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Mr. Brady: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the compulsory retirement ages which apply to employees of his Department and of executive agencies and other public sector bodies for which it is responsible, broken down by grade or job title. 
Mr. Leslie: Information on the normal retirement age and on compulsory early retirement or severance for my Department and for the executive agencies and public sector bodies for which it is responsible is as follows:
The normal age of retirement for staff in all grades below the Senior Civil Service is 60 years. This is also the minimum age at which there can be retirement with full superannuation benefits. Retention beyond age 60 is possible subject to departmental needs and the continued health and efficiency of the individual member of staff.
Staff in the most junior grades who satisfy these criteria may continue in service until they reach the age of 65 years. Others who have not completed 20 years' reckonable service at age 60 may continue in post until they reach the age of 65 or complete 20 years' service, whichever occurs first.
Service beyond these limits to a maximum of 70 years is possible at management discretion. The Cabinet Office does not retain permanent employees beyond age 70 although it may be willing to consider a case in exceptional circumstances to meet an essential departmental need.
The Senior Civil Service has a common compulsory retirement age of 60 years in all departments. Retention beyond this age may be allowed if in the public interest and subject to departmental needs and the continued health and efficiency of an individual.
Government Office regional staff continue as members of their parent Departments and as such remain subject to their retirement policies in respect of age, compulsory early retirement or severance.
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1012W
Retirement policies in the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Government Car and Despatch Agency and the Central Office of Information closely follow the Cabinet Office model, with analogous discretions allowing for extensions of service.
As a pre-redundancy measure volunteers may be offered retirement on compulsory terms to avoid compulsory redundancy procedures. Staff may also be retired on compulsory early retirement or severance terms on grounds of structure, and on compulsory early retirement terms on grounds of limited efficiency. Early retirement applies to staff aged 50 or over; early severance applies to staff aged under 50.
Bob Russell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many people applied to be magistrates in the north Essex area in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wills: Figures are not available for the north Essex area on its own. However, for Essex as a whole the figures are: 199899160 applicants; 19992000225 applicants; 200001154 applicants.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will estimate the total running costs for buildings used, owned or rented by his Department for each nation and region of the UK, and estimate the average cost per square metre for properties used by his Department as a whole, and by region and nation of the UK. 
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1013W
Mr. Wills: Buildings used, owned or rented by the Department fall into two categories: those managed by the Court Service and those managed centrally by the Department. The Court Service manages the estate of all of the Crown Courts, county courts, the Supreme Court estate and probate estate, the Tribunal buildings and also regional administration buildings. Magistrates' courthouses are owned or leased by the local paying authority on behalf of Magistrates Courts Committees.
The running costs and average costs per square metre of Court Service buildings by nation are contained in Table 1 and the running costs and average costs per square metre by region are contained in Table 2.
Properties managed centrally by the Department include central administration buildings and associated offices. The running costs and average costs per square metre of these buildings by nation are contained in Table 3 and the running costs and average costs per square metre by region are contained in Table 4.
The estimate of the average cost per square metre for properties used by the Lord Chancellor's Department is contained in Table 5.
|Nation||Cash Expenditure||Cost per sq. metre|
|Cash Expenditure||Cost per sq. metre|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||15,445,887.21||226.55|
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1014W
|Nation||Cash Expenditure||Cost per sq. metre|
|Cash Expenditure||Cost per sq. metre|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||0.00||0.00|
|£ per sq. metre|
Mrs. May: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the number, value and location of properties newly leased in each of the last five years by her Department, broken down by those leased by the Department itself, its next steps agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, differentiating between purchases made as a result of the creation of new bodies and those purchases made by established bodies. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor's Department has leased 34 additional locations over the past five years for various parts of the organisation and for varying lease terms. Five of the locations are occupied by the Department or its associated offices (the Legal Services Ombudsman's Office); 24 for its executive agencies (The Court Service and the Public Guardianship Office) and five for its NDPBs (CAFCASS and the Public Defender Service Offices). The creation of CAFCASS and the Public Defender Service offices prompted the acquisition of new properties; expansion of the organisation and/or rationalisation of the departmental estate drove the remaining acquisitions. Full details of the acquisitions are set out in the schedule.
|Property||Location||Occupier||Demise||Annual rent (£)||Lease commenced|
|Department and associated offices|
|Southside||London||LCD||3rd Floor (front)||454,850||July 1999|
|Southside||London||LCD||3rd Floor (rear)||302,400||April 2000|
|30 Millbank||London||LCD||5th Floor||195,160||February 2001|
|Tower House||Bristol||LCD||Part 13th Floor||22,889||May 2001|
|Sunlight House||Manchester||LCD(64)||Suite 303||101,007||August 2001|
|Lincoln Group Manager's Office||Lincoln||Court Service||6,250||February 1997|
|Taylor House||London||Court Service(65)||775,000||July 1997|
|Oldham County Court||Oldham||Court Service||198,144||September 1997|
|London||Court Service (OSSCSC)||145,732.50||November 1998|
|Bangor Probate Registry||Bangor||Court Service||3,750||January 1998|
|Sheffield Group Manager's Office||Sheffield||Court Service||46,500||January 1999|
|First Avenue House||London||Court Service(66)||2,332,000||April 1999|
|Nottingham Group Manager's Office||Nottingham||Court Service||30,160||June 1999|
|Exeter Group Manager's Office||Exeter||Court Service||239,750||November 1999|
|Cambridge County Court||Cambridge||Court Service||171,000||November 1999|
|Uxbridge County Court||Uxbridge||Court Service||162,000||December 1999|
|Newcastle Group Manager's Office||Newcastle||Court Service||37,940||January 2000|
|Brighton Family Centre||Brighton||Court Service||176,000||March 2000|
|Farringdon||Court Service (IAA)||190,320||March 2000|
|Hounslow||Court Service (IAA)||100,035||March 2000|
|Ashford County Court||Ashford||Court Service||25,875||June 2000|
|Bromley||Court Service (IAA)||3,000||July 2000|
|Hounslow||Court Service (IAA)||125,440||August 2000|
|Glasgow||Court Service (IAA)||206,624||September 2000|
|Haverfordwest County Court||Haverfordwest||Court Service||32,095||October 2000(67)|
|Manchester Combined Tribunals||Manchester||Court Service||56,550.50||March 2001|
|Shrewsbury County Court||Shrewsbury||Court Service||47,000||June 2001|
|Breams Buildings||London||Court Service (IAA)||1,961,224||July 2001|
|Archway Tower(68)||London||Public Guardianship Office||884,000||April 2001|
|Non-departmental public bodies|
|Palace Street||London||CAFCASS||6th Floor||57,720||April 2001(69)|
|John Street North||Liverpool||Public Defenders Service (PDS)||(70)30,000||January 2001|
|Albert Road||Middlesbrough||PDS||(71)36,425||February 2001|
|Orchard Street||Swansea||PDS||(72)23,500||March 2001|
|Priory House||Birmingham||PDS||12,000||April 2001|
(64) Office of Legal Services Ombudsman
(65) Immigration Appellate AuthorityIAA
(66) Principle Registry of the Family Division
(67) Minor occupier in other Government building
(68) This lease was new to the Department but not new to Government
(69) For six months as a sublease from MAFF
(70) Rent free for six months
(71) Rent free for nine months
(72) Rent free for two years
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1015W
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