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Mr. Levitt: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what telephone helplines to assist the public are administered by her Department and its agencies. [159499]

Jane Kennedy: The departmental headquarters operates a general telephone helpline facility for members of the public. The Court Service headquarters operates two helplines; a general customer service line and one that deals specifically with disability issues. The Crown court at Blackfriars operates a jury summoning helpline, Central London county court and Birmingham county court operate general helplines, as does the Immigration Appellate Authority in Loughborough. Most of the associated offices operate general inquiry lines that are manned during normal working hours; the judge Advocate General's office (four lines), the Public Guardianship Office (four lines), the Official Solicitor's Office (two lines), the Legal Services Ombudsman (one line) and the Council on Tribunals (one line). The Public Record Office has a contact centre to respond to inquiries from the public that uses an automated system with the option to speak to a member of staff. The 24 district land registries along with the Land Registry headquarters and land charges department operate a mixture of automated and manned helplines to assist the public.

Domestic Boundary Dispute

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) double registration and (b) other domestic boundary disputes were handled by the Land Registry in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999 and (d) 2000; of these, how many were (i) the

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subject of court action, (ii) resolved in court and (iii) settled in court on the basis of (A) loser pays winner's costs, (B) each party pays its own costs and (C) other arrangements for bearing costs; how long on average it took to settle such disputes; and what the average legal costs were for both parties combined. [159676]

Jane Kennedy: The Land Registry does not keep a record of the total number of boundary disputes which arise in cases it handles. It does, however, maintain a record of those cases in which an error in the extent of a registered title leads to the payment of indemnity under the Land Registration Act 1925. The figures for the last four financial years are as follows:

Number of cases

To determine how many of these related to (a) double registrations and (b) domestic properties would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

Immigration Appeals Tribunal

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans she has to review the Immigration Appeals Tribunal established in Scotland in February 1997. [159858]

Jane Kennedy: There are no current plans to review the tribunal in Scotland. In view of the impending move of the tribunal tier of the Immigration Appellate Authorities to a new premises in London later this year it is intended to undertake a review of the administrative process of the tribunal. The review will be carried out in consultation with users and will consider the most effective and fair way to deal with the increase in work resulting from the Government's dispersal initiative.

Special Advisers

Mr. Evans: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many special advisers worked in her Department from 1997 to date. [160037]

Jane Kennedy: The Lord Chancellor's Department has one special adviser, who joined the Department on 5 March 1998.

Mr. Evans: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the total cost was of employing special advisers in her Department from 1997 to date. [160046]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 1 May 2001, Official Report, column 607W.



Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the results from the

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second BSE survey of cattle aged over five years begun in May 2000 are available. [160400]

Mr. Nick Brown: Yes. 9,526 samples taken from cattle over five years old slaughtered in Great Britain under the over-30-months scheme (OTMS) between May and December 2000 were tested for BSE by histological examination of the brain. Of these 0.41 per cent. (39) tested positive. This compares with 0.45 per cent. (18) positive results by the same method of examination in the first survey in 1999 when 3,951 cattle aged over five years old were tested. These brain samples, and others that proved unsuitable for examination by histological examination are being further tested by means of a rapid test, and results will be reported as soon as they are available.

These results will be used to evaluate results of additional surveys of fallen stock or casualties, and to enable the decline of the BSE epidemic in Great Britain to be more fully analysed. Because of the OTMS none of these cattle would have gone into the food chain.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out his policy in respect of the vaccination of rare breeds during the present foot and mouth outbreak. [159591]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 April 2001]: The chief scientific adviser's foot and mouth disease science group said last month that it did not recommend a vaccination programme for rare breeds. In the light of this, the Government have not sought EC approval to vaccinate rare breeds. Following consultations, my right hon. Friend announced measures to protect rare breeds of sheep in his statements to the House on 26 April and these were covered in the joint instruction on slaughter policy on contiguous premises issued by the Ministry on 27 April.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his estimate is of the number of dairy herds unable to be inseminated for the purposes of continuing milk production. [156914]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: We are aware that the current ban on artificial insemination (AI) by technicians in infected areas will pose problems for some farmers, although we are not in a position to quantify the extent. On 29 April there were around 8,000 dairy holdings (as classified in the June 2000 agricultural census) in the infected areas in England. Not all of these will use AI; some will own a bull. Of those that do use AI, some will use the DIY method (where licensed movement of semen is permitted, subject to certain conditions) and others AI companies. We have already taken some action to alleviate the problems faced by farmers and we are actively considering other ways in which we can provide assistance in this area.

Flood Defences

Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list local authorities which have (a) indicated that they are unwilling or unable to inspect flood defences and critical watercourses and (b) failed to respond to the Environment Agency's inquiries on this. [159351]

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Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has provided the following information:

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