC Act 2008 are maintained through a system of monitoring and, where appropriate, inspection visits. It is for the CQC and the provider to address required and recommended actions identified following an inspection.

Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures.

Departmental officials meet regularly with representatives from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) but have not met since the CQC report on BPAS Richmond was published.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) about safety concerns in the Care Quality Commission Report on the BPAS abortion clinic in Richmond.

One representation has been received in relation to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection of BPAS Richmond. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that requirements under the Health and Social Care (HSC) Act 2008 are met by the providers of termination of pregnancy services including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety as set out in Part 3 to the 2014 Regulations, and Regulation 20 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which is specific to independent sector termination of pregnancy providers. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that the requirements under the HSC Act 2008 are maintained through a system of monitoring and, where appropriate, inspection visits. It is for the CQC and the provider to address required and recommended actions identified following an inspection.

Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures.

Departmental officials meet regularly with representatives from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) but have not met since the CQC report on BPAS Richmond was published.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure compliance with safety regulations and basic standards of hygiene at abortion clinics.

One representation has been received in relation to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection of BPAS Richmond. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that requirements under the Health and Social Care (HSC) Act 2008 are met by the providers of termination of pregnancy services including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety as set out in Part 3 to the 2014 Regulations, and Regulation 20 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which is specific to independent sector termination of pregnancy providers. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that the requirements under the HSC Act 2008 are maintained through a system of monitoring and, where appropriate, inspection visits. It is for the CQC and the provider to address required and recommended actions identified following an inspection.

Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures.

Departmental officials meet regularly with representatives from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) but have not met since the CQC report on BPAS Richmond was published.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if will he take steps to ensure that British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion clinics do not act outside the licence for anaesthetics and do not share single doses between patients.

One representation has been received in relation to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection of BPAS Richmond. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that requirements under the Health and Social Care (HSC) Act 2008 are met by the providers of termination of pregnancy services including meeting the fundamental standards of quality and safety as set out in Part 3 to the 2014 Regulations, and Regulation 20 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which is specific to independent sector termination of pregnancy providers. The CQC is responsible for ensuring that the requirements under the HSC Act 2008 are maintained through a system of monitoring and, where appropriate, inspection visits. It is for the CQC and the provider to address required and recommended actions identified following an inspection.

Independent sector providers are also required to comply with the Department of Health’s Required Standard Operating Procedures.

Departmental officials meet regularly with representatives from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) but have not met since the CQC report on BPAS Richmond was published.

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has had discussions with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority after its authorisation of a licence for gene editing of human embryos by means of CRISPR-Cas9 on the process of ethical approval being granted for such a licence.

The Department has not had any discussions with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) after its authorisation of a licence for gene editing of human embryos by means of CRISPR-Cas9 about the process of ethical approval being granted for such a licence.

The Francis Crick Institute, which made the licence application to the HFEA, is intending to place copies of the information given to patients or donors explaining this research on its website, once the final draft has been agreed.

There is no statutory requirement for ethical approval to be in place before an HFEA research licence can be granted. However, the HFEA has developed guidance for its licensing committee that such approval should be in place before a licence is granted and research is allowed to proceed.

In 2012, none of the three licences granted had ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on each licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place. In 2013, five research licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2014, seven licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2015, one of the 15 licences granted did not have ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on the licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that information given to patients or donors explaining research to which they have consented on genome editing in human embryos by means of CRISPR-Cas9 will be publicly available.

The Department has not had any discussions with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) after its authorisation of a licence for gene editing of human embryos by means of CRISPR-Cas9 about the process of ethical approval being granted for such a licence.

The Francis Crick Institute, which made the licence application to the HFEA, is intending to place copies of the information given to patients or donors explaining this research on its website, once the final draft has been agreed.

There is no statutory requirement for ethical approval to be in place before an HFEA research licence can be granted. However, the HFEA has developed guidance for its licensing committee that such approval should be in place before a licence is granted and research is allowed to proceed.

In 2012, none of the three licences granted had ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on each licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place. In 2013, five research licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2014, seven licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2015, one of the 15 licences granted did not have ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on the licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the guidance is on licences applied for to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority being granted before receiving ethical approval; and what proportion of such licences have been so granted in each of the last three years.

The Department has not had any discussions with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) after its authorisation of a licence for gene editing of human embryos by means of CRISPR-Cas9 about the process of ethical approval being granted for such a licence.

The Francis Crick Institute, which made the licence application to the HFEA, is intending to place copies of the information given to patients or donors explaining this research on its website, once the final draft has been agreed.

There is no statutory requirement for ethical approval to be in place before an HFEA research licence can be granted. However, the HFEA has developed guidance for its licensing committee that such approval should be in place before a licence is granted and research is allowed to proceed.

In 2012, none of the three licences granted had ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on each licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place. In 2013, five research licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2014, seven licences were granted, all of which had ethical approval in place. In 2015, one of the 15 licences granted did not have ethical approval in place and a condition was therefore placed on the licence that licensed research could not proceed until such approval was in place.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans to publish the responses received to his Department's pre-consultation on reducing legal costs in clinical negligence claims.

Feedback from the pre-consultation on the introduction of fixed recoverable costs (FRC) in clinical negligence claims has been used to inform the development of the FRC policy. We intend to publish a summary of the feedback within the consultation document in due course.

6th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which groups were consulted in preparation of the equality impact assessment for the introduction of fixed recoverable costs in medical negligence cases.

The consultation stage assessment for the introduction of fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence is work in progress. The Department has established a working group to look at the impact of the proposal on equalities, health inequalities and families. Membership (which has not been finalised) currently includes representatives of claimant lawyers, defence lawyers, patients and the National Health Service. We will seek views on the impact of the policy on equalities, health inequalities and families within the consultation.

5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many mental health patients underwent electric shock therapy treatment in each of the last five years.

The information is not available in the format requested.

5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many (a) hospitals and (b) treatment centres use electric shock therapy for the treatment of patients with mental health problems.

The information is not available in the format requested.

27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what account he has taken of the research performed by Dubuc and Coleman in formulating a strategy for the assessment of the incidence of sex-selective abortion in England and Wales.

The assessment of the evidence of gender abortions will capture a number of approaches, including an update of the Department’s analysis of birth ratios to include births occurring in 2013, and will take into consideration relevant published research, including that by Dubuc and Coleman.

27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to meet Jeena International, Karma Nirvana and the Sharan Project and other women's groups to discuss their experience of dealing with UK women who have had sex-selective abortions.

All requests for meetings with Ministers are dealt with on a case by case basis giving due consideration to parliamentary business. The Government is clear that sex selective abortions in the United Kingdom are illegal.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has made an estimate of the change in the number of donor eggs that will be required by the authorisation of mitochondrial donation.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Tyneside (Mrs Mary Glindon) to PQ 208397 on 11 September 2014.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2015 to Question HL4441, whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority imposed sanctions on clinics that had administered reagents to permitted gametes or permitted embryos that are then introduced into patients when the reagents concerned had not been CE marked; and when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was notified of such instances documented in inspection reports.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it has not been necessary to impose any regulatory sanctions in relation to the use of non CE marked reagents or products, as the clinics in question have given a commitment, as part of the inspection process, to use alternative CE marked products. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is not notified of individual instances as reported in inspection reports, as its responsibilities relate to the manufacturers of these products not the users.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make it his policy to require the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to produce further regular scientific reviews of the evidence concerning the safety and effectiveness of mitochondrial donation.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 require the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to assess each application for mitochondrial donation on a case-by-case basis. This will include consideration of the evidence of safety and effectiveness.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make it his policy to review the Mitochondrial Donation Regulations 2015 in the event that (a) research by Dr Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University and (b) other research in non-human primates shows pro-nuclear transfer to be unsafe or ineffective.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 require the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to assess each application for mitochondrial donation on a case-by-case basis. This will include consideration of the evidence of safety and effectiveness.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to Part 5 (a) (ii) of the Mitochndrial Donation Regulations 2015, how the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority plans to define a "significant risk" of having or developing serious mitochondrial disease.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that if Parliament passes the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015, it will need to design a regulatory process of which the consideration of “significant risk” is a part. In designing that process it will take into account, where relevant, the existing regulatory process for embryo testing (preimplantation genetic diagnosis).

22nd Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Written Statements of 18 December 2013, Official Report, column 110WS and of 20 November 2014, WS14, and pursuant to the Answer of 20 November 2014 to Question 214789, what his policy is on the role of clinical trials in ensuring the safety and efficacy of innovative treatments; and what Departments are responsible for the regulation of such trials.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for the regulation of clinical trials of medicinal products carried out under the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004, which implements the Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC. The Regulations do not cover innovative treatment services.

The Regulations define a clinical trial as:

“clinical trial” means any investigation in human subjects, other than a non-interventional trial, intended—

(a) to discover or verify the clinical, pharmacological or other pharmacodynamic effects of one or more medicinal products,

(b) to identify any adverse reactions to one or more such products, or

(c) to study absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of one or more such products,

with the object of ascertaining the safety or efficacy of those products.

Clinical studies of certain treatments may fall within the remit of other regulators but that will depend on the nature of the study.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the experiments recommended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's expert review panel in the publication, Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception, published April in 2011, on the use of maternal spindle transfer therapy on unfertilised human oocytes that have abnormal mitochondrial DNA has been concluded; and in which peer-reviewed journal his Department plans to make findings of those experiments available.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that in its 2014 report the Expert Panel concluded that the scientific justification for this set of experiments does not outweigh the ethical concerns about performing them. The Panel’s reasoning for this was:

“Whilst it might be argued that it is useful to perform such a study, especially if any evidence arises to suggest a specific mtDNA mutation may have a replicative advantage, the panel recognises that it may be impractical to obtain sufficient numbers of oocytes or zygotes with mutant mtDNA for research.”

At the time of writing the 2014 report, to the Panel’s knowledge, this work had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

7th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the experiments recommended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's expert review panel in the publication, Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception, published in April 2011, on the removal of the spindle or pronuclei and placing it back into the oocyte to show the effect of the maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear manipulation techniques has been concluded; and in which peer-reviewed journal his Department plans to publish the findings of those experiments.

We are advised that good progress is being made with the experiments recommended by the Expert Panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and that the scientists involved hope to be able to provide an update shortly.

The HFEA has advised that in their 2013 and 2014 reports the expert panel convened by the HFEA deemed these experiments to no longer be necessary, given the successful development to blastocyst stages after both Maternal Spindle Transfer (MST) and Pronuclear Transfer (PNT) with human oocytes and zygotes.

The Department does not routinely publish scientific research conducted independently by others.

Publications relating to the successful development to blastocyst stages after both MST and PNT with human oocytes and zygotes can be found in Nature.

7th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the experiments recommended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's expert review panel in the publications, Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception, published in April 2011, and Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception: update, published in March 2013, on karyotype analysis and comparative genomic hybridisation and copy number variation arrays of embryos derived from the maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer technique therapies have been concluded; and in which peer-reviewed journal his Department plans to publish the findings of those experiments.

We are advised that good progress is being made with the experiments recommended by the Expert Panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and that the scientists involved hope to be able to provide an update shortly.

The HFEA has advised that the following research has been completed for the Maternal Spindle Transfer technique:

- karyotype analysis and comparative genomic hybridisation/copy number variation arrays of embryos derived from maternal spindle transfer; and

- detailed analysis of epigenetic modifications and gene expression, with a range of markers for blastocyst cell types or embryos derived from maternal spindle transfer.

The results were published in Nature in 2013 and further details were provided, in supplementary information from Mitalipov et al, to the Expert Panel convened by the Authority.

At the time of writing the 2014 report, to the Panel’s knowledge the relevant results relating to Pronuclear Transfer technique had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

7th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the experiments recommended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's expert review panel in the publications, Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception, published in April 2011, and Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception: update, published in March 2013, on epigenetic modifications and gene expression with a range of makers for blastocyst cell types or embryos derived from the maternal spindle transfer or pronuclear transfer technique therapies have been concluded; and in which peer-reviewed journal his Department plans to publish the findings of those experiments.

We are advised that good progress is being made with the experiments recommended by the Expert Panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and that the scientists involved hope to be able to provide an update shortly.

The HFEA has advised that the following research has been completed for the Maternal Spindle Transfer technique:

- karyotype analysis and comparative genomic hybridisation/copy number variation arrays of embryos derived from maternal spindle transfer; and

- detailed analysis of epigenetic modifications and gene expression, with a range of markers for blastocyst cell types or embryos derived from maternal spindle transfer.

The results were published in Nature in 2013 and further details were provided, in supplementary information from Mitalipov et al, to the Expert Panel convened by the Authority.

At the time of writing the 2014 report, to the Panel’s knowledge the relevant results relating to Pronuclear Transfer technique had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

7th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the outcome of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEAs) comparisons between the development of embryos generated by pronuclear transfer using normally-fertilised human oocytes and that of normal ICSI-fertilised human oocytes was; when and for what reasons those experiments were originally deemed by the HFEA's expert review panel in the publication Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception, published in April 2011, to be critical before the technique could be assessed as safe to use clinically; and in which open access journal the relevant findings of that research were available immediately on publication following peer-review.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the outcomes of the Expert Panel’s comparison, based on unpublished findings made available to the Panel, are outlined at paragraph 2.2.5 of the Panel’s 2013 report and paragraph 3.4.3 of the Panel’s 2014 report, which are available on the HFEA’s website at:

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/8806.html

and

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/8807.html

The reasons for deeming “pronuclear transfer using normally-fertilised human oocytes and development compared to normal ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection)-fertilised human oocytes” to be critical are outlined at paragraph 4.2.4 of the 2011 report, which are available on the HFEA’s website at:

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/6372.html

The Expert Panel convened by the HFEA first deemed this to be critical in April 2011, when this, its first report, was written.

As stated in the Panel’s 2014 report “Experiments comparing PNT using normally-fertilised human oocytes with normal ICSI fertilised human oocytes appear to be well underway, but their results will need assessing before they can be incorporated into future recommendations.” At the time of writing, to the Panel’s knowledge the findings had not been published in an open access journal.

16th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average incidence of stillbirths and linked infant deaths in England and Wales was in which all of the twins or triplets from the same pregnancy that remained after foetal reduction in either the first trimester or early in the second trimester subsequently died in infancy or were stillborn in each of the last 10 years.

This information is not collected centrally.

11th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Government response to the consultation on draft regulations to permit the use of new treatment techniques to prevent the transmission of a serious mitochondrial disease from mother to child, published in July 2014, whether his Department consulted (a) Dr Andy Greenfield, (b) Professor Peter Braude and (c) Professor Robin Lovell-Badge on the formulation of the statement on page 15 that (i) mitochondrial donation techniques do not alter personal characteristics and traits of the person and (ii) the proposed mitochondrial donation techniques do not constitute genetic modification.

The Government’s position that mitochondrial donation techniques do not alter personal characteristics and traits of the person reflects information within the April 2011 scientific report of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority convened Expert Panel. The Expert Panel membership at that time included Professor Peter Braude and Professor Robin Lovell-Badge.

The working definition of genetic modification in humans, in relation to mitochondrial donation, was determined by the Department in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer for England.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2014
DNA
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the role of mitrochondrial DNA in addition to energy-related functions.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given by my hon. friend (Jane Ellison) of 7 July 2014, Official Report, Col. 38W to the hon. Member for Congleton.

www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140707/text/140707w0002.htm#14070761002001

Paragraph 2.1 in the Scientific Report of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) expert panel also describes the function of mitochondrial DNA. This report can be found on the HFEA’s Website at:

www.hfea.gov.uk/6372.html

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many adults with autism in England receive support under the current social care system; and how many such adults will receive support under the system proposed in the Care Act 2014 Part 1 regulations.

The Care Act 2014 will reform the care and support system for everyone, including adults with autism. The core principles of the Care Act 2014 and the regulations and statutory guidance which support its implementation are to maintain the wellbeing of people who have care and support needs and support them in living independent lives.

The draft regulations and guidance were co-produced with stakeholders, and this included engaging with the National Autistic Society. The Department is currently consulting on the regulations and statutory guidance that will support the implementation of the Care Act 2014. The public consultation started on 6 June and runs until 15 August 2014.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre does not collect any data on the number of adults with autism receiving support under the current, or proposed, social care systems and therefore are unable to provide a response. The national eligibility criteria being introduced under the Care Act 2014 will allow local authorities to maintain levels of access for service users when they move from the current framework to the new care and support system in April 2015.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the proposed changes to the social care system in the Care Act 2014 Part 1 regulations on adults with autism.

The Care Act 2014 will reform the care and support system for everyone, including adults with autism. The core principles of the Care Act 2014 and the regulations and statutory guidance which support its implementation are to maintain the wellbeing of people who have care and support needs and support them in living independent lives.

The draft regulations and guidance were co-produced with stakeholders, and this included engaging with the National Autistic Society. The Department is currently consulting on the regulations and statutory guidance that will support the implementation of the Care Act 2014. The public consultation started on 6 June and runs until 15 August 2014.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre does not collect any data on the number of adults with autism receiving support under the current, or proposed, social care systems and therefore are unable to provide a response. The national eligibility criteria being introduced under the Care Act 2014 will allow local authorities to maintain levels of access for service users when they move from the current framework to the new care and support system in April 2015.

12th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to prevent NHS England from implementing restrictions on the use of new drugs for advanced prostate cancer, enzalutamide and abiraterone.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published technology appraisal guidance in June 2012 which recommends abiraterone (Zytiga) in its licensed indication for the treatment of castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated with a docetaxel-containing regimen, subject to a patient access scheme agreed between the Department and the drug's manufacturer.

NICE is currently appraising (i) abiraterone for the treatment of metastatic hormone relapsed prostate cancer not previously treated with chemotherapy and (ii) enzalutamide for metastatic hormone-relapsed prostate cancer in adults whose disease has progressed during or after docetaxel-containing chemotherapy.

National Health Service commissioners are legally required to fund those treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance.

In the absence of NICE technology appraisal guidance it is for the relevant NHS commissioner to make funding decisions based on an assessment of the available evidence. The NHS Constitution states that patients have the right to expect local decisions on the funding of drugs and treatments 'to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence'.

We understand that abiraterone as a first-line treatment is available through the Cancer Drugs Fund to NHS patients in England who could benefit from it, and that enzalutamide is also available through the Cancer Drugs Fund to patients who meet specified clinical criteria.

12th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to increase the transparency of NICE's decisions on the Cancer Drugs Fund to remove any restrictions on treatment use arising from budgetary pressures and increase its level of engagement with members of the public.

The operation of the Cancer Drugs Fund is the responsibility of NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not have a role in the management of the Fund.

NHS England has a standard operating procedure for the Fund, which is available at:

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the recent decision by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to refuse to allow doctors who have a conscientious objection to supplying certain abortive-type contraceptive drugs or devices to undertake and complete specialist training with the aim of gaining Membership of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of the RCOG.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare is responsible for decisions on the syllabus of its Diploma, the requirements for entry to the Diploma course, and the award of a Diploma qualification.

The Department understands that the guidelines on the syllabus on possible conscientious objection have not changed.

16th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on the deaths of (a) Alicia López Guisao on 2 March 2017 in Antioquia, (b) Fabián Rivera on 2 March 2017 in Antioquia, (c) José Antonio Anzola Tejodor on 5 March 2017 in Meta and (d) Luz Ángela Anzola on 5 March 2017 in Meta; and if he will make a statement.

I last raised our concerns about increasing violence by illegal armed groups against Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) with the Colombian Ambassador to the UK on 7 February and the Colombian Minister for Labour on 14 February. She reassured me that impunity for such crimes is something the Government of Colombia will not tolerate. Ministerial colleagues and I will continue to raise our human rights concerns, including individual cases, with the Government of Colombia, as will our Ambassador in Bogota.

24th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Colombian counterpart on the frequency of killings in Colombia of members of the Patriotic March in the first two weeks of 2017; and if he will make a statement.

We are concerned by the increasing number of reported killings of civil society figures and activists in Colombia. Since the beginning of 2017, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received reports of at least ten murders where the victims appear to have been targeted for their role as human rights defenders, or because they are members of unions or political groups such as Marcha Patriotica, including Hernan Agames, Yanetin Calvache, Olmeido Pito Garcia, Aldemar Parra Garcia, Emilsen Manyoma, Joe Javier Rodallega and Juan de la Cruz Mosquera.

The Prime Minister raised the issue of the levels of violence against human rights defenders with President Santos during the State Visit in November. Respect for human rights was also included in their joint declaration. I and Ministerial colleagues will continue to raise our human rights concerns with our Colombian counterparts.

Working together to improve respect for human rights is a key part of our relationship with the Colombian Government and civil society. At a practical level, our Ambassador to Colombia is a member of the group "Ambassadors with Defenders" which promotes the work of human rights defenders and raises concerns about specific cases with the Colombian Government. The group will meet the Colombian Attorney-General to discuss the continued murders against human rights defenders, including those killed in recent weeks. On 19 January, British Embassy staff in Bogota met Colombian NGO Somos Defensores to discuss the recent murders. They also took part in a visit to South Bolivar, where local community leaders have voiced concerns about their security. As a result of this visit, the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Human rights committed to request the Colombian Ministry of Defence to provide additional security measures for community leaders.

The Colombian Government recognises the threats faced by human rights defenders and acknowledges the challenges it faces in implementing the peace agreement with the FARC. In December, the Office of the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights (OHCHR) made a statement which linked an increase in incidents to areas vacated by the FARC. President Santos also gave a speech on 22 November in which he said he would work with Governors of affected areas and the Attorney General to accelerate investigations into murders of human rights defenders to find those responsible.

15th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of 18 October 2016, Official Report, column 653, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in India on the review of the use of pellet guns and the proposed alternative methods of crowd control.

The Government of India's report into alternative methods of crowd control has not been released publicly, so we have not been able to review it or its recommendations.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in India on the use of pellet ammunition by Indian troops in Kashmir.

I have discussed the use of pellet guns and alternative methods of crowd control in India administered Kashmir with Indian government representatives. As the Government of India's report into alternative methods of crowd control has not been released publicly, we have not been able to review it or its recommendations.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the number of people (a) killed, (b) blinded and (c) otherwise seriously injured during recent disturbances in Kashmir.

​We do not hold any records of the information requested. I am aware of media reports of injuries occurring in Kashmir. As noted in Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice, we currently have limited accessibility to the Kashmir Valley. This makes it challenging to obtain accurate information on the situation there.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on (a) the incidence of killings by paramilitaries, (b) the shooting of Alcides de Jesús Cotes Jurado in April 2016 and (c) steps by the Colombian government to tackle the existence and operations of paramilitaries in that country.

The increased violence which has been perpetrated over the last few months by organised groups in Colombia has indeed been worrying. I am concerned about the security situation and raised this in my meeting with President Santos on 12 May. The investigation into the shooting of Alcides de Jesús Cotes Jurado is ongoing and our embassy is following it closely. Embassy officials regularly discuss the challenges posed by armed criminal groups in their meetings with the Colombian government. Following an escalation of the security situation in recent months, the Defence Minister announced a new approach to tackling the prevalence of organised armed groups in Colombia. The UK supports a peaceful Colombia, where authorities effectively tackle organised crime and promote democratic practices nationwide, to benefit all Colombians.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) security situation and (b) incidence of terrorism in Kashmir.

We assess that there is a high threat of terrorism throughout India and Pakistan.

Officials in our High Commissions in Delhi and Islamabad continuously monitor the security situation in Kashmir. I discussed this issue with the Indian Foreign Secretary and the Deputy Foreign Minister in Delhi on 30.05.16. Our Deputy High Commissioner to India visited Indian administered Kashmir from 23 to 29 May.

We advise against all travel to Indian administered Kashmir with the exception of (i) travel within the cities of Jammu and Srinagar (ii) travel by air to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, (iii) travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, and (iv) travel within the region of Ladakh.

We advise against travel on the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan administered Kashmir as far as Gilgit.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department has had on Kashmir with the governments of India and Pakistan in the last six months.

Our Deputy High Commissioner to India visited Indian administered Kashmir from 23 to 29 May and met with representatives from the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Officials from our High Commission in Islamabad met with representatives from the Government of Pakistan Administered Kashmir in February. I discussed this issue with India's Foreign Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister in Delhi on 31.05.16.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what parts of the UK the President of Colombia will visit during his state visit in November 2016.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to my answer to PQ 38282.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information he holds on which members of the Colombian government will accompany President Santos on his state visit to the UK in November 2016; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to my answer to PQ 38282.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the decision of the House of 20 April 2016, on recognition of genocide by Daesh against Yazidis, Christians and other religious minorities, what steps he is taking to implement that resolution.

This Government shares the House of Common’s condemnation of Daesh atrocities against minorities, and the majority Muslim populations of Iraq and Syria. The Prime Minister, the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) has said he believes there is a very strong case to answer, but ultimately it should be a matter for judicial authorities.

We will do all we can to support the gathering and preservation of evidence that could in future be used in a court to hold Daesh to account. And we are continuing to deliver our comprehensive strategy to defeat Daesh and thereby stop them from preventing more atrocities. Addition as per PQ 35349.

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on reports of threats and human rights violations by the Colombian army and police towards members of the Patriotic March.

Our Embassy in Bogotá met members of the Patriotic March on 20 January 2016 to discuss concerns around these threats and human rights violations. They will continue to monitor the situation closely and will ensure reports of threats against members of the Patriotic March are raised with the Colombian Government.
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2016 to Question 22703, what assessment his Department has made of progress in discussions between the Colombian government and the FARC on end of conflict issues.

Talks continue in Havana and both sides are working to meet the 23 March deadline. However, the priority is reaching a sustainable agreement, not the exact date.

Alongside negotiations on the implementation of the peace deal, discussions on end of conflict issues are one of the two negotiating
points that are still to be decided. We continue to support Colombia on this important issue.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart to request that he (a) take steps to protect trade unionists who have received death threats in the Valle del Cauca region and (b) establish who is responsible for those threats.

Whilst I cannot interfere in the judicial process of another country, I raised human rights concerns with the Colombian Deputy Foreign Minister during the UN General Assembly in September and again with the Colombian Ambassador in November. I continue to urge the Colombian authorities to ensure justice for all victims of the conflict and to thoroughly investigate threats.

Our Embassy in Bogotá takes every opportunity to urge the Colombian Government to take further measures to prevent violence and threats against human rights defenders including trade unionists. Our Ambassador in Bogota recently raised concerns about human rights defenders with both Colombian Interior Minister and the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights. Furthermore, this year we are funding a Colombian NGO to develop protection measures for human rights defenders in rural areas. Our Embassy will continue to raise these issues in regular meetings with the Colombian government.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has received on the interpretation and implementation of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide in relation to the killings by Daesh of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq; what response he has made to such representations; what steps he is taking to establish an international consensus on that issue; and if he will make a statement.

Adama Dieng was appointed UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on 17 July 2012. His role is to: raise awareness of the causes and dynamics of genocide; to alert relevant actors where there is a risk of genocide; and to advocate and mobilise for appropriate action. The Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect has made a number of statements in relation to the situation in Iraq and Syria. These statements can be found on the UN website, and cover a range of issues including: incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds; expressing concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria; and expressing alarm at reports of the abduction of 1,500 Yezidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls.

Any judgement on whether genocide has occurred is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. Our approach is to seek an end to all violations, and to prevent their further escalation, irrespective of whether these violations fit the definition of specific international crimes.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information he has about the individual who currently holds the position of UN Special Advisor on Genocide; what recent representations to that individual about the killings by Daesh of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq; and what plans he has to meet the Special Advisor to discuss the crisis in those countries.

Adama Dieng was appointed UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on 17 July 2012. His role is to: raise awareness of the causes and dynamics of genocide; to alert relevant actors where there is a risk of genocide; and to advocate and mobilise for appropriate action. The Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect has made a number of statements in relation to the situation in Iraq and Syria. These statements can be found on the UN website, and cover a range of issues including: incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds; expressing concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria; and expressing alarm at reports of the abduction of 1,500 Yezidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls.

Any judgement on whether genocide has occurred is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. Our approach is to seek an end to all violations, and to prevent their further escalation, irrespective of whether these violations fit the definition of specific international crimes.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information he holds on the specific role and responsibilities of the UN Special Advisor on Genocide; whether he holds any information on the work undertaken by the Special Advisor in relation to the genocide being perpetrated against Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq; and if he will make a statement.

Adama Dieng was appointed UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on 17 July 2012. His role is to: raise awareness of the causes and dynamics of genocide; to alert relevant actors where there is a risk of genocide; and to advocate and mobilise for appropriate action. The Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect has made a number of statements in relation to the situation in Iraq and Syria. These statements can be found on the UN website, and cover a range of issues including: incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds; expressing concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria; and expressing alarm at reports of the abduction of 1,500 Yezidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls.

Any judgement on whether genocide has occurred is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. Our approach is to seek an end to all violations, and to prevent their further escalation, irrespective of whether these violations fit the definition of specific international crimes.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information he holds on the number of Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who have been murdered or displaced from their homes by Daesh in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to provide practical assistance and asylum opportunities to persecuted Christians seeking to flee that region.

We do not hold figures for the numbers of minorities who have been murdered or displaced by Daesh. The situation is desperate for many communities within Syria and Iraq. We condemn in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Daesh against all civilians, including Christians, Mandeans, Yezidis, and other minorities, as well as the majority Muslim population in Iraq and Syria who continue to bear the brunt of Daesh’s brutality.

The persecution of Christians, and individuals of all faiths, anywhere in the world, is of profound concern to us. The freedom to practice, change or share your faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a fundamental human right that all people should enjoy.

The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) announced that the existing Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme would be expanded to resettle 20,000 refugees during this Parliament. The Syrian VPR scheme is based on need and does not discriminate on religious grounds. As many Christians are likely to be particularly vulnerable it is highly likely that some will qualify under the scheme’s criteria.

Ultimately, the only way to protect Christians and other religious minorities from Daesh is by defeating this terrible organisation, which in turn requires, amongst other things, ending the conflict in Syria. The Prime Minister set out the UK’s comprehensive strategy for defeating Daesh and finding a political settlement to the Syria conflict in his response the Foreign Affairs Committee on 26 November 2015.

14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise with his Colombian counterpart (a) the deteriorating health of many former combatant prisoners, (b) the reported human rights violations of prisoners, (c) the reported arbitrary transfers of prisoners and (d) the reported isolation of prisoners in that country which have taken place since its government's pledges of November 2015 made following the prisoners' hunger strike there.

I am aware of the hunger strike by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) across 13 prisons in November over prison conditions, and recent Colombian media reports on the same issue.

I understand the Colombian government and the FARC are currently discussing end of conflict issues, which include prisoner rights. It would not be appropriate for the United Kingdom to interfere in matters under negotiation, not least as we near the 23 March deadline for talks to conclude.

The hon. Member will recall that our Embassy in Bogotá has closely followed the cases of specific Colombian prisoners, such as David Ravelo and Húber Ballesteros, discussing concerns with the Presidential advisor for human rights and the prisons authority.

10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received from diplomatic representatives in the UK of states where the trade of dog meat for consumption is active subsequent to the debate in the House on the dog meat trade of 5 November 2015.

Since the debate on 5 November my Department has not received any representations from any diplomatic missions in the UK on the dog meat trade, nor have Ministers made representations to their counterparts abroad. As highlighted during the debate by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), I am contacting our Ambassadors in the countries concerned to review our activities in this area.

The Government is committed to raising the standards of animal welfare at home and abroad. I raised animal welfare issues during my visit to the region in February and will continue to make representations when appropriate.

10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Ministers have made to their counterparts abroad or to their diplomatic representatives in the UK on the practice of consuming and selling dog meat for consumption subsequent to the debate in the House on the dog meat trade of 5 November 2015.

Since the debate on 5 November my Department has not received any representations from any diplomatic missions in the UK on the dog meat trade, nor have Ministers made representations to their counterparts abroad. As highlighted during the debate by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), I am contacting our Ambassadors in the countries concerned to review our activities in this area.

The Government is committed to raising the standards of animal welfare at home and abroad. I raised animal welfare issues during my visit to the region in February and will continue to make representations when appropriate.

10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken or plans to take on the practice of consuming and selling dog meat for consumption in addition to the steps he set out in the debate in the House on the dog meat trade of 5 November 2015.

Since the debate on 5 November my Department has not received any representations from any diplomatic missions in the UK on the dog meat trade, nor have Ministers made representations to their counterparts abroad. As highlighted during the debate by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), I am contacting our Ambassadors in the countries concerned to review our activities in this area.

The Government is committed to raising the standards of animal welfare at home and abroad. I raised animal welfare issues during my visit to the region in February and will continue to make representations when appropriate.

21st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on (a) the shooting dead in Buenaventura, Colombia, on 20 July 2015, of two boys by paramilitary gangs and (b) how it was possible for those shootings to take place in a street heavily supervised by the Colombian armed forces; and if he will make representations to the Colombian authorities on that matter.

Our Embassy in Bogotá has received reports on this tragic incident in Buenaventura from seven UK and international civil society organisations.

On 3 August, the UK and other Member States represented in Colombia wrote collectively to the Presidential Adviser on Human Rights, Guillermo Rivera, urging the government to investigate the events thoroughly, uphold their duty to protect the humanitarian zone and ensure that victims are adequately protected.

21st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Colombian government to request that due process is observed in proceedings following the arrests of social activists (a) Esmer Montilla, (b) Samuel Rojas, (c) Ramiro Ateortua and (d) Ingrid Pinilla on 15 and 16 July 2015.

On 29 July, our officials from our Embassy in Bogotá met the Colombian non-governmental organisation DHOC (la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y el Derecho Internacional Humanitario del Oriente y Centro de Colombia), to which Esmer Montilla, Samuel Rojas, Ramiro Ateortua and Ingrid Pinilla all belong. Our officials agreed to monitor the case, to meet periodically with DHOC and to send a letter to the National Ombudsman to ask them to meet DHOC about the case and to ensure that due process is followed.

Subsequently, our Ambassador in Bogotá met the Minister of the Interior on 5 August and raised this case and protection for human rights activists. He urged the government to ensure due process is observed.

We cannot interfere in the judicial process of another country but we will continue to monitor proceedings.

21st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on whether the Colombian government has recently taken steps to ensure that human rights activists in that country are given full legal protection and are not arrested as a result of their work.

I regularly receive reports on the human rights situation in Colombia, most recently the update from the Colombian non-governmental organisation, Somos Defensores (“We are defenders”) on 18 August. This gives figures on the situation for human rights defenders in the first half of 2015 and raises concerns regarding the protection of human rights activists. The Colombian government continues to take steps to address human rights issues, most recently reactivating its “Table of Guarantees”, an initiative led by the Ministry of Interior to provide a high level dialogue with civil society and human rights organisations. Given our commitment to human rights in the country, our Embassy in Bogotá was recently invited to join as an observer. We will continue to raise issues such as the legal treatment of human rights activists in this, and other, fora.

18th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart to request that the Colombian government investigates and ensures appropriate action against the perpetrators of death threats towards (a) Senator Ivan Cepeda, (b) members of the organisation CPDH and (c) David Florez.

We are concerned about recent threats made on 9-10 March against Congressman Ivan Cepeda, David Florez, members of the CPDH, and other prominent journalists, civil servants, human rights leaders and politicians, allegedly by the criminal group Las Aguilas Negras. Our Embassy in Bogota is following the developments in these cases closely. Colombian Minister of Interior Juan Fernando Cristo issued a public statement on 10 March ordering a police investigation, building on the investigation opened by the Attorney-General Office in January.

Following similar threats in January, our officials in Bogota met with Presidential Office for Human Rights to urge the Colombian government to take measures to prevent threats against human rights defenders, trade unionists, civil society and politicians. Officials also met the Ministry of the Interior on 19 February 2015 and raised the issue of threats to human rights defenders.

18th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make further representations to the Colombian government on the security of (a) Senator Ivan Cepeda, (b) members of the organisation CPDH and (c) David Florez.

We are concerned about recent threats made on 9-10 March against Congressman Ivan Cepeda, David Florez, members of the CPDH, and other prominent journalists, civil servants, human rights leaders and politicians, allegedly by the criminal group Las Aguilas Negras. Our Embassy in Bogota is following the developments in these cases closely. Colombian Minister of Interior Juan Fernando Cristo issued a public statement on 10 March ordering a police investigation, building on the investigation opened by the Attorney-General Office in January.

Following similar threats in January, our officials in Bogota met with Presidential Office for Human Rights to urge the Colombian government to take measures to prevent threats against human rights defenders, trade unionists, civil society and politicians. Officials also met the Ministry of the Interior on 19 February 2015 and raised the issue of threats to human rights defenders.

19th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the government of Colombia urging action on recent death threats to former Colombian Senator, Piedad Cordoba.

We are aware of death threats to former Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba made on 12 January, Mrs Córdoba and other members of congress have since met President Santos, to request an investigation. As a result the Attorney General announced the creation of inter-agency groups in charge of investigating the threats.

Our Ambassador in Bogota met the President’s Minister-Counsellor for post conflict and human rights, Oscar Naranjo, on 15 January where they discussed the case of Piedad Córdoba and the importance of security for human rights defenders in general. Our Ambassador received assurances that the necessary security measures were already in place in order to mitigate any risk to former Senator Cordoba.

19th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports his Department has received on recent death threats to former Colombian Senator, Piedad Cordoba.

We are aware of death threats to former Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba made on 12 January. Mrs Córdoba and other members of congress have since met President Santos, to request an investigation. As a result the Attorney General announced the creation of inter-agency groups in charge of investigating the threats.

Our Ambassador in Bogota met the President’s Minister-Counsellor for post conflict and human rights, Oscar Naranjo, on 15 January where they discussed the case of Piedad Córdoba and the importance of security for human rights defenders in general. Our Ambassador received assurances that the necessary security measures were already in place in order to mitigate any risk to former Senator Cordoba.

11th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Colombian authorities about respect for labour rights in the oil and mining industries in that country; and if he will make a statement.

During his visit to Colombia in February this year, the former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) raised business and human rights in his meetings with President Santos and Foreign Affairs, Finance and Trade Ministers.

In addition, our officials have had several meetings with the Colombian government, civil society and businesses in Colombia to discuss the UK Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in line with our commitment to working for widespread international uptake of the UN Guiding Principles and to developing partnerships with other countries to progress this.

The British Embassy will raise trade union rights and the issue of the rights of contracted labour in the oil and mining sectors, at their next meeting with the Colombian Ministry of the Interior in early 2015.

11th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Colombian authorities about protection of members of Union Sindical Obrera and its allies in Meta against assassination attempts and other targeted violence.

Our Embassy in Bogota will meet Union Sindical Obrera (USO) on Thursday 18 December. Our Embassy will also raise trade union rights, including this particular case and the issue of rights for contracted labour in the oil and mining sectors, at their next meeting with the Colombian Ministry of the Interior in early 2015.

Business and human rights is a core part of our human rights strategy in Colombia. Our Embassy regularly raises our concerns about the violence and intimidation suffered by human rights defenders, including trade unionists, with the Colombian government.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will issue a public condemnation of the murder of four trade unionists in Colombia in May 2014.

My Department is aware of the deaths of the four FENSUAGRO trades union members. The British Embassy in Bogota raised the deaths of FENSUAGRO with the Vice-President’s Office. Following this, on 26 June, the Vice-President’s Office stated that they were following up the case with the Ministry of Defence, the Army, the Attorney General’s Office, the Inspector General’s Office and the National Protection Unit. The Vice President's Office has also been in direct communication with FENSUAGRO.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the hacking of emails of Colombian Government Peace Negotiator Humberto de la Calle; what investigation he has made of whether those responsible had been trained by HM military personnel or other agencies of the Government; and what steps he plans to take as a result.

It is for the Colombian government to investigate reports of hacking of e-mails of Colombian Government Peace Negotiator, Humberto de la Calle.

27th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received of allegations of state-sponsored violence in Colombia.

We remain concerned by recent reports of violence in Colombia and the reported increase in threats against human rights defenders there, in particular those detailed in the “Somos Defensores” report published in August. I recently held a meeting with the hon. Gentleman and other parliamentary colleagues where I received further reports of violence in the country.

During my visit to Colombia in June, I set out our concerns about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders in my meetings with Colombia’s Deputy Foreign Ministers and the heads of the Colombian government’s major human rights agencies. I also met representatives from Colombian and international human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid, to discuss the issue. The former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) also raised the issue of violence against trade unionists and human rights defenders, and cases of impunity for those responsible, with the Colombian government during his visit to Bogota in February.

27th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to meet President Santos of Colombia in London in November.

President Santos is visiting the UK in a private capacity. His agenda has not yet been confirmed.

9th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Colombian government on the harassment of the Patriotic March leader David Florez in Colombia on 7 July 2014.

We are concerned about reports of threats and violence against members of opposition political movements. Our Embassy in Bogota has raised several cases with the Colombian government and continues to monitor the situation closely.

The British Embassy in Bogota continues to publicly support the work of human rights defenders. I met David Florez on 10 July. I raised the issue of their security with the Deputy Defence Ministers during my visit to Colombia in June.

8th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart drawing his attention to public support for human rights activists in Colombia.

Human rights continue to be an integral part of our dialogue and relationship with Colombia. The Embassy continues to publicly support human rights work. I raised human rights with the Colombian government during my visit to Colombia last month. This followed visits by both the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) and the Deputy Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr Clegg), who each raised the issue of human rights with President Santos in February.

8th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart about ensuring that British businesses and investors do not buy illegally obtained Colombian land before it is restored to its rightful owners.

The UK continues to work closely with the Colombian government on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in line with our commitment to working for widespread international uptake.

British Embassy officials in Bogota have met with the government, civil society and business in Colombia on various occasions to discuss the UK Action plan on business and human rights. Last year, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded a project to assist Colombia in drafting its own national policy on Human Rights. This contributed to the Colombian public policy on Business and Human Rights which has been formed as a result of consulattion across 33 regions and involving over 19,000 people.

8th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the prevalence of Colombian paramilitary involvement with the police and the armed forces of that country.

The British Embassy in Bogota receives regular reporting on the security and human rights situation in Colombia from a range of sources. This includes allegations of links between paramilitaries and the public forces but not information on the prevalence of the problem.

President Santos' government is making a genuine effort to improve respect for human rights in Colombia. Since 2008 the Colombian armed forces have introduced a widespread programme to promote respect for human rights. The UN has helped the Colombian Ministry of Defence to introduce reforms in the army for the last five years and all soldiers receive mandatory training on human rights.

8th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart about guarantees for the safety of Colombian land restitution claimants.

During my recent visit to Colombia from 25 to 27 June, I met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs and heads of the Colombian government's major human rights agencies. This included the National Protection Unit. I raised the safety of Colombian land restitution claimants. Prior to, and during my visit, I was briefed on this issue by leading international and Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Whilst security for claimants and those returning to their land remains a key concern, our 2013 Human Rights Report (released on 10 April 2014) notes that progress has been made on the issue of land restitution. Between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2013, over 200,000 victims received reparations under the Victims and Land Restitution law. By the end of 2013, there were 54,063 registered land restitution claims.

26th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to consult with interested hon. Members before the next Ministerial visit to Colombia.

On 19 June 2014, I held a round table with Peace Brigades International UK, Justice Colombia and AB Colombia to discuss a range of issues prior to my visit to Colombia (25-27 June). The invitation was also extended to members of the Parliamentary Friends of Colombia and the All Party Parliamentary Group. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also met Martha Diaz Suarez, Director of AFUSADO (an organisation for family members of victims of extra-judicial killings), who was unable to attend the round table.

26th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart seeking clarification of the actions being taken by the Colombian government to ensure the safety of land restitution claimants in that country.

During my recent visit to Colombia from 25 to 27 June, I met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs and heads of the Colombian government's major human rights agencies. This included the National Protection Unit: the Government body that coordinates the protection of at risk groups and individuals in Colombia. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and cases of impunity for those responsible.

Whilst in Bogotá, I also met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs.)

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart to support the requests for an investigation into the death of Yonni Steven Caicedo, a television cameraman in Colombia shot dead on 19 February 2014.

I met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during my visit to Bogotá last week. I also met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, heads of the Colombian Government's major human rights agencies and representatives of the Attorney-General's office. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and a lack of sentences for those responsible.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart supporting the requests for an investigation into the murders of four FENSUAGRO trades union members shot dead on 17 May 2014 in Alto Amarradero.

I met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during my visit to Bogotá last week. I also met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, heads of the Colombian Government's major human rights agencies and representatives of the Attorney-General's office. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and a lack of sentences for those responsible.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart that Colombia should guarantee the safety of Nubia Acosta, Nevis Niño Rodríguez and the families of El Tamarindo.

I met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during my visit to Bogotá last week. I also met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, heads of the Colombian Government's major human rights agencies and representatives of the Attorney-General's office. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and a lack of sentences for those responsible.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart supporting the requests for an investigation into the death of Thomas Rodriguez Cantillo, a SINTRAINAGRO trades union member killed on 9 May 2014.

I met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during my visit to Bogotá last week. I also met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, heads of the Colombian Government's major human rights agencies and representatives of the Attorney-General's office. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and a lack of sentences for those responsible.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart concerning the withdrawal on 26 May 2014, of precautionary safety measures recommended by the Inter American Court for Human Rights to protect the human rights activist Juan David Diaz.

I met representatives from six human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as Colombian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during my visit to Bogotá last week. I also met two Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, heads of the Colombian Government's major human rights agencies and representatives of the Attorney-General's office. I set out HM Government concern about the reported rise in attacks against human rights defenders and a lack of sentences for those responsible.

9th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he and his Department have received regarding alleged fabrication of charges by the Colombian state against David Flórez, spokesperson for the Patriotic March movement.

My Department has not received any representations regarding alleged fabrication of charges by the Colombian state against David Florez.

9th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart about reports that agents acting on behalf of the Colombian government are bringing trumped-up charges against leading members of the Patriotic March movement.

My Department has not received any evidence regarding alleged trumped-up charges by agents acting on behalf of the Colombian Government against leading members of the Patriotic March movement.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Colombian authorities over the treatment of Huber Ballesteros in the last eight months.

The UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process but will continue to raise any concerns regarding due process and conditions with the Colombian authorities.

The Embassy is currently awaiting authorisation from the Municipal Criminal Court to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison.

To date, the British Embassy has not yet been authorised to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison, this is despite requesting permission on six different occasions.

No representatives of the British Embassy were able to attend the preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros due to unrelated security concerns. His trial will take place on 26 and 27 of June and the British Embassy intends to send Officials to observe this.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros officals from the British Embassy in Bogota have attended.

The UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process but will continue to raise any concerns regarding due process and conditions with the Colombian authorities.

The Embassy is currently awaiting authorisation from the Municipal Criminal Court to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison.

To date, the British Embassy has not yet been authorised to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison, this is despite requesting permission on six different occasions.

No representatives of the British Embassy were able to attend the preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros due to unrelated security concerns. His trial will take place on 26 and 27 of June and the British Embassy intends to send Officials to observe this.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether officials from the British Embassy have visited Huber Ballesteros in La Picota prison in Bogota.

The UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process but will continue to raise any concerns regarding due process and conditions with the Colombian authorities.

The Embassy is currently awaiting authorisation from the Municipal Criminal Court to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison.

To date, the British Embassy has not yet been authorised to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison, this is despite requesting permission on six different occasions.

No representatives of the British Embassy were able to attend the preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros due to unrelated security concerns. His trial will take place on 26 and 27 of June and the British Embassy intends to send Officials to observe this.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many times officials from the British Embassy have asked to visit Huber Ballesteros in La Picota prison in Bogota.

The UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process but will continue to raise any concerns regarding due process and conditions with the Colombian authorities.

The Embassy is currently awaiting authorisation from the Municipal Criminal Court to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison.

To date, the British Embassy has not yet been authorised to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison, this is despite requesting permission on six different occasions.

No representatives of the British Embassy were able to attend the preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros due to unrelated security concerns. His trial will take place on 26 and 27 of June and the British Embassy intends to send Officials to observe this.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether officials from the British Embassy will observe the trial of Huber Ballesteros in Colombia.

The UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process but will continue to raise any concerns regarding due process and conditions with the Colombian authorities.

The Embassy is currently awaiting authorisation from the Municipal Criminal Court to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison.

To date, the British Embassy has not yet been authorised to visit Huber Ballesteros in prison, this is despite requesting permission on six different occasions.

No representatives of the British Embassy were able to attend the preliminary hearings in the case of Huber Ballesteros due to unrelated security concerns. His trial will take place on 26 and 27 of June and the British Embassy intends to send Officials to observe this.

19th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has not been given access to HM Revenue and Customs' freight transport data system.

HM Revenue and Customs has no record of a request by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Association and would be happy to give such a request full consideration.

7th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received from the Road Haulage Association on lorry drivers setting up personal service companies for tax purposes; and what steps his Department is taking to promote tax compliance among road hauliers.

The Road Haulage Association wrote to the Government on the 18th March 2016 to raise their concerns about this issue. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has worked with the Road Haulage Association and others to highlight the managed service company and employment intermediaries rules which are designed to ensure that people who provide their services through their own limited companies pay the appropriate employment taxes. HMRC robustly enforces compliance with these rules, including in the road haulage sector.

10th Dec 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that lorry drivers have the correct status for the purposes of tax payment.

It is the responsibility of engagers to determine the correct status of workers they engage. HM Revenue & Customs have developed an Employment Status Indicator to help engagers: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/employment-status-indicator

There is also further help with the status of lorry drivers: www.hmrc.gov.uk/Manuals/esmmanual/ESM4210.htm

HM Revenue & Customs is aware that false self-employment presents a tax risk and has deployed compliance resources to address that risk.

18th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to publish her Department's Immigration and Enforcement Business Plan 2016-17.

The Immigration Enforcement Business Plan will be published in due course.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consultation is taking place to prepare her Department's Immigration and Enforcement Business Plan 2016-17.

Internal consultation has taken place on Immigration and Enforcement’s 2016/17 business plan and it will be published in due course. External consultation does not routinely take place on the business plan document.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are held in immigration detention who have been detained for (a) less than three months, (b) between three months and one year, (c) between one year and three years and (d) for more than three years.

The information requested is published in table dt_11_q (detention data tables) in ‘Immigration Statistics, April - June 2016’, available from the Home Office website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/546763/detention-q2-2016-tabs.ods

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what community-based alternatives to detention her Department developed and implemented as a result of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, published in March 2015, and the report by Stephen Shaw, Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons, Cm 9186, published in January 2016.

There is always a presumption of liberty and detention is only ever used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary. For those individuals with no right to remain in the UK, we expect them to leave the country of their own volition and the Home Office has programmes to support voluntary return.

The Home Office expects that current and planned reforms, and broader changes in legislation, policy and operational approaches will lead to a reduction in the number of the most vulnerable detained and the duration of detention before removal.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to develop and implement community-based alternatives to detention for (a) vulnerable people who have already been detained and (b) people at risk of vulnerability as a result of detention.

There is always a presumption of liberty and detention is only ever used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary. For those individuals with no right to remain in the UK, we expect them to leave the country of their own volition and the Home Office has programmes to support voluntary return.

The Home Office expects that current and planned reforms, and broader changes in legislation, policy and operational approaches will lead to a reduction in the number of the most vulnerable detained and the duration of detention before removal.

18th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the scenarios and charges in the Removal, Storage and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 2008 were last reviewed to ascertain whether they should be updated.

The current scenarios and charging regime in the Removal, Storage and Disposal of Vehicle Regulations dates from 2008, when a table of varying rates for different prescribed scenarios replaced the previous flat rate charge in place since 1989. The Government keeps these scenarios and charges under regular review. Currently, there are no plans to change this.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the new migrant camp being built in Dunkirk does not have a negative effect on UK-bound lorries.

Any proposals for accommodation for migrants in Dunkirk, or elsewhere in Northern France, are a matter for the French authorities.

The haulage industry is hugely important to UK trade and prosperity and the Government takes the security of UK-bound traffic, as well as the safety of hauliers and tourists using the ports in Northern France, very seriously.

The Government has listened to industry concerns and continues to work closely with the French authorities at both political and operational levels on a package of measures to bolster the security of the ports. Action has been taken to improve the flow of traffic at the Juxtaposed Controls; and a new secure waiting area at Calais for UK-bound lorries with capacity for 230 vehicles will be completed by spring 2016. In the interim, Border Force has worked with the Calais port operator and introduced a secure freight circulation and waiting area for around 200 vehicles.

Border Force advice for drivers - published on gov.uk - is to alert the authorities of the country they are in as soon as they suspect persons may be seeking to enter their vehicle. The website also provides hauliers and drivers with emergency contact details for the relevant French authorities and is applicable at all the ports in Northern France.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what jurisdiction the police have to investigate allegations of fraud relating to the falsification of documents and declarations of a spouse's estate and other matters relating to wills.

There are a number of offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 that would relate to the falsification of a document such as a will, or other testamentary documents. There are also offences under the Fraud Act 2006 that may be applicable depending on what action is taken subsequent to such falsification. Police have powers conferred on them to investigate these offences under legislation such as the Police Act 1997 and Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

2nd Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many commercial drivers (a) have been and (b) are in the process of being fined for bringing people illegally into the UK via North East France in (i) the last month, (ii) between the last one and six months and (iii) between the last six and 12 months.

Border Force issued penalties for those attempting to enter the UK as follows:

i) Last Month (May 2015) – 268 penalties issued

ii) Between the one and six months (November 2014 – April 2015) – 1,407 penalties issued

iii) Between last six and twelve months (October – May 2014) – 1,891 penalties issued

Figures are not yet available for June 2015.

4th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when full details of the new police pension scheme CARE 2015 were communicated to serving police officers.

The 2015 Police Pension Regulations were laid before Parliament on Thursday 5
March to allow the new pension scheme for police officers to come into force on
1 April. The Home Office is publishing guidance for members of the scheme
alongside this which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/police-pension-reform

Information about the principles of the reforms has been in the public domain
for some time. This includes: the Reform Design Framework which was published
on the Home Office Website in September 2012; an online calculator which allows
officers to determine what benefits they might receive under the new
arrangements; and guidance that specifies which officers qualify for
transitional protection.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she next plans to meet her French counterpart to discuss immigration controls at Calais.

I last met the French Interior Minister bilaterally on 6 November, and we and our officials have a strongly collaborative relationship. It is in the interests of both the UK and France to work together to tackle the migration pressures at Calais. We are working closely and collaboratively with the French authorities on all matters of border security and cross border criminality to maintain the integrity of our joint border controls and we have regular discussions to support this work.

24th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what instructions his Department issues to the armed services limiting the entry to mess establishments of retired members of the armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence does not provide the single Services with central guidance on this matter. Mess establishments have charitable status and are responsible for setting their own membership criteria.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2014 to Question 210893, whether the Defence Disposal Services Authority has instructed Agility to sell the tented camp commercially or to give preference to a non-government organisation.

As stated in my answer of 27 October 2014 to Question 210893, Agility is charged with securing the best value for money for items that our redeployment process has determined should be disposed of in theatre.

16th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any sales of equipment to the Colombian armed forces by any British company resulted from the conference aboard HMS Richmond in Cartagena in January 2014.

These events are to showcase British industry and provide the Colombian Ministry of Defence (MOD) with an opportunity to understand the wide range of equipment on offer. Although there have currently been no sales of equipment to Colombia directly attributable to the talks held on board HMS RICHMOND, important commercial links have been established and developed between the Colombian MOD and British companies, and we continue this relationship building, in line with our defence engagement strategy.

16th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has for the tented camp used by HM Forces at Kandahar; and whether Agility and any other organisation involved in the disposal of the camp have been instructed to considered urgent humanitarian requirements for such a camp.

Agility operates on behalf of the Defence Disposal Services Authority and is charged with securing the best value for money for items that our redeployment process has determined should be disposed of in theatre. It is for Agility to make subsequent arrangements, in line with this objective.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with the Royal Borough of Greenwich on a memorial to Drummer Lee Rigby.

Her Majesty’s Government recognises that calls for a memorial have attracted broad support from the public. We would welcome a public memorial with the name of Drummer Lee Rigby to commemorate his death, and we see no reason why a memorial should not be put in place in Greenwich.

My rt. hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Eric Pickles), wrote a letter to the Royal Borough of Greenwich in June 2014 to urge the Council to work with the family of Lee Rigby to come up with a fitting memorial to him.

Such memorials are usually funded through public subscription; such a scheme would be likely to be eligible for government funding through the DCMS Memorial Grant Scheme which refunds the cost of VAT incurred for the construction, renovation and maintenance of memorials.

Britain has a long tradition of memorials to pay respect to the fallen, including memorials to mark acts of IRA terrorism on the British mainland. Our response to this murderous terrorist act in Greenwich should be no different.

We believe that such a memorial would not only commemorate the life of Drummer Rigby, but also pay tribute to the bravery of the Armed Forces, and send a strong signal about our ongoing commitment to British liberties and British values.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to introduce further regulation of the making of wills; and if he will make a statement.

Following a formal proposal made by the Legal Services Board (LSB), on 14 May 2013 the Lord Chancellor issued a Decision Notice, confirming that he had decided not to make will writing a reserved legal activity under the Legal Services Act 2007. In the Decision Notice, the Lord Chancellor indicated that further efforts should be made to see if alternatives to regulation could be made more effective in reducing consumer detriment in relation to will writing.

Since then, the LSB has encouraged measures to reduce consumer detriment and improve standards, in both the regulated and unregulated legal service sectors. The Solicitors Regulation Authority issued guidance for solicitors on will-writing in May 2014, and those in the unregulated sector, including will writing trade bodies, have met with the LSB to work to improve coverage and effectiveness of voluntary schemes and codes.

19th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the next meeting between officials of his Department, Urban Vision and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to discuss Fenton Town Hall will take place.

Ministry of Justice officials met, including telephone conferences, with Urban Vision on one occasion and with Stoke on Trent City Council on three occasions in the last three months. There are no further meetings scheduled to take place. The MoJ is now in commercial discussions for the sale of the property to a private bidder.

Members of the community in Stoke-on-Trent have made their views on the court building clear to us, and we have engaged in constructive dialogue with Urban Vision as they developed their business case.

Following those discussions, we offered to transfer ownership of the building to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, for a peppercorn rate so they could work with Urban Vision and others on the long term future of the building. Unfortunately the council has declined that offer and sadly now we will be looking to sell the court.

We were keen to explore solutions that suited the community but we have a duty to get best value for the taxpayer when disposing of surplus property and this building had been empty for over two years.

We will be paying for three of the war memorials to be carefully relocated to the nearby Fenton Christ Church. There will be a legal duty for whoever buys the building to preserve the Minton Memorial which cannot be safely moved.

19th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions officials from his Department have met (a) Urban Vision and (b) Stoke-on-Trent City Council to discuss Fenton Town Hall in the last three months.

Ministry of Justice officials met, including telephone conferences, with Urban Vision on one occasion and with Stoke on Trent City Council on three occasions in the last three months. There are no further meetings scheduled to take place. The MoJ is now in commercial discussions for the sale of the property to a private bidder.

Members of the community in Stoke-on-Trent have made their views on the court building clear to us, and we have engaged in constructive dialogue with Urban Vision as they developed their business case.

Following those discussions, we offered to transfer ownership of the building to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, for a peppercorn rate so they could work with Urban Vision and others on the long term future of the building. Unfortunately the council has declined that offer and sadly now we will be looking to sell the court.

We were keen to explore solutions that suited the community but we have a duty to get best value for the taxpayer when disposing of surplus property and this building had been empty for over two years.

We will be paying for three of the war memorials to be carefully relocated to the nearby Fenton Christ Church. There will be a legal duty for whoever buys the building to preserve the Minton Memorial which cannot be safely moved.

14th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what information the Government holds on the number of abortions performed in 2015 in Scotland on Ground E (disability) of the Abortion Act 1967; how many such abortions were performed beyond 13 weeks' gestation; and what the total number of abortions performed in that year was (a) before and (b) after 13 weeks' gestation.

Abortion law was devolved under the Scotland Act 2016.

The number of abortions performed in 2015 in Scotland on Ground E (disability) of the Abortion Act 1967 was 186. The total number of abortions performed in Scotland in 2015 was 12,082.

The number of these abortions that were performed beyond 13 weeks’ gestation; and the total number of abortions performed in that year (a) before and (b) after 13 weeks gestation are not available.

The published data on abortions provides information on the number of Ground E abortions by diagnosis. Estimated gestation is presented for all abortions and is grouped into under 10 weeks, 10 to 13, 14 to 17, 18 to 19 and 20 weeks and over. The data are available in Table 1 on the Information Services Division (ISD) website from the following link:

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Sexual-Health/Publications/2016-05-31/mat_aas_table1.xlsx.