April Written Questions

April 30, 2019

1. Question asked on 01/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to ensure that construction companies of all sizes provide at least one employee with occupational health awareness training.

 

Answer - All employers, including construction companies, are already required through existing legislation to ensure employees have appropriate occupational health related training. Employers have a general duty to provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, appropriate information, instruction and training as necessary to ensure the health of their employees. This training must be relevant, proportionate and effective so that employees are aware of the health hazards they face and the measures in place to control the risks arising from them.

 

This training can be undertaken in several ways, including via an existing national construction industry training framework. The Health and Safety Executive provides further information on training to assist employers in complying with their legal duties: http://www.hse.gov.uk/managing/delivering/do/organising/training.htm.

 

2. Question asked 01/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to tackle air pollution in Nottinghamshire.

 

Answer - This Government has taken strong action to improve air quality across the UK, including in Nottinghamshire.

 

On 20 November 2018, the Government approved Nottingham City Council’s plan to deliver compliance with legal limits of NO2 in the shortest possible time by retrofitting 171 buses with technology to reduce emissions (funded through the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund) and changing the age and emissions policy for hackney carriages and supporting an increase in low emission taxis. £1 million from the Government’s Clean Air Fund has been awarded to provide a licensing discount for drivers, a taxi rank with charging points, fund home chargers and expand the council’s ‘try before you buy’ scheme. The Government has already provided Nottingham with funding to support the conversion of the Council’s fleet.[1]

 

In addition to Nottingham City Council’s plan, which addresses the worst NO2 exceedances in Nottinghamshire, the Government has provided funding for a range of initiatives across the region which will improve air quality, including:

 

- £1.4 million to retrofit 112 buses in Nottinghamshire County Council (Clean Bus Technology Fund)[2];

 

- £7.9 million to support the purchase of ultra-low emission buses and supporting infrastructure in Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council (Low Emission Bus Scheme 2015 and Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme 2018)[3]&[4]; and

 

- £6.1 million to support Nottingham City Council (partnering with Nottinghamshire County Council and Derby City Council) becoming a Go Ultra Low City[5].

 

[1] The Government approves Nottingham’s air quality plan: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-approves-nottinghams-air-quality-plan

 

[2] The Government funding boost for bus industry in drive to improve air quality: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-funding-boost-for-bus-industry-in-drive-to-improve-air-quality

 

[3] Low Emission Bus Scheme 2015: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541695/low-emission-bus-scheme-winning-bidders.csv/preview

 

[4] Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme 2018:

 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/774207/ultra-low-emission-bus-scheme-winning-bidders.csv/preview

 

[5] Go Ultra Low Nottingham: https://www.transportnottingham.com/driving/ultra-low-emission-vehicles/

 

3. Question asked on 08/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the creative industries in the East Midlands.

 

Answer - Government recognises the role played by creative businesses, including media, right across the UK in local economic growth. Government supports this growth via tax credits, regional development programmes, relocation of Arms Length Bodies associated with the sector, rebasing of public sector broadcasters and putting ‘place’ at the heart of the Industrial Strategy. The department does not collect data on creative industries investment on a region-by-region basis.

 

DCMS funds Arms Length Bodies, which invest in arts and culture on a regional basis. These interventions support future skills and talent that go on to work in the Creative Industries. According to Arts Council England and British Film Institute data, the East Midlands have received grant-in-aid and lottery support of more than £127m since 2016. The East Midlands have also benefited from UK-wide programmes operated by these bodies.

 

Employing over 100,000 people, the East Midlands Creative Industries contributed £2.5bn to the UK economy in 2017. This was an increase of 9% since the previous year and represented faster growth than the wider national economy.

 

As part of the Audience of the Future immersive programme, a sector deal commitment, £4m was awarded to WEAVR – a virtual reality consortium which will work with leading academics and innovators across immersive technologies. This consortium is led by Leicester-based Turtle Entertainment UK.

 

4. Question asked on 05/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will ensure that apprenticeships of all levels including levels (a) 6 and (b) 7 will continue to be eligible for apprenticeship levy funding.

 

Answer - We are pleased that employers are choosing to move to new, higher-quality apprenticeship standards. Employers are designing higher-level apprenticeships that take longer, require more off-the-job training and as a result cost more, and that presents longer-term financial challenges.

 

We continue to make funding available for apprenticeships at all levels, including levels 6 and 7. We will keep our funding policy under review in order to ensure that apprenticeships continue to be affordable and offer value for money for the taxpayer.

 

In 2019-20, funding available for investment in apprenticeships will have increased to over £2.5 billion, double what was spent in 2010.

 

5. Question asked on 08/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of advances in the abilities of medical practitioners to diagnose silicosis.

 

Answer - The Department is committed to working in partnership with its arm’s length bodies, agencies and wider government to improve the lives of those with lung disease, including silicosis.

 

In January 2019 the Department published the NHS Long Term Plan, announcing its ambition to improve outcomes for those with respiratory disease to match, or exceed, our international counterparts.

 

The Long Term Plan includes commitments to expand access to programmes that support earlier diagnosis of silicosis: from 2019, the National Health Service will build on the existing NHS RightCare programme to reduce variation in the quality of spirometry testing. This will also include the expansion of the pioneering lung health checks trialled in Manchester and Liverpool and help detect a variety of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which can be caused by exposure to silica dust.

 

On 8 February 2019, NHS England announced that Targeted Lung Health Checks will be one of the first projects to roll out following the launch of the Long Term Plan.

 

6. Question asked on 11/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of care leavers in (a) Mansfield and (b) Nottinghamshire that have been homeless in each of the last five years.

 

Answer - ​There were no young people in Nottinghamshire local authority area aged 19 to 21 who were care leavers and classified as homeless or of no fixed abode in the last 5 years.

 

Figures for young people in Nottinghamshire local authority area aged 17 and 18 who were care leavers have only been collected since the year ending 31 March 2016. None of these young people were classified as homeless or of no fixed abode by the local authority.

 

The department does not collect data at parliamentary constituency level.

 

Further information on care leavers over the last 5 years in the Nottinghamshire local authority area is published by the department in the underlying data tables accompanying the statistical release, ‘Children looked after in England (including adoption): 2017 to 2018’. The latest release is available on the department’s statistical web page at:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

 

Previous releases can also be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-looked-after-children.

 

7. Question asked on 18/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps the Government has taken to enable small businesses in the East Midlands to increase their exports.

 

Answer pending. 

 

8. Question asked on 18/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the number of apprenticeships in Nottinghamshire.

 

Answer pending. 

 

9. Question asked on 18/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment he has made of the potential links between retail crime incidents and illegal drug use.

 

Answer pending. 

 

10. Question asked on 24/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of indoor sports provision in the East Midlands in each year since 2015.

 

Answer pending. 

 

11. Question asked on 24/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the results of Government-funded schemes to encourage more people to enter the teaching profession.

 

Answer pending. 

 

12. Question asked on 25/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of pupils who (a) were and (b) were not eligible for free school meals in their last year of compulsory secondary school (i) entered at least one A level, (ii) achieved three or more A-levels, (iii) achieved grades ABB or better at A level, and (iv) achieved A*A*A or better at A-level in the last year for which figures are available.

 

Answer pending. 

 

13. Question asked on 25/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to improve the diagnosis of autism in women.

 

Answer pending. 

 

14. Question asked on 25/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of funding available to support teacher recruitment beyond 2024.

 

Answer pending. 

 

15. Question asked on 26/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of pupils who (a) were and (b) were not eligible for pupil premium in their last year of compulsory secondary school (i) entered at least one A level, (ii) achieved three or more A-levels, (iii) achieved grades ABB or better at A level, and (iv) achieved A*A*A or better at A-level in the last year for which figures are available.

 

Answer pending. 

 

16. Question asked on 26/04/2019 - To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to raise awareness of lung cancer among people that have never smoked cigarettes.

 

Answer pending. 

 

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