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Q & A

21 Sep

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Homelessness: Children: Written question – 45358

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 07 September 2016

Department for Communities and Local Government

Homelessness: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the concluding observations of the recent UN Committee on the Rights of the Child fifth Period Report, what steps he plans to take to address the recommendation that the Government should strictly implement the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003 prohibiting the placement of homeless families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks.

Answer:

Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones

Answered on: 15 September 2016

I welcome the observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child fifth Period Report. The law is clear that bed and breakfast accommodation should be used to house homeless families only in an emergency, and then for no longer than six weeks.

The Government has been clear that the long term use of bed and breakfast accommodation for families with children is both unacceptable and unlawful and we are determined to stop this damaging practice. We have also changed the law so that councils can place families in decent and affordable private rented homes. This now means homeless households do not have to wait as long for settled accommodation, spending less time in temporary accommodation.

We have taken further action to tackle temporary accommodation. In December 2015, we launched a new £5 million fund to help the 25 councils facing the most significant homelessness pressures, to ensure people are moved from temporary accommodation and into suitable homes as soon as possible.

We are also devolving the Temporary Accommodation Management Fee, with more than equivalent funding, to local authorities from April 2017. This will provide more freedom and flexibility to help authorities tackle homelessness more effectively, and improve outcomes for homeless families.

21 Sep

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Bangladesh: Cancer: Written question – 45642

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 08 September 2016

Department for International Development

Bangladesh: Cancer

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of the Government’s aid to Bangladesh which is allocated to tackle child cancer in that country; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of that aid.

Answer:

Answered by: Rory Stewart

Answered on: 15 September 2016

In 2015/16, 11.5% of DFID’s programme spent in Bangladesh was spent on the Government of Bangladesh’s five year Health Sector Development programme. This includes support to cancer patients.

It is not possible to identify the exact amount of the UK government’s support for child cancer as this is part of many other diseases managed by the Health sector development programme. However, overall deaths in children less than 5 years of age are decreasing fast in Bangladesh. In 2007, the under-five death rate was 65 per 1000 live births. In 2014 it reduced to 46 deaths per 1000 live births. Bangladesh achieved the national target (48/ 1000 live births) for the millennium development goal (MDG-4) for child deaths, ahead of time.

21 Sep

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Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Written question – 45164

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 06 September 2016

Department for Communities and Local Government

Council Tax Reduction Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which of the recommendations made by the Ollerenshaw Review of Local Council Tax Support the Government plans to take forward; and when such recommendations will be implemented.

Answer:

Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones

Answered on: 14 September 2016

Sir Eric Ollerenshaw’s independent review recognised the successful implementation of local council tax support schemes by local government and made a number of recommendations which the government is now considering.

21 Sep

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Schools: Fire Extinguishers: Written question – 45102

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 06 September 2016

Department for Education

Schools: Fire Extinguishers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the effect on safety of buildings on pupils of removing the expectation from guidance that most new schools should have automatic fire sprinkler systems fitted.

Answer:

Answered by: Edward Timpson

Answered on: 14 September 2016

The Department has recently consulted stakeholders on proposed revisions to fire safety guidance, which seek to clarify when sprinklers will be fitted in schools. We are not changing the rules on fire safety. It has never been compulsory for sprinklers to be fitted in schools. All new schools must comply with building and fire safety regulations. Where it is concluded that sprinklers must be fitted to protect property or keep children safe, they will be. We are actively considering responses to the consultation and will respond in due course.

21 Sep

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Social Security Benefits: Written question – 45327

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 06 September 2016

Department for Work and Pensions

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 27 June 2016 to Question HL691, if the Government will publish the information it holds on the proportion of claimants affected by the lower benefit cap who are in receipt of (a) jobseeker’s allowance, (b) employment and support allowance and (c) income support.

Answer:

Answered by: Caroline Nokes

Answered on: 13 September 2016

The information is provided in the table below.

Estimated number of households affected by the lower cap levels by benefit receipt, 2016/17, GB

 

Benefit Type Estimated number of Households affected (000’s) Proportion of affected households
Employment and Support Allowance 19 21%
Income Support 43 49%
Jobseeker’s Allowance 19 21%
Other 8 9%
Total 88 100%

 

Notes:

  1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
  2. Estimates assume no behavioural responses – any behavioural responses to the lower cap, such as claimants moving into employment, would cause the number of households affected to reduce.
  3. The methodology used to estimate the households affected by the cap is consistent with that described in the latest impact assessment published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welfare-reform-and-work-act-impact-assessment-for-the-benefit-cap

The benefit cap will be lowered from 7th November from £26,000 to £20,000, except in London where it will be lowered to £23,000. To help ensure Local Authorities are able to protect the most vulnerable Housing Benefit claimants and to support households adjusting to our welfare reforms, the Government will provide £870m funding for Discretionary Housing Payments over the next 5 years. Information about this and other measures to ease the transition for families affected by this policy change is included in the latest impact assessment at the link above.

21 Sep

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Schools: Fire Extinguishers : Written question – 44870

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 05 September 2016

Home Office

Schools: Fire Extinguishers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions her Department had with the Department for Education before the decision to withdraw government guidance that most new schools are expected to be fitted with automatic fire sprinkler systems.

Answer:

Answered by: Brandon Lewis

Answered on: 12 September 2016

The Department for Education’s consultation on Fire Safety Design for Schools – Building Bulletin (BB) 100 Revised closed on 15 August and the Department for Education is considering responses.

We will engage with the Department for Education on its proposals on the way forward, ahead of its publication.

21 Sep

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Fire Prevention: Schools: Written question – 45103

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 06 September 2016

Home Office

Fire Prevention: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government’s chief fire and rescue advisor was consulted on changes to policy on fire safety policy for new school buildings.

Answer:

Answered by: Brandon Lewis

Answered on: 12 September 2016

The Department for Education’s consultation on Fire Safety Design for Schools – Building Bulletin (BB) 100 Revised closed on 15 August and the Department for Education is considering responses.

The Home Office, including the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, will engage with the Department for Education on its proposals on the way forward, ahead of its publication.

21 Sep

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Children’s Rights: Written question – 45292

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 06 September 2016

Department for Work and Pensions

Children’s Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what response he plans to make to the serious concerns raised by the recent UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in its concluding observations to its Fifth Period Report.

Answer:

Answered by: Damian Hinds

Answered on: 12 September 2016

In section V. paragraph B92 of the UN concluding observations, the UN Committee has invited the UK to submit its combined sixth and seventh periodic reports (including a response to the observations from this year’s examination) by 14 January 2022; it would therefore not be appropriate for me to pre-empt this report by anticipating what we might say in 2022. In any event, the Government regularly assesses the impacts of its policies and will continue to do so.

21 Sep

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Bangladesh: British Council: Written question – 44114

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Question:

Asked on: 02 September 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bangladesh: British Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions took place between (a) his Department and the British Council and (b) the UK High Commission in Dhaka and the British Council in Bangladesh before the decision was taken to close that Council’s centres in that country; and what timetable is in place for reopening those centres.

Answer:

Answered by: Alok Sharma

Answered on: 08 September 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK High Commission in Dhaka have maintained close contact with the British Council before and since the closure, following the 1 July terrorist attack at Holey Bakery. The Council has completed its security review and is taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of its staff and buildings before reopening.

28 Apr

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Elections: Tower Hamlets:Written question – 33188

April 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Q

Asked by Jim Fitzpatrick

(Poplar and Limehouse)

Asked on: 08 April 2016

Ministry of Justice

Elections: Tower Hamlets

33188

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions his Department has had with Chief Crown Prosecutors on the decision not to prosecute any individuals for suspected electoral and financial fraud committed in Tower Hamlets during the mayoral election there in 2014.

A

Answered by: Andrew Selous

Answered on: 18 April 2016

The Ministry of Justice has not had any discussions with Chief Crown Prosecutors on this matter.

Decisions on whether to charge or to prosecute individuals suspected of electoral and financial fraud in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are matters for the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. I refer my Honorable Friend to Mr. Marcus Jones’ response to Parliamentary Question 29350.

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP