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Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proposals he has for co-ordinating Government and EU programmes in areas of high social and economic deprivation to maximise the impact such programmes have on building up social capital, economic activity, environmental improvement and public safety; and if he will make a statement. 
'A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal National Strategy Action Plan' was launched by the Prime Minister in January 2001. It sets out the Government's vision to narrow the gap between deprived areas and the rest of England, so that within 1020 years no one should be seriously disadvantaged by where they live. Our aim is to deliver economic prosperity, safe communities, high quality schools, decent housing, and better health to the poorest parts of the country.
This approach will focus main Government programmes explicitly on deprived areas and will require all sectors to work in partnership. The strategy is being spearheaded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, a cross-cutting unit based in DTLR and staffed by officials from across Whitehall and the public sector, with secondees from the private and voluntary sectors.
In respect of European Programmes, we are looking to the Regional Development Agencies. They have the main responsibility for regional economic development, and are key members of partnerships which deliver both domestic and European Funds to the programme areas. We are keeping the RDA role under review as the European programmes develop.
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will place in the Library copies of the evidence submitted to Lord Justice Auld's review of the criminal courts. 
Mr. Wills: Lord Justice Auld has not yet completed his review of the criminal courts. The Government will make arrangements for the evidence to be made available to the public once the report has been published.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if Lord Justice Auld has completed his review of the criminal courts; and what arrangements the Government have made for the publication of his report. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to review the sentencing policy of individual judges whose sentencing he has reason to believe does not reflect the severity of the cases heard. 
Mr. Wills: It would be improper for the Lord Chancellor to intervene in, or comment on, the sentence imposed in an individual case since to do so would undermine the independence of the judiciary. Within the statutory limits laid down by Parliament, the appropriate sentence in each individual case is entirely a matter for the discretion of the trial judge, who has heard the evidence, listened to the arguments and given in open court his reasons for the sentence imposed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will re-examine his Department's advice to judges on how to avoid any display of partisanship which might be considered party political. 
Mr. Wills: The current guidance given to judges on appointment advises them against engagement, in any capacity which might undermine, or be reasonably thought to undermine, their judicial independence or impartiality. A statement about the position of the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary was made by the Senior Law Lord in another place on 22 June 2000, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 41920, setting out the general principles on the participation of the Lords of Appeal in the business of the House of Lords. There are no plans to review the guidance.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government continue closely to monitor the situation of the OSS. Progress has been made in clearing the backlog of cases received by OSS prior to 1 January 2000. There is also evidence that in complaints received after that date, the OSS is beginning to achieve the quality and turnaround time targets that were agreed with the Government in December 2000.
Ms Rosie Winterton: In both 200001 and 200102 the Legal Services Commission has granted £15,000 to Mediation UK as part of a joint funding exercise to provide core funding that also includes the Home Office and the Department of Health.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) if he will initiate a study into the likely consequential effects of establishing a human rights commission on the existing arrangements for upholding laws relating to (a) equal opportunities, (b) sex discrimination, (c) racial discrimination, (d) disability rights and (e) child protection; 
Mr. Wills: The Government have not ruled out the possibility of a Human Rights Commission. We already have several commissions, however, for example the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission, and there may be a case for a single, over-arching human rights commission, with a divisional structure, to cover all these areas. The Government would welcome representations on that possibility. During the last Parliament, the Joint Committee on Human Rights issued a consultation document, seeking views on what form a human rights commission might take. We will consider very carefully any recommendations the reconstituted Joint Committee makes following this consultation.
Mr. Wills: The area of bailiff law is complex and requires careful consideration as part of a comprehensive enforcement system. The Government's forthcoming Green Paper on enforcement will include proposals for a single piece of bailiff law. The Government continue
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to believe that the broadened enforcement review, announced on 6 March this year, which includes structures for, and the regulation of, civil enforcement agents generally, not just within the High Court and county courts, affords an opportunity for real progress in our enforcement system.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the current state of the Libra computer project, including the total cost, specifying what sums expended are irrecoverable. 
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The second part is the development and implementation of a software application. This is part complete: there is a demonstration version dealing with criminal cases which has been well received by users improving how they operate; and developing the rest of the software is expected to delay full implementation until toward the end of next year, representing an overall delay to this part of the project of 15 to 18 months.
The total value of the Libra contract is estimated to be £319 million over the life of the contract at current prices and workloads. Payments made to date amount to £10 million (ex VAT) of which £7.8 million (ex VAT) are for office automation services delivered to the courts to an acceptable standard, and for which the question of recovery does not arise.