Ruth Smeeth Portrait

Ruth Smeeth

Labour - Former Member for Stoke-on-Trent North

Ruth Smeeth is not a member of any APPGs
11 Former APPG memberships
Antisemitism, Armed Forces, Armed Forces Covenant, Beer, Bingo, Ceramics, Hate Crime, Holocaust Memorial, School Food, Social Integration, West Midlands
Defence Sub-Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Sub-Committee
8th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

Ruth Smeeth has voted in 660 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Oct 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 19 Labour Aye votes vs 217 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 329 Noes - 299
1 Apr 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Votes) - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 25 Labour No votes vs 185 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 282
1 Apr 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Votes) - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 203 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 292
1 Apr 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Votes) - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Labour No votes vs 121 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 191 Noes - 292
27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 42 Labour No votes vs 143 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 283
27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 111 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 184 Noes - 293
27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 27 Labour No votes vs 198 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 295
14 Mar 2019 - UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Labour No votes vs 25 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 85 Noes - 334
20 Apr 2016 - Record Copies of Acts - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 23 Labour Aye votes vs 23 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 117 Noes - 38
2 Dec 2015 - ISIL in Syria - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 56 Labour No votes vs 139 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 390
2 Dec 2015 - ISIL in Syria - View Vote Context
Ruth Smeeth voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 65 Labour Aye votes vs 153 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 397 Noes - 223
View All Ruth Smeeth 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 Ruth Smeeth's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Ruth Smeeth

22nd October 2019
Ruth Smeeth signed this EDM on Thursday 31st October 2019

Welfare and survival of Asian elephants used in tourism

Tabled by: Rupa Huq (Labour - Ealing Central and Acton)
That this House is concerned about the increasing risk of extinction to Asian elephants; notes that in India and South East Asia some Asian elephants are snatched from the wild when very young, deprived of food and water for months whilst tightly confined in cages, beaten and stabbed with iron …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Conservative: 5
Scottish National Party: 5
Independent: 3
Crossbench: 1
Green Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
24th October 2019
Ruth Smeeth signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 24th October 2019

Timetable for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Tabled by: Lord Field of Birkenhead (Crossbench - Birkenhead)
That this House calls on the Government, if it is granted a flexible extension to Article 50 by the European Union, to work to a 14-day timetable for passing the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, and to bring to an immediate end the flexible extension as soon as the Bill …
14 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Independent: 3
Conservative: 3
Crossbench: 1
View All Ruth Smeeth's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ruth Smeeth, 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.


Ruth Smeeth has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Ruth Smeeth

Monday 17th December 2018
Friday 16th October 2015

1 Bill introduced by Ruth Smeeth


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the indication of country of origin for ceramic products; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 4th September 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

157 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
9 Other Department Questions
16th Jul 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, who she has appointed as the acting National Security Advisor while Sir Mark Sedwill is acting as her Permanent Secretary.

Sir Mark Sedwill will continue to be the National Security Adviser, in addition to assuming Sir Jeremy Heywood’s formal responsibilities as Cabinet Secretary, while Sir Jeremy takes a leave of absence for further treatment for the cancer diagnosed last summer and for a related infection.

10th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2016 to Question 24530, what methodology is used to calculate prices in connection with anti-dumping cases relating to the US and Russia.

The US and Russia are both treated as market economies in anti-dumping investigations by the European Commission. This means that, with some exceptions, dumping is calculated on the basis of prices prevailing in the US and Russian domestic market. The exceptions are set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009 (the EU’s basic anti-dumping Regulation) and the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (the “AD agreement”).

10th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if his Department will make an assessment of whether prices of imported ceramic goods from China reflect the domestic costs of production.

It is for industry to demonstrate prima facie evidence of dumping to the European Commission. We encourage industry to present this evidence to the Commission where there is evidence of dumping. Where evidence is sufficient to justify an investigation the Commission will do so and present any proposals for imposing duties to Member States. Trade defence is an EU competence and for the Commission to investigate.

9th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of whether China has met all of the technical Market Economy Status criteria as set by the EU.

According to the latest assessment by the European Commission China has not met all of the technical criteria for awarding Market Economy Status. However, these criteria were designed to inform decisions in the event that the EU decided to seek to award China MES before the end of the 15 year transition period specified by China’s protocol of accession to the WTO. As the transition period ends in December, the question facing the European Commission now is a legal one about the interpretation of article 15 of China’s protocol of accession to the WTO and whether it requires that China must now be granted MES.

9th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the expenditure has been on the new National Living Wage advertising campaign to date.

As of 26 January 2016, £378,826.28 had been spent on building awareness of the National Living Wage

The total budget allocated for the National Living Wage advertising campaign is £4.95 million. The campaign will end at the end of April and we expect to come in under budget.

It is important workers know their rights and that employers pay the new £7.20 from April 1 this year. The campaign will tell people about their entitlements and is targeted at those that need it most.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what proportion of the tableware used in his Department is made in the UK.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has 2 suppliers of restaurant services in the core Department buildings: EC Harris and Baxter Storey.

EC Harris

Currently, 40% of tableware supplied by EC Harris is manufactured in the UK. The policy is to buy UK manufactured tableware to replace existing tableware. The 60% of tableware not manufactured in the UK has been inherited from previous suppliers.

Baxter Storey

Currently, 70% of tableware supplied by Baxter Storey is manufactured in the UK and the remaining 30% is Chinese.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the UK ceramics industry of China being granted Market Economy Status.

We are awaiting a European Commission proposal on granting Market Economy Status (MES). We understand that the Commission will also be undertaking a detailed assessment of the economic impacts of granting MES as part of their consideration of this issue. We will examine any proposal and assessment carefully. In considering the Commission’s proposal it will be important to take into account the wider trade and international context including China’s compliance with international commitments. If China is granted MES, the Commission will still be able to pursue anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases and impose measures where evidence of dumping or subsidy is found; this is the case with the US and Russia, both of whom have MES status.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with representatives of the UK ceramics industry on the effect of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

I can confirm that I met on 3 February 2016 the British Ceramics Confederation. BIS officials are also in regular contact with the sector on all energy and environment matters.

8th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he last assessed that Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton was compliant with the terms of its £5.1million grant from the Regional Growth Fund.

As the project remains in monitoring until 2022, the Regional Growth Fund team continue to monitor and discuss project developments with WWRD UK Ltd, as they do with all Regional Growth Fund awards.

8th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has reclaimed grant funds from a successful applicant to the Regional Growth Fund that has been found not to comply with the terms of the grant.

Regional Growth Fund awards are monitored to ensure the agreed outcomes of the project are delivered.

Any project being undertaken using investment from the Regional Growth Fund must be delivered in full. If a project fails to deliver on what was first proposed, we would recover the appropriate level of grant payment.

I can confirm that this has happened on some successful Regional Growth Fund awards.

8th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the provisions in the Regional Growth Fund grant to Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton (WWRD) to maintain manufacturing jobs on site and the recent announcement of 103 job losses at WWRD, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of that grant award to WWRD.

The Regional Growth Fund award to WWRD UK Ltd is monitored for a ten year period until 31 March 2022, as such the Regional Growth Fund team continue to discuss project developments with the Company, as they do with all Regional Growth Fund awards.

8th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Wedgwood Waterford Royal Doulton on (a) their restructure and (b) the effect of that restructure on (i) the UK ceramics manufacturing sector and (ii) their Regional Growth Fund grant award.

The Regional Growth Fund team have been in discussions with WWRD UK Ltd regarding the restructure and the effect of the restructure in relation to the Regional Growth Fund grant award.

Whilst the Global restructuring of WWRD UK Ltd and the associated job losses at the Barlaston facility is disappointing, with a consequential impact on individual employees and the local economy, I understand high end products, design, product development and global marketing of products will continue to be based in the UK.

21st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to support an increase in UK-based gas storage.

The UK consistently has one of the largest and most liquid gas markets in Europe with extensive import infrastructure and a diverse range of gas supply sources. This includes domestic production, pipelines from Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and liquefied natural gas terminals which can bring in gas from anywhere in the world. We are therefore well placed to manage gas supply risks and the Government has no plans to directly support an increase in UK-based gas storage.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of precarious work on the workforce.

Atypical work arrangements, alongside traditional full-time employment, play a valuable role in today’s labour market.

This Government is live to the issues that come with new ways of working.

That is why Matthew Taylor was asked to undertake his independent review of modern employment practices, which is considering job security amongst a range of issues.

17th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will respond to the request for an apology for actions by the UK Government in relation to industrial action at Cammell Laird in 1984 made by the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament in December 2014; and if he will make a statement.

The treatment of the workers in the Cammell Laird case as a result of the industrial action taken and any possible miscarriage of justice is not a matter for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

1st Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many miners whose employment with British Coal ended before they reached the age of 50 had their entitlement to concessionary coal reinstated after the introduction of the National Concessionary Fuel Scheme in 2013.

In reference to employees solely employed by British Coal, there are no employees aged under 50 who have been reinstated as part of the 2013 announcement, which related specifically to employees of UK Coal who lost their entitlement following a fire at the company’s Daw Mill colliery in February 2013.

There will be some UK Coal beneficiaries who TUPE transferred from British Coal to UK Coal in 1995 under the age of 50, who continued their entitlements with the new company and then fell under the terms of the 2013 announcement. However, Capita, who administer the concessionary fuel schemes, do not hold this information.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve the provision of video on demand access services.

Ofcom, the regulator for video on demand services, is reviewing how to improve the provision of access services on video on demand services.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how his Department measures progress on increasing the provision of video on demand access services.

The provision of access services on video on demand content has increased in recent years, according to the 2015 Authority for Television on Demand report which can be found here:http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/on-demand/access-european/AS_survey_report_2015.pdf. The evidence in this report is supported by dialogue with broadcasters, content providers and platform operators, who fed back to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in Autumn 2015.
25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of progress on increasing the provision of video on demand access services.

The provision of access services on video on demand content has increased in recent years, according to the 2015 Authority for Television on Demand report which can be found here:http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/on-demand/access-european/AS_survey_report_2015.pdf. The evidence in this report is supported by dialogue with broadcasters, content providers and platform operators, who fed back to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in Autumn 2015.
13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when he intends to publish the responses to his Department's call for evidence on the National Lottery and raising funds for good causes, launched in December 2014.

The responses to the Government's Call for Evidence on the National Lottery, society lotteries and competing gambling products in raising funds for good causes will be published, excepting those that are commercially sensitive, in due course.

The Gambling Commission is also providing advice to Government on society lotteries in response to the CMS Select Committee report and we understand they will make this public in due course.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish the recommendations of the Gambling Commission in response to his Department's call for evidence on the National Lottery and raising funds for good causes, launched in December 2014.

The responses to the Government's Call for Evidence on the National Lottery, society lotteries and competing gambling products in raising funds for good causes will be published, excepting those that are commercially sensitive, in due course.

The Gambling Commission is also providing advice to Government on society lotteries in response to the CMS Select Committee report and we understand they will make this public in due course.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support further education and sixth form colleges receive for students who entered the UK via the Syrian Children's Resettlement Scheme.

The government considers refugees, who entered the UK via the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme or the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, eligible for funding on the same basis for 16-19 study programmes as all other eligible students.

In addition, the department provides a number of financial support programmes for economically disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds, in particular the 16-19 bursary fund, to help with the education related costs associated with staying in post-16 education such as travel and course equipment. These programmes aim to enable 16 to 19 year olds to participate whatever their financial situation, and are available to refugee students who meet the qualifying criteria for each scheme.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) sixth forms and (b) further education colleges in the provision of education for refugees.

Refugee students are eligible for funding, and they are funded on the same basis as all other 16 to 19 eligible students.

The 16 to 19 funding arrangements for school and college places include an element of disadvantage funding. This element of the funding is for providers to attract, retain and support disadvantaged students and to support students with lower-level special educational needs and disabilities. Disadvantage funding is provided to institutions either for students with low prior attainment or for students who live in the most disadvantaged areas, and refugee students may attract this funding. In the 2018/19 academic year, we have allocated around £510 million to 16 to 19 institutions to provide extra support for disadvantaged students.

In addition, the department provides a number of financial support programmes for economically disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds. This support aims to help with the education-related costs associated with staying in post-16 education such as travel and course equipment. These programmes aim to enable 16 to 19 year olds to participate in education regardless of their financial situation. They are available to refugee students who meet the qualifying criteria for each scheme.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support his Department provides to (a) further education colleges and (b) sixth forms for enrolled refugee students.

Refugee students are eligible for funding, and they are funded on the same basis as all other 16 to 19 eligible students.

The 16 to 19 funding arrangements for school and college places include an element of disadvantage funding. This element of the funding is for providers to attract, retain and support disadvantaged students and to support students with lower-level special educational needs and disabilities. Disadvantage funding is provided to institutions either for students with low prior attainment or for students who live in the most disadvantaged areas, and refugee students may attract this funding. In the 2018/19 academic year, we have allocated around £510 million to 16 to 19 institutions to provide extra support for disadvantaged students.

In addition, the department provides a number of financial support programmes for economically disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds. This support aims to help with the education-related costs associated with staying in post-16 education such as travel and course equipment. These programmes aim to enable 16 to 19 year olds to participate in education regardless of their financial situation. They are available to refugee students who meet the qualifying criteria for each scheme.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much of the available funding for the Pupil Premium Summer School Programme was spent in 2015; and how much was spent on food provision for children outside term time.

From 2015-16, the total expenditure by the Department on the summer schools programme was £38m. The Department does not collect data on the number of schools that provided meals for pupils as part of their summer school, nor on the amount of summer school funding spent on food provision.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding was available for the Pupil Premium Summer School Programme in 2015.

The Department made up to £46m of funding from the pupil premium available to support schools in delivering summer schools in 2015. The actual amount paid to the 2,171 secondary schools that chose to take part in the 2015 programme, which involved over 92,000 pupils, was £38m.

25th Apr 2019
What assessment he has made of the potential economic effect of US retaliatory trade actions on the UK ceramics sector.

We are clear that a tariff war would not be in the interests of UK, EU or US industry. The UK continues to work closely with the EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations he has made to the US to oppose retaliatory duties of up to 100 per cent against British ceramic products.

The UK is working closely with the EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes. Through the EU, we are challenging in the WTO the US’s claim that it is entitled to impose retaliatory tariffs on the UK. However, it would not be appropriate for the UK to make representations to the US on specific products whilst we are contesting the right of the US to impose any tariffs at all.

We are clear that a tariff war would not be in the interests of UK, EU or US industry. We agree with EU and others that we do not want to see the disputes escalate further. The UK will continue to work closely with the EU on next steps.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the British ceramic industry of US trade action against EU products.

The UK is working closely with the EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes. Through the EU, we are challenging in the WTO the US’s claim that it is entitled to impose retaliatory tariffs on the UK. However, it would not be appropriate for the UK to make representations to the US on specific products whilst we are contesting the right of the US to impose any tariffs at all.

We are clear that a tariff war would not be in the interests of UK, EU or US industry. We agree with EU and others that we do not want to see the disputes escalate further. The UK will continue to work closely with the EU on next steps.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Trade Barriers (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, what mechanisms exist for the UK ceramic industry to secure departmental action on any market access problems experienced in overseas markets.

The Government has established a dedicated market access team within the Department for International Trade to improve how market access barriers experienced by UK exporters are identified and tackled.

In addition to the usual engagement channels and regular dialogues between the Government and the ceramic industry, we will have a dedicated form through the gov.uk website where businesses will be able to report market access barriers they face. This will be available shortly.

23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 15 May 2003 to Question 113237 on rail strikes, whether (a) he or (b) his Department has had any correspondence with West Midlands Trains on reimbursement for potential industrial action.

There has been no correspondence between the Department and West Midlands Trains on this subject.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 15 May 2003 to Question 113237 on rail strikes, whether West Midlands Trains has an indemnification clause in its franchise agreement with the Department for Transport allowing it to apply for reimbursement for revenues lost as a consequence of official industrial action.

In common with other rail franchises, the West Midlands Trains Franchise Agreement includes a standard provision whereby the Secretary of State is able to, at his discretion, reimburse net losses arising from Industrial Action. This can be viewed at Clause 5 of Schedule 8.1 of Franchise Agreement which is on the Department’s web site at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/837515/west-midlands-2017-franchise-agreement.pdf

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of bus routes that have been (a) added and (b) removed since 2010.

My Department does not hold this data, as decisions about the provision of bus services, including the frequency, the level of fares or agreed local concessions are mainly a matter for the operator concerned.

Where there is not enough demand for a bus route to be commercially viable in its own right, all local authorities have powers to subsidise bus services, Provision of subsidised services is a matter for individual English local authorities, in the light of their other spending priorities.

We are very aware however of the importance of bus services to local communities, and in recognition of this we were able to protect Bus Service Operators Grant funding as part of the 2015 Spending Review. We have also protected the national concessionary travel in England for the whole of this Parliament.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the potential benefits for bus passengers of municipal ownership of bus companies.

There are a few towns and cities that have municipal bus operators, however no analysis has been undertaken by the Department for Transport to understand the potential benefits of those models for passengers.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had on devolving responsibility for rail services to the Midlands.

West Midlands Rail made a submission to the Secretary of State in October 2014 to devolve rail services in the West Midlands region. The Secretary of State confirmed his support in a letter to West Midlands Rail in March 2015 for rail devolution in the West Midlands and set out the expectation that West Midlands Rail will work with the Department for Transport in developing the specification for the re-letting of the next franchise. A public consultation was launched jointly with West Midlands Rail in December 2015 to inform the specification of the next West Midlands franchise. The new West Midlands Franchise is expected to commence in October 2017.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many lawyers are employed by Network Rail to deal with contractual interface issues.

Network Rail has 26 lawyers in the company. None are employed full time to deal specifically with these types of contractual interface issues. Those in the Routes Legal Team (c 12 lawyers) will spend a percentage of their time on these issues and to a lesser extent those in the Corporate Legal Team (c 3 lawyers).Input from the team will vary considerably depending on the nature and size of the issue that has arisen.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff are employed by Network Rail to deal with delay attribution issues with train operating staff.

167 staff at Network Rail have responsibilities in train delay attribution, representing around 0.5% of Network Rail’s total staff. This number of staff dealing with train delay attribution has remained fairly constant over recent years. Network Rail is a company of c. 35,000 staff operating a network that transports 1.66bn passengers a year, and being able to accurately measure how its work impacts on train performance is essential to maintaining and improving a high standard of service.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultants have been used to advise the Government on the future structure of Network Rail; and what the cost to the public purse has been of engaging such consultants.

Since Network Rail’s reclassification to the public sector in 2014, the Department has engaged EY (previously known as Ernst & Young) to support the development of policy on the future of rail infrastructure management. The final cost of this work was £750k.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much it cost to reconstruct the railway at Dawlish; and from which budget that cost was met.

£35m was spent repairing the most damaged section of the track and sea wall and associated works during the initial 56-day work period at Dawlish. Work to raise the walkway is additional and has an anticipated final cost of £15.3m. Funding came in two phases: Phase 1 emergency work was funded primarily from insurance with the Network Rail structures renewals budget paying the excess of £2m. Phase 2 (raising the walkway) will be funded through Network Rail’s Control Period 5 (2019-24) structure renewals budget.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff are employed by Network Rail to deal with contractual interface issues.

Network Rail has 68 positions based across its eight routes with various responsibilities for managing commercial and regulated relationships with industry customers (the various operators). These roles are important in ensuring effective partnerships between Network Rail and the wider industry in order to meet the needs of passengers.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent on road maintenance in Stoke-on-Trent local authority area in the last financial year.

The Department for Transport allocated funding of just under £4 million to Stoke on Trent City Council for local highways maintenance in the last financial year, 2014/15. This includes £1.3 million per annum towards a 25 year street lighting PFI project that commenced in 2003/04.

Local authorities are also able to use revenue funding, allocated by the Department of Communities and Local Government through the Revenue Support Grant for maintaining their local highways.

Neither revenue nor capital highways maintenance block funding is ring-fenced and it is for local highway authorities, such as Stoke on Trent City Council, to decide upon their spending priorities across the whole range of services that they provide.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much vehicle excise duty was collected in Stoke-on-Trent local authority area in 2014-15.

The Department does not hold data on VED receipts directly attributed to local authority areas.

2nd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people in Stoke-on-Trent North constituency have (a) opted out after being auto-enrolled into a workplace pension and (b) saved more than the auto-enrolment minimum contribution.

Automatic enrolment has achieved a quiet revolution through getting employees into the habit of pension saving, and reversing the decline in workplace pension participation in the decade prior to these reforms. Since automatic enrolment started in 2012 participation rates have been transformed with 87% of eligible employees saving into a workplace pension in 2018, up from 55% in 2012.

The Department does not hold data for individual constituencies in relation to opt outs or the number of individuals who have saved above the automatic enrolment minimum contribution level. However, we do know that overall around 9% of automatically enrolled workers have chosen to opt out which is significantly below original estimates; and our latest evaluation report shows that, in April 2017, approximately 5.9 million eligible employees were already meeting the April 2019 minimum contribution rates.

I am providing the following information about the impact of automatic enrolment in your constituency, as of August 2019:

In the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency, since 2012, approximately 6,000 eligible jobholders have been automatically enrolled and 1,250 employers have met their duties.

Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report 2018, available via the following weblink:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/764964/Automatic_Enrolment_Evaluation_Report_2018.pdf.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking with representatives of Paypoint UK to ensure that universal credit claimants without access to a bank account receive their entitlement without delay.

The Department’s standard method of payment for pensions and benefits is to pay into a bank account, building society account, credit union account, internet based account or a basic bank account of the customer’s choice. For claimants who cannot open or manage one of these accounts, or provide the details for their own account to access their payment, the Department can offer two payment exception methods: The Post Office Card Account (POca) and HM Government Payment Exception Service (HMG PES). These payment exception methods ensure that claimants can receive their entitlement on time via the Post Office network (POca) or PayPoint outlet.

The HMG PES provider is I-movo Limited. I-movo subcontracts the delivery of its counter services to Paypoint UK which operates a contact centre and a complaints process. These provisions enable complaints to be logged and monitored should anyone have cause to complain about the service received at a PayPoint location. All complaints are recorded and monitored through to successful resolution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to protect people on benefits or low incomes who would be most vulnerable to rising food prices or food supply disruption in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government's priority remains securing a deal to leave the EU. We have more people in work than ever before, with wages continuing to grow. However, as a responsible government we have plans in place for a range of scenarios. The welfare system provides a strong safety net. A system of hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans will be available for eligible claimants who need them.

For new claimants applying for Universal Credit (UC), new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due. We have increased work allowance rates by £1,000 in April 2019 and they will be uprated in line with inflation in the future. This measure provides additional support in a package announced in Autumn Budget 2018, worth £1.7 billion by 2023/24, to some of the most vulnerable low paid working households.

9th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the maximum target holding time is for calls to the Tell Us Once phone line.

There is no maximum target holding time for calls to the Tell Us Once phone line.

The average speed to answer from 2nd April 2018 to date is forty-five seconds.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people who have ten year personal independence awards have had a planned intervention in advance of the original end date of their claim in each of the last two years.

Reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) awards, which can be paid at one of eight rates, are a key part of the benefit and ensure that claimants continue to receive the correct level of support. Planned interventions take place up to one year before an award is due to expire. PIP was introduced in April 2013, therefore no claimants in receipt of 10 year awards have yet received a planned intervention.

27th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group adheres to the revised NICE guidance on hearing loss in adults, published in June 2018, on the provision of hearing aids to people with mild and moderate hearing loss.

Individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the provision of hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss to meet the needs of their local population. As with other services CCGs commission, they should take into consideration assessments of local need and any relevant guidance, such as that published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE clinical guidelines are not mandatory, although we expect service commissioners to take them into account alongside local priorities in the design of services.

21st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the total sleep-in back pay liability for care providers in the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South (Barbara Keeley) on 26 February 2018 to Question 128962.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance has been issued to GP practices to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations towards homeless people.

NHS England has published guidance for general practitioners reminding them of their responsibilities towards homeless people and, in particular, reminding them that documentary evidence of identity or an address is not a requirement of registration (Patient registration – standard operating principles for primary medical care (general practice) (2015).

Promoting better access to health care services for homeless and other vulnerable people is part of our commitment to tackle health inequalities and improve the health of the poorest fastest, including through the Department’s inclusion health programme.

This programme published jointly with the Royal College of General Practitioners an evidence-based commissioning guide for clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards Improving access to health care for Gypsies and Travellers, homeless people and sex workers (2013). This guide also reminded commissioners of the importance of patient monitoring as part of the aim of providing equality throughout the health system.

The Department’s Office of the Chief Analyst report found that accident and emergency attendances amongst single homeless people are five times greater than the general public and 3.2 times more likely to result in hospital admissions (Healthcare for Single Homeless People, 2010).

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what measures are in place to monitor the ability of homeless people to access GP services.

NHS England has published guidance for general practitioners reminding them of their responsibilities towards homeless people and, in particular, reminding them that documentary evidence of identity or an address is not a requirement of registration (Patient registration – standard operating principles for primary medical care (general practice) (2015).

Promoting better access to health care services for homeless and other vulnerable people is part of our commitment to tackle health inequalities and improve the health of the poorest fastest, including through the Department’s inclusion health programme.

This programme published jointly with the Royal College of General Practitioners an evidence-based commissioning guide for clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards Improving access to health care for Gypsies and Travellers, homeless people and sex workers (2013). This guide also reminded commissioners of the importance of patient monitoring as part of the aim of providing equality throughout the health system.

The Department’s Office of the Chief Analyst report found that accident and emergency attendances amongst single homeless people are five times greater than the general public and 3.2 times more likely to result in hospital admissions (Healthcare for Single Homeless People, 2010).

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect on accident and emergency services waiting times of homeless people being unable to access GP services.

NHS England has published guidance for general practitioners reminding them of their responsibilities towards homeless people and, in particular, reminding them that documentary evidence of identity or an address is not a requirement of registration (Patient registration – standard operating principles for primary medical care (general practice) (2015).

Promoting better access to health care services for homeless and other vulnerable people is part of our commitment to tackle health inequalities and improve the health of the poorest fastest, including through the Department’s inclusion health programme.

This programme published jointly with the Royal College of General Practitioners an evidence-based commissioning guide for clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards Improving access to health care for Gypsies and Travellers, homeless people and sex workers (2013). This guide also reminded commissioners of the importance of patient monitoring as part of the aim of providing equality throughout the health system.

The Department’s Office of the Chief Analyst report found that accident and emergency attendances amongst single homeless people are five times greater than the general public and 3.2 times more likely to result in hospital admissions (Healthcare for Single Homeless People, 2010).

23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of whether North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's (a) evaluation of clinical evidence and (b) patient engagement relating to its decision to restrict the provision of NHS hearing aids from 1 October 2015 is compliant with (i) the NHS constitution and (ii) the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

A search of Departmental records has confirmed there have been no discussions with North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on its decision to restrict the provision of National Health Service hearing aids from 1 October 2015.

The provision of hearing aids is a matter for local commissioners and is based on the needs of the local population.

As such it would be for NHS England, within its routine assurance processes, to assess whether North Staffordshire CCG was in breach of its duties, or was considered likely to breach its duties in this matter.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he expects NICE to publish the (a) clinical guidance and (b) quality standard for adult onset hearing loss.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has advised that the clinical guideline on hearing loss is currently scheduled for development from spring 2016 and anticipates that this will be published in autumn 2018. A quality standard on hearing loss based on the clinical guideline will follow.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what procurement policies his Department has put in place to ensure that (a) the Foreign Office and (b) UK embassies promote UK (i) ceramics and (b) manufacturing, specifically.

All procurement is guided by the Public Contracts Regulations and Cabinet Office guidance.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, from which suppliers his Department acquires its tableware.

Tableware used in Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK staff restaurants is supplied by Bidfood Catering Equipment. The range used is manufactured by Steelite International, a UK pottery based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Government Hospitality (GH) arranges formal ministerial business hospitality for all government departments and orders, manages and maintains its own stock of china, glass and linen. The State Dinner Service used by GH is a Wedgwood design, originally commissioned in the 1950s. Other items of china tableware currently held in stock were manufactured by Minton, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Worcester and Spode.

Embassies manage their own stocks of tableware locally and no central record is held of suppliers.​

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of tableware used in British embassies is supplied by manufacturers in the UK

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold data centrally on the suppliers of tableware to its overseas missions. To provide this information would incur disproportionate cost.

28th Jan 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on the local economy of restricted access to free to use ATMs.

Information on ATM numbers by Parliamentary Constituency is publicly available on the LINK website.

LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s ATM network, has committed to maintain the broad geographical coverage of the ATM network in the UK. The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator, which regulates LINK, is closely monitoring developments within ATM provision and has used its powers to hold LINK to account over its commitments.

LINK has put in place specific arrangements to protect free-to-use ATMs more than 1 kilometre away from the next nearest free-to-use ATM. Furthermore, LINK recently announced new additional premiums to safeguard the presence of free-to-use ATMs in remote and deprived areas.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of towns without free access to the ATM network.

Information on ATM numbers by Parliamentary Constituency is publicly available on the LINK website.

LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s ATM network, has committed to maintain the broad geographical coverage of the ATM network in the UK. The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator, which regulates LINK, is closely monitoring developments within ATM provision and has used its powers to hold LINK to account over its commitments.

LINK has put in place specific arrangements to protect free-to-use ATMs more than 1 kilometre away from the next nearest free-to-use ATM. Furthermore, LINK recently announced new additional premiums to safeguard the presence of free-to-use ATMs in remote and deprived areas.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Jan 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with LINK on the interchange rate for ATMs.

The Government recognises that widespread access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government is continuing to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, on this issue.

LINK has cancelled its third interchange fee reduction, due in January 2020, and put on hold its fourth reduction, due in January 2021, pending further review.

The Payment Systems Regulator, who regulates LINK, has welcomed these adjustments, having stated that LINK must carefully review its decisions on interchange fees to reflect changing market conditions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
31st Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the new business rates relief announced in Budget 2018 on local authority finances.

The Budget confirmed that local government will be fully compensated for the loss of income that results from changes to business rates announced in the Budget.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
31st Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether local authorities that see a reduction in funding as a result of the change to business rates will receive additional funding from central Government.

The Budget confirmed that local government will be fully compensated for the loss of income that results from changes to business rates announced in the Budget.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
22nd May 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the Treasury Approval note relating to the Defence Fire and Rescue project.

The Defence Fire and Rescue Project aims to identify whether an industry service provider will provide increased value for money in the delivery of a worldwide Defence Fire and Rescue Service. A decision on the outcome of this project will be announced in due course.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
28th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2018 to Question 128648 on Treasury: Tableware, which subcontractors supply his Department with its tableware.

The subcontractor who supplies HM Treasury with its tableware is Baxter Story Plc.

20th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, from which manufacturers his Department procures its tableware.

HM Treasury does not have this information as tableware is provided by a subcontractor.

20th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his Department has spent on tableware since 2015; and how much of that spending was on tableware manufactured in the UK.

HM Treasury does not have this information as tableware is provided by a subcontractor.

20th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of his Department's tableware is made in the UK.

HM Treasury does not have this information as tableware is provided by a subcontractor.

6th Dec 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his Department owes to the Ministry of Defence on 6 December 2017 in respect of his use of RAF aircraft and helicopters.

The cost of overseas official journeys taken by the Chancellor using RAF aircraft and helicopters is published on a quarterly basis. It can be found within the Treasury’s transparency data on ministerial meetings, hospitality, gifts and overseas travel on www.gov.uk.

The Treasury makes payments to suppliers, including other government departments, in line with published policies. The Treasury’s performance against these policies is also published on www.gov.uk.

6th Sep 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many community amateur sports clubs have changed their status to a charity in the last two years.

Rather than prosecute Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) for operating incorrectly, any club that does not meet the new regulations, introduced in April 2015, will be de-registered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and assessed for potential Capital Gains Tax charges on the deemed disposal and acquisition of assets.

Statistics are not kept on former CASCs that set up a charity that they subsequently register with HMRC. These new charities are required to simply register the charity with HMRC in the normal way.

6th Sep 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many prosecutions of community amateur sports clubs for operating incorrectly there have been in the last two years.

Rather than prosecute Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) for operating incorrectly, any club that does not meet the new regulations, introduced in April 2015, will be de-registered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and assessed for potential Capital Gains Tax charges on the deemed disposal and acquisition of assets.

Statistics are not kept on former CASCs that set up a charity that they subsequently register with HMRC. These new charities are required to simply register the charity with HMRC in the normal way.

15th Dec 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress the Infrastructure Commission has made in its work as it relates to Northern Ireland.

The National Infrastructure Commission has been established to provide expert impartial analysis of the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs. To do this the commission will conduct an infrastructure needs assessment every five years, with its findings articulated in the National Infrastructure Assessment. As part of the infrastructure needs assessment the commission will review areas of Northern Irish infrastructure that are the responsibility of the UK government, and its findings will be made public once the report is completed.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many public sector employees are currently in receipt of working tax credits.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
16th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the frequency of requirements for asylum claimants to attend a Home Office centre are not excessively (a) burdensome and (b) expensive for people more than five miles away from such a centre.

Asylum seekers in receipt of section 95 asylum support are provided with a weekly allowance which can be used to cover expenses such as travel costs.

The assistance available to people supported under section 4 of the 1999 Act consists of accommodation (with gas, electricity and water provided free) and provision of a debit card (the “Aspen Card”) which can be used to buy food and other essential items. The Aspen card cannot be used to withdraw cash, but it bears the visa logo and can be used at retail outlets that accept visa transactions.

If the supported person is required to report as a condition of their immigration bail their travel costs are also covered if they are accommodated more than 3 miles away from the reporting centre or in certain other circumstances, for example if they are unable to walk because of a disability.

In practical terms the travel costs are covered by issuing tickets or by uploading further funds on to the person’s Aspen card.

The Home Office keeps these arrangements under regular review.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people who are in receipt of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 are able to pay (a) travel costs that can only be paid in cash and (b) other travel costs in order to attend Home Office reporting centres.

The assistance available to people supported under section 4 of the 1999 Act consists of accommodation (with gas, electricity and water provided free) and provision of a debit card (the “Aspen Card”) which can be used to buy food and other essential items. The Aspen card cannot be used to withdraw cash, but it bears the visa logo and can be used at retail outlets that accept visa transactions.

If the supported person is required to report as a condition of their immigration bail their travel costs are also covered if they are accommodated more than 3 miles away from the reporting centre or in certain other circumstances, for example if they are unable to walk because of a disability.

In practical terms the travel costs are covered by issuing tickets or by uploading further funds on to the person’s Aspen card.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people who are in receipt of Section 4 support are able to pay (a) travel fares which can only be purchased with cash and (b) other upfront travel costs in order to report at Home Office reporting centres.

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

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure reporting frequencies are not excessively (a) burdensome and (b) expensive for people who live in places where the journey to a Home Office reporting centre is significant.

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

4th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure people who are in receipt of Section 4 support are able to cover (a) travel fares which can only be purchased with cash and (b) other upfront travel costs in order to report at Home Office reporting centres.

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

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will publish a list of properties in Stoke-on-Trent that were considered as alternative locations for the Stoke-on-Trent Reporting Centre.

Our estates partners were commissioned to identify an alternative site for reporting functions in Stoke that provided adequate access to the public, security and accommodation that would enable us to provide a good level of service to the reporting population. Our partners were unable to locate any such suitable premises in the local area.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria his Department uses for the allocation of funding under the Prevent programme.

Prevent funding is prioritised based on threat and risk across the country where we assess the risk of radicalisation to be highest.


A number of factors, including local and national intelligence / information, the number of TACT arrests and disrupted plots, as well as Channel referral data, are used to help determine the locations where the threat from terrorism and radicalisation is greatest.

Each priority area receives funding for a dedicated Prevent Coordinator and for civil society organisations to deliver campaigns and activity that counter terrorist narratives and build resilience in communities against radicalisation. We do not provide detailed information about the funding allocation of local Prevent projects by area.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
15th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what options were considered when taking the decision to close the Stoke reporting and offender management centre.

The Home Office have been unable to find a suitable location in Stoke for staff and the reporting population so utilised police stations. Staffordshire Police have subsequently rationalised their estate and could not provide the Home Office with accommodation to conduct the full range of functions required.

In the absence of any suitable accommodation in the area, which also took into account security, safety of signers and staff, the reporting function was moved to Manchester reporting centre.

15th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he made of the needs of asylum seekers in Stoke-on-Trent when the decision to close the Stoke Reporting Centre was taken.

The Home Office assessed the needs of all types of reportees, not only asylum seekers.

The assessment looked at travel times and reporting frequencies of individuals as well as those with special needs, such as pregnant subjects or those recovering from surgery and how we could reimburse eligible individuals for travel.

15th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what length of journey to a reporting centre is deemed to be reasonable by the Home Office.

Individuals subject to reporting can be required to attend the nearest reporting centre or other specified location, including police stations, to their home address.

There is no upper limit to the distance which an individual may be required to travel in order to attend their nearest reporting centre. When deciding reporting conditions the Home Office will give due consideration to the young, elderly and those with medical issues and the potential impact of frequent travel over long distances which is considered to involve in excess of 2 hours’ journey time each way.

16th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Turkish nationals have been refused six month visitor visas in each of the last two years.

The information available relating to visitor entry clearance visas for Turkish nationals is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/662518/entry-visas1-jul-sep-2017-tables.ods

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Tier 2 visas have been issued for pharmacists in each of the last three years.

The figures below show the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned in support of visa applications for Pharmacists in each of the last three years. A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is required to support all visa applications and a sponsor is required to enter a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code on their CoS. There is a SoC code for Pharmacists.

Assigning a CoS does not guarantee a visa will be issued.

2013 380

2014 380

2015 400

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 April 2016 to Question 32350, how many compliance visits have been carried out on Tier 2 ICT visa recipients employed by Tata Consulting Services in the UK over the last 12 months; and what aspects of employment were assessed on those compliance visits.

We routinely monitor all licensed sponsors to ensure they are meeting their duties and responsibilities. This includes undertaking visits to sponsors to inspect their compliance with the sponsor guidance. All visits to sponsors are undertaken according to published guidance which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/points-based-system-sponsor-management

We are, however, unable to comment on specific cases.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 April 2016 to Question 32350, how many compliance visits per employer that have taken place on Tier 2 ICT visa workers in the last 12 months.

In 2015 227 compliance visits were undertaken to Tier 2 sponsors who have the ability to sponsor individuals under the Tier 2 ICT route.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on whether any failure of IT systems on UK-based airlines has allowed any individual on her Department's no fly list to travel in the last 12 months.

The Government works closely with all carriers, not just British registered carriers, to connect their systems to the Government’s border systems to ensure those connections are operating properly and to ensure that any IT problems are identified and resolved. Should any circumstance arise where a carrier should have refused authority to carry an individual to the UK, that individual will be met on arrival. Border Force also conducts 100% checks at passport control on all passengers arriving in the UK by commercial air, rail or maritime services at passport controls. This includes screening against watch lists.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on whether any failure of IT systems on UK-based airlines led to passenger flight lists not being cross-referenced with her Department's (a) no fly list and (b) other relevant information in the last 12 months.

The Government works closely with all carriers, not just British registered carriers, to connect their systems to the Government’s border systems to ensure those connections are operating properly and to ensure that any IT problems are identified and resolved. Should any circumstance arise where a carrier should have refused authority to carry an individual to the UK, that individual will be met on arrival. Border Force also conducts 100% checks at passport control on all passengers arriving in the UK by commercial air, rail or maritime services at passport controls. This includes screening against watch lists.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what procedures her Department has to ensure that aviation watch lists are cross-referenced with passenger manifests; and what steps her Department takes in instances of failure of such procedures.

The Government works closely with all carriers, not just British registered carriers, to connect their systems to the Government’s border systems to ensure those connections are operating properly and to ensure that any IT problems are identified and resolved. Should any circumstance arise where a carrier should have refused authority to carry an individual to the UK, that individual will be met on arrival. Border Force also conducts 100% checks at passport control on all passengers arriving in the UK by commercial air, rail or maritime services at passport controls. This includes screening against watch lists.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2016 to Question 30500, what assistance is provided by National Crime Agency CEOP Command staff to local force investigations into child sexual abuse.

The National Crime Agency CEOP Command assists UK police forces to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse in a number of ways. This includes providing training and advice on specialist capabilities, specialist operational support, and expert child protection advice. For example, the Command assists local police forces with advice and guidance on interview and search strategies, categorisation of indecent images of children, victim identification and victim strategies. The wider NCA, including CEOP Command, also provides support to forces as set out in The NCA Commitment to Working in Partnership with UK Operational Powers, which is available on the NCA website.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2016 to Question 30500, what the alternative arrangements are that provide funding for National Crime Agency investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse.

The non-recent child sexual abuse investigations being conducted by the National Crime Agency are in response to requests from the Chief Officer of the local police forces. As such, the funding for these investigations is from the local police forces.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2016 to Question 31677, what the average salary is of people awarded Tier 2 (ICT) visas to work in the IT industry; and how many such visas have been awarded in each pay band in each of the last three years.

The Home Office does not hold this information in the format requested.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2016 Question 31677, how many Tier 2 (ICT) visa applications were denied because the Certificate of Sponsorship does not specify a salary of at least £28,400 in the last three years.

The Home Office does not hold this information in the format requested.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2016 to Question 31677, what checks are undertaken to ensure that the terms of a Tier 2 (ICT) visa Certificate of Sponsorship are adhered to.

A variety of checks are undertaken on sponsor licence holders and the migrants they assign certificates of sponsorship to. Compliance visits are undertaken during the licensing process and post-licensing audits are undertaken to verify the duties performed by the sponsored workers adhere to those set out by the sponsor in the certificate of sponsorship. Officers can request payslips, work contracts and evidence of duties performed by the sponsored worker during compliance visits. In some cases, other regulatory requirements are verified with other government departments or regulatory bodies during investigations of possible non-compliance. Officers can interview both sponsors and sponsored workers during compliance visits to seek assurances and gather information and evidence of compliance with the duties of sponsorship. Overseas we can undertake checks in to the credibility of the international presence of an ICT sponsor licence holder where there is concern to do so.

All roles are assessed to confirm the duties and salary meet the requirements set out in the standard occupation classification codes. The sponsored worker may also be called for interview during the visa consideration process to check their credibility and test the individual meets the requirements of sponsorship under Tier 2 (ICT).

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2016 to Question 31677, what the penalties are for an employer who has issued a Certificate of Sponsorship but does not adhere to the stated job description and salary.

Guidance for sponsors specifies that UKVI will revoke the licence of a sponsor who has issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) but has not adhered to the specified job description and/or salary. However, prior to the consideration of revocation action, UKVI will suspend the licence and allow the sponsor the opportunity to make representations against the matter(s) identified. UKVI does have residual discretion to apply a lesser sanctions depending on the severity of the matter(s) and the mitigating circumstances presented by the sponsor; these sanctions include downgrading the licence rating and issuing a time limited action plan or reducing the sponsor’s CoS allocation or setting the allocation to zero.

17th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether there is a limit on the number of Tier 2 (ICT) visas a company can apply for each year.

A Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) certificate of sponsorship (CoS) issued by a Tier 2 (ICT) licensed company is required for a migrant worker to be granted a Tier 2 (ICT) visa. There is no limit to the number of Tier 2 (ICT) CoS that a company can apply for each year. When applying for a sponsor licence the company must tell UKVI how many CoS they may need to the end of the financial year and justify why they need them.

Licensed companies with a proven history of compliance are automatically allocated the same number of CoS they used in the previous financial year. All other sponsors must request CoS each financial year and justify why they are needed. Additional CoS can be requested at any time by all licensed sponsors.

17th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what examination of job roles her Department undertakes when issuing Tier 2 (ICT) visas.

Each application for a Tier 2 (ICT) visa must be accompanied by a certificate of sponsorship (COS) issued by the applicant’s sponsor. The COS will set out the job description and the job role the applicant is required to perform, as well as the salary they will be paid and the hours of work they will undertake. The Secretary of State will examine the information on the COS against the codes of practice for skilled workers to ensure the criteria under the Tier 2 (ICT) arrangements are met. The codes of practice set out the relevant skill level and minimum rates of pay that apply to any job.

The Secretary of State may also consider whether the application meets the genuine vacancy requirements set out in the Immigration Rules. This assessment is to satisfy that the information in the certificate of sponsorship has not been tailored specifically to meet the requirements of the Tier 2 criteria.

Entry Clearance Officers within visa sections overseas also have the discretion to conduct additional assessments should they have concerns about specific sponsors. Further compliance checks are carried out after the visa has been issued during compliance visits to ensure roles are genuine and meet the appropriate skill level for sponsorship. Compliance officers routinely assess the credibility of the job roles and collect evidence that the duties of sponsored migrants are in accordance with those stated by the sponsor in the certificates of sponsorship.

17th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which companies have been issued with more than 50 Tier 2 (ICT) visas in a calendar year for each of the last five years; and how many visas for each such company were issued.

A list of the sponsors that have assigned more than 50 Tier 2 (ICT) Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) in a calendar year for each of the last five years, which also provides the figures of how many of those CoS were used in support of an individual Tier 2 (ICT) application, are to be placed in the House Library.

To break these figures down further into in and out of country applications, and whether the application was successful would require manual intervention and would exceed cost limits.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many dedicated Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) police officers transferred to the National Crime Agency in 2013; and how many police officers are in the CEOP Command in 2016.

Although NCA officers can be designated with the Powers of a Constable (and other powers), NCA officers are not police officers, nor were the SOCA officers that formed the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. When the NCA was launched on 7 October 2013, 99 posts were transferred into the NCA from the SOCA-affiliated Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. The NCA CEOP Command currently has 129 core posts.

At the WePROTECT Children Online Global Summit in December 2014, the Prime Minister announced an additional £10m would be provided in 2015/16 to create further specialist teams in the National Crime Agency to focus on the worst online child sexual exploitation and abuse offenders. This funding is enabling the National Crime Agency to target more offenders, strengthen victim identification and create additional intelligence and child protection advisor capabilities. This has included 174 additional posts (an increase on the 168 new posts envisaged when the NCA Annual Report and accounts were published last year). These 174 posts, are in addition to the NCA’s core posts and are all dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse, within the CEOP Command and supporting functions.

Specific funding for NCA investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse is provided through alternative arrangements. All of the National Crime Agency commands contribute to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse. NCA commands work collaboratively and are supported by specialist capabilities drawn from across the Agency.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the 168 posts advertised for the National Crime Agency in 2015 were allocated to Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command.

Although NCA officers can be designated with the Powers of a Constable (and other powers), NCA officers are not police officers, nor were the SOCA officers that formed the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. When the NCA was launched on 7 October 2013, 99 posts were transferred into the NCA from the SOCA-affiliated Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. The NCA CEOP Command currently has 129 core posts.

At the WePROTECT Children Online Global Summit in December 2014, the Prime Minister announced an additional £10m would be provided in 2015/16 to create further specialist teams in the National Crime Agency to focus on the worst online child sexual exploitation and abuse offenders. This funding is enabling the National Crime Agency to target more offenders, strengthen victim identification and create additional intelligence and child protection advisor capabilities. This has included 174 additional posts (an increase on the 168 new posts envisaged when the NCA Annual Report and accounts were published last year). These 174 posts, are in addition to the NCA’s core posts and are all dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse, within the CEOP Command and supporting functions.

Specific funding for NCA investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse is provided through alternative arrangements. All of the National Crime Agency commands contribute to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse. NCA commands work collaboratively and are supported by specialist capabilities drawn from across the Agency.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much of the £10 million allocated to the National Crime Agency to address child sexual exploitation is applied to investigations of historic child sexual abuse.

Although NCA officers can be designated with the Powers of a Constable (and other powers), NCA officers are not police officers, nor were the SOCA officers that formed the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. When the NCA was launched on 7 October 2013, 99 posts were transferred into the NCA from the SOCA-affiliated Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. The NCA CEOP Command currently has 129 core posts.

At the WePROTECT Children Online Global Summit in December 2014, the Prime Minister announced an additional £10m would be provided in 2015/16 to create further specialist teams in the National Crime Agency to focus on the worst online child sexual exploitation and abuse offenders. This funding is enabling the National Crime Agency to target more offenders, strengthen victim identification and create additional intelligence and child protection advisor capabilities. This has included 174 additional posts (an increase on the 168 new posts envisaged when the NCA Annual Report and accounts were published last year). These 174 posts, are in addition to the NCA’s core posts and are all dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse, within the CEOP Command and supporting functions.

Specific funding for NCA investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse is provided through alternative arrangements. All of the National Crime Agency commands contribute to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse. NCA commands work collaboratively and are supported by specialist capabilities drawn from across the Agency.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which police forces in England have had investigative assistance from the National Crime Agency.

As a national law enforcement agency, the National Crime Agency (NCA) works closely with and in support of all police forces in the UK in tackling serious and organised crime. Since its inception in October 2013 the NCA has provided investigative assistance to all police forces in England across a range of law enforcement activities and capabilities.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which commands in the National Crime Agency have worked on child sexual abuse cases in the last two years.

Although NCA officers can be designated with the Powers of a Constable (and other powers), NCA officers are not police officers, nor were the SOCA officers that formed the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. When the NCA was launched on 7 October 2013, 99 posts were transferred into the NCA from the SOCA-affiliated Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. The NCA CEOP Command currently has 129 core posts.

At the WePROTECT Children Online Global Summit in December 2014, the Prime Minister announced an additional £10m would be provided in 2015/16 to create further specialist teams in the National Crime Agency to focus on the worst online child sexual exploitation and abuse offenders. This funding is enabling the National Crime Agency to target more offenders, strengthen victim identification and create additional intelligence and child protection advisor capabilities. This has included 174 additional posts (an increase on the 168 new posts envisaged when the NCA Annual Report and accounts were published last year). These 174 posts, are in addition to the NCA’s core posts and are all dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse, within the CEOP Command and supporting functions.

Specific funding for NCA investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse is provided through alternative arrangements. All of the National Crime Agency commands contribute to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse. NCA commands work collaboratively and are supported by specialist capabilities drawn from across the Agency.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to issue a response to the Migration Advisory Committee review of Tier 2 visas.

The Government is carefully considering the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations and has not yet made its final decisions. We will announce our response in due course.

10th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many non-EU workers hold visas to work on IT projects in the UK.

Acquiring this information would involve examining each individual case record held by UKVI for the category. To do so would incur a disproportionate cost.

2nd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he will announce the procurement timetable for the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme; and what proportion of the build will be undertaken domestically.

The Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme is currently under review and a decision is expected this year. If a contract is placed, it is anticipated that circa 60% by value of the contract spend will be with UK suppliers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assurances he has received from Lockhead Martin on the (a) quality of the canopy adhesive used on the F35 and (b) effect on its stealth capability of that adhesive.

Investigations into F-35 production, maintenance and repair procedures have resulted in a change of adhesive to address incidents of canopy transparency delamination. Any impact on aircraft capability caused by the delamination is restored by repair or replacement of the canopy transparency.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many SMEs have been awarded Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contracts.

During 2018-19, 4,312 (36 per cent) of Dstl's contracts were awarded to Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what analysis he undertakes of social value when awarding contracts.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continually seeks to improve its public procurement and contract award processes to obtain the best commercial outcome for the taxpayer. We do this in a way that looks to strengthen our economy and prosperity where it is relevant to what is being procured and is fair and non-discriminatory.

To maximise UK economic benefits, the MOD uses the Treasury's Green Book framework when making investment decisions; this requires all assessments to be made on the basis of social value.

In competitive procurement, socio-economic factors can be used as criteria for awarding contracts providing they are relevant, proportionate and do not prejudice fair competition. Where appropriate, these factors are considered alongside traditional award criteria such as quality, cost and delivery, to ensure social value is fully considered and value for money is achieved.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of naming one of the future Type 31 frigates after Burslem, the mother town of the potteries.

The names of the Type 31 Frigates have already been proposed by the Navy Board and are awaiting final approval. Following approval, the names will be announced at appropriate opportunities in the future.

I have asked the Navy Board's Ships' Names and Badges Committee to note the proposal for the name 'Burslem' to be considered for a ship or submarine in the future.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) average and (b) longest time taken is for his Department to process war pensions in the latest period for which data is available.

The information requested is published within the annual National Statistics on awards under the War Pension Scheme. The latest information, as at 31 March 2019, can be found on the Gov.uk website at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/war-pension-recipients-index

16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of veterans with PTSD have been refused a war pension since 2010.

Information on the total number of veterans medically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not held.

However, between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2019 an estimated 6,730 veterans have claimed compensation for PTSD under the War Pension Scheme, of which 1,320 (19.5%) were unsuccessful.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment she makes of the potential merits of retaining sovereign capabilities when undertaking procurement contracts with SME suppliers; and where retaining sovereign capabilities ranks on the MOD Procurement scorecard.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a responsibility to procure the right capability for our Armed Forces and to ensure value for money for the taxpayer in the goods and services that we buy, regardless of the company's size.

We are clear that international competition is at the heart of our approach. This allows our Armed Forces to secure the best equipment from an open, global marketplace to meet evolving threats. We also recognise, however, that defence procurement needs to protect UK freedom of action and operational advantage. These strategic considerations shape our procurement strategies. Our refreshed Industrial Policy sets out the basis on which we will develop specific sector approaches to protect national security.

There is no single MOD procurement scorecard. Once we have launched a commercial competition, the MOD considers a wide range of factors when awarding our contracts to obtain the best value for money outcome for defence and the taxpayer.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the policy priorities are for Defence Equipment and Support with respect to procuring with domestic SME's in emergent markets.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD), including Defence Equipment and Support, has a responsibility to get the right capability for our Armed Forces and to ensure value for money for the taxpayer in the goods and services that we buy.

The MOD is committed to making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do business with defence. In March 2019, we published our SME Action Plan which explains how we will increase our spend with SMEs, and addresses behavioural, policy and process change.

I also chair SME Forums around the UK to understand the issues facing SMEs, the most recent of which was held on 9 May 2019 in Broughton.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress she has made with the procurement process for new body armour; and which companies have been shortlisted.

A project is under way to procure and support a range of ballistic and training plates to fit the VIRTUS body armour and load carriage system. It is currently in the assessment phase with tender returns due over the next three months. I am withholding the company names as their disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, whether he has made a risk assessment of the award of the AWACS contract to Boeing for the provision of the E-7 wedgetail.

The E-7 is based on the proven and widely used 737 NG aircraft generation of which nearly 7,000 have been produced since it was first introduced in 1996. The two recent tragic incidents involved the different 737 MAX aircraft generation. It would not be appropriate to speculate on these accidents until the competent regulatory bodies have issued their formal reports.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has received assurances from Capita that firefighters employed by them after the privatisation of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service will remain on comparable pay structures to those used by regional fire authorities.

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations) 2014 will apply to members of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service under any future contractual arrangements, including existing pay structures.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what resources were made available by his Department to the in-house team bidding to continue operating the Defence Fire and Rescue Service during the recent outsourcing process.

As part of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project the Ministry of Defence developed an 'in-house' value for money Benchmark. This was developed by an independent team made up of Civil Service personnel and fire officers who had access to independent consultancy support; this team was separate from the Defence Fire and Rescue Project Team. This work was conducted with the same project requirement as the outsourcing bids and with access to the same information.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contingency plans are in place to ensure continuity of Defence Fire and Rescue services in the event that Capita is no longer a viable entity.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 June 2018 to Question 155899 to the hon. Member for Stoke on Trent (Central) (Mr Snell).

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Serco is appealing the contract award for the outsourcing of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service to Capita; and if he will make a statement.

The contract award has been suspended until a legal challenge to the procurement is resolved.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps are being taken at each establishment covered by the Defence Fire and Rescue Service to account for any changes of provision by that service under the new contract; and what site-based risk assessments have been undertaken in connection with any such changes.

Any proposal to change the approach to fire risk management at a site following contract award will be conducted through an Integrated Fire Risk Management Plan conducted in collaboration with the Head of Establishment. Changes will not be implemented until they have been agreed at the appropriate level.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the contract awarded to Capita for the provision of Defence Fire and Rescue Services includes ongoing maintenance and testing of fire extinguishers.

Fire Extinguisher testing and maintenance is not within scope of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract, it is already done outside of it.

27th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to fund its share of the 2020 Invictus Games in the Hague.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has no plans to provide funding for the 2019 military adaptive sporting event for Service personnel and veterans or the 2020 Invictus Games. Both events will be delivered by a three-way partnership between the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the MOD. The partners recognise the impact on Invictus of the cessation of LIBOR money and have decided, therefore, to increase efforts to generate improved levels of sponsorship and donations. To facilitate this effort, the MOD has recently appointed a senior (one star) military officer to support the Partnership Board. This is in addition to the manpower which MOD already provides in support of the partnership.

27th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to contribute financially to the domestic sporting event being delivered by Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion for Veterans in 2019.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has no plans to provide funding for the 2019 military adaptive sporting event for Service personnel and veterans or the 2020 Invictus Games. Both events will be delivered by a three-way partnership between the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the MOD. The partners recognise the impact on Invictus of the cessation of LIBOR money and have decided, therefore, to increase efforts to generate improved levels of sponsorship and donations. To facilitate this effort, the MOD has recently appointed a senior (one star) military officer to support the Partnership Board. This is in addition to the manpower which MOD already provides in support of the partnership.

22nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans have been made under the Defence Fire and Rescue Project to ensure the Defence Fire and Rescue Service has the ability to deploy internationally.

No decision has been reached on the Defence Fire and Rescue Project but the ability to provide internationally deployable fire and rescue services will be part of any outcome from the project.

22nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to announce the outcome of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.

An announcement about the outcome of the project will be made in due course.

22nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the service specifications included in the proposed contract for the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.

The service requirements are part of an ongoing commercial process and cannot be published at this time. Releasable elements of the requirements are published in the contract documentation which Government procurement transparency rules require to be published following a contract award. These rules would apply to any future contract award in relation to the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.

23rd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the Continuity of Education Allowance payments made to each Service, by rank, over each of the last five years.

The requested information is provided in the attached tables.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the total amount owed by the Treasury to the Ministry of Defence for the Chancellor's use of RAF aircraft and helicopters to date.

Information on Ministerial travel is published on a quarterly transparency return on ww.gov.uk.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how may spare parts for RAF Typhoons have been used over the last (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months.

The information is not held in the format requested.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions the RAF has cannibalised Typhoon aircraft due to lack of available spares in order to keep up with operations and training programmes over the last (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months.

'Cannibalisation' is the routine maintenance practice of removing and recycling spare parts that are taken from one aircraft to be used on another, to ensure the maximum number of aircraft are available to meet the Typhoon flying requirement.

The information is not held in the format requested.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking in order to reduce cannibalism of equipment in the Armed Forces.

Cannibalisation or the use of fit parts for repairable equipment, is a recognised Defence practice for satisfying a material demand with a required delivery date and has been in place for decades in the Armed Forces. It is only used when all other sources of supply have been explored and is essential to protecting the operational programmes of the Armed Forces..

For the Army, cannibalisation, is an extreme option that may only be authorised by the operational Equipment Support Commander in order to support priority missions.

6th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the decision was made to extend the out-of-service date for the Red Arrows Hawk T1 aircraft to 2030.

The RAF last reviewed the Hawk T1 out of service date as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 and concluded that by reducing the amount of overall activity, the lifetime of the aircraft across the Hawk T1 fleet could be extended to 2030.

6th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the decision was made to extend the out-of-service date for the Red Arrows Hawk T1 aircraft to 2030.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Harriett Baldwin) gave her on 1 November 2017 to Question 109555.

6th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average length of service is for a Hawk T1 aircraft in a Red Arrows squadron.

The RAF rotates individual aircraft from the wider Hawk T1 fleet through the Red Arrows as part of routine fleet management. Aircraft do not therefore spend their entire service life with the team.

Although the maintenance and service life of individual aircraft will differ, it is expected the current aircraft will each serve an average of some 1,400 flying hours with the Red Arrows before they are returned to the wider Hawk T1 fleet for maintenance, transfer to another unit, storage or disposal. Some aircraft may also be transferred back to the Red Arrows in due course.

25th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the decision to extend the out-of-service date for the Hawk T1 aircraft was made.

The Hawk T1 fleet has undergone various upgrade and life extension programmes since delivery. The out-of-service date has been calculated with regards to the usual fleet management processes in place on the large remaining fleet of Hawk T1.

24th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent by his Department and the armed services on Typhoon spare parts in each financial year since 2010-11.

The cost of spare parts for Typhoon for each financial year (FY) since 2010-11 is shown below:

FY

£ million

2010-11

35.9

2011-12

41.4

2012-13

45.8

2013-14

56.6

2014-15

63.1

2015-16

63.4

2016-17

43.4

24th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the level of spare parts held by the armed forces for the UK's Typhoon squadrons was at the latest date for which figures are available.

Since August 2016, the RAF Typhoon fleet has been supported through the Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise contract (TyTAN). This is based on contracting for availability and provides sufficient spare parts to support the current forward available fleet and operational plan.

Typhoon EJ200 engines continue to be supported by the Partnered Support Operational Phase 3 (PSOP3) availability contract.

The current level of spare parts for the Typhoon fleet remains at a sufficient level to support the TyTAN and PSOP3 contracts and is shown below. The spares inventory will fluctuate over time as availability is proactively managed.

Quantity

Typhoon Airframe Inventory Spares

12,850

Engines EJ200

Uninstalled

118

Installed

222

24th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the recommended level of spare parts held by the armed forces for the UK's Typhoon squadrons is.

Since August 2016, the RAF Typhoon fleet has been supported through the Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise contract (TyTAN). This is based on contracting for availability and provides sufficient spare parts to support the current forward available fleet and operational plan.

Typhoon EJ200 engines continue to be supported by the Partnered Support Operational Phase 3 (PSOP3) availability contract.

The current level of spare parts for the Typhoon fleet remains at a sufficient level to support the TyTAN and PSOP3 contracts and is shown below. The spares inventory will fluctuate over time as availability is proactively managed.

Quantity

Typhoon Airframe Inventory Spares

12,850

Engines EJ200

Uninstalled

118

Installed

222

21st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what powers his Department has to create new unitary authorities.

The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, together with the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, provide powers for the Secretary of State, subject to Parliamentary approval, to implement, by secondary legislation proposals for unitarisation made by one or more councils in the area.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
20th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria his Department uses for the creation of new unitary authorities.

Our policy as stated in my Department’s Single Departmental Plan is that we will consider proposals for unitarisation and mergers when requested, and reach a judgment in-the-round as to whether the proposal, if implemented, is likely to improve the area’s local government, commands a good deal of local support in the area and whether the area itself is a credible geography for the proposed new structures.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
20th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his Department's policy is on the creation of new unitary authorities.

Our policy as stated in my Department’s Single Departmental Plan is that we will consider proposals for unitarisation and mergers when requested, and reach a judgment in-the-round as to whether the proposal, if implemented, is likely to improve the area’s local government, commands a good deal of local support in the area and whether the area itself is a credible geography for the proposed new structures.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
20th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which local authorities his Department has had discussions with on unitary authority status in the 12 months.

My Department has frequent discussions with local authorities on a wide range of issues which may include discussions about unitary authority status.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
15th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will meet the Leader of the House to discuss when the Government will next convene the Northern Ireland Grand Committee.

I would be happy to meet my Rt hon Friend the Leader of the House to discuss convening a meeting of the Northern Ireland Grand Committee if there is cross-party support for me doing so.


14th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of her powers contained in the Stormont House Agreement to determine what can be disclosed to victims' families.

The UK Government has made clear that it is committed to providing full disclosure to the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) for the purpose of its investigations. This will give the HIU access to very sensitive information, including information which would, if disclosed generally, damage the UK’s national security and put lives at risk.

As acknowledged in the Stormont House Agreement, the UK Government has a duty to ensure that sensitive information is not released publicly where to do so would put lives or national security at risk.

14th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which victims' groups she plans to meet to discuss legacy issues over the next 12 months.

I met the Victims Commissioner and the Victims and Survivors Forum this week. This Government has made greater progress on legacy issues than any of our predecessors and we remain committed to the delivery of the new bodies under the Stormont House Agreement. We will continue to engage with the political parties, Northern Ireland Executive and victims groups to achieve the consensus needed to bring forward legislation.

14th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what funding is being made available to the Police Service of Northern Ireland to investigate ongoing legacy issues.

The UK Government has agreed to provide up to £150m over five years (£30m a year) to support the work of the new legacy bodies proposed in the Stormont House Agreement. We remain committed to establishing the new bodies and I will continue to work with the political parties, Northern Ireland Executive and victims groups to achieve broad consensus for the legislation needed to do this.