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Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which agency has responsibility for the enforcement of warrants following the breach of a community court order; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: According to the Greater London Magistrates Courts Authority and other magistrates courts committees, the numbers of community penalty breach warrants issued between 1 April 2001 and 31 August 2001, which were not executed or withdrawn before 28 September 2001, are:
Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many warrants for breach of a community court order issued after 1 April remain unexecuted in (a) the London probation area, (b) the West Midlands probation area and (c) the Greater Manchester probation area; and if he will make a statement. 
Lead responsibility for execution of community penalty breach warrants was transferred from the police to magistrates courts committees on 1 April 2001. Each magistrates courts committee decides its own enforcement strategy. Some committees have elected to employ civilian enforcement officers or approved enforcement agencies to execute warrants; others have contracted this work back to the local police force.
(3) what estimate he has made of the total cost to business of the proposed EC Prospectus Directive; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2001, Official Report, column 798W, on the EC Prospectus Directive, if he will quantify the likely increase in the disclosure costs of small and medium sized companies. 
Ruth Kelly: An effective single passport for issuers was identified as a priority for completion of the single European market in financial services at the Lisbon Council in spring 2000. The UK Government's policy is that the prospectus directive should achieve this goal; and that it meets the aim of reducing the cost of raising capital for EU companies, especially SMEs.
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The directive, as currently drafted, could lead to an increase in the disclosure costs of issuers, and an increase in the cost to UK businesses of accessing capital by issuing securities. However, negotiations are at an early stage, and there are a number of issues that are as yet unclear, such as the directive's relationship with other existing directives, and the way that its provisions will be used. As the negotiations continue, the likely impact of the directive will be kept under close review.
HM Treasury has actively sought the views of interested parties, has received a significant number of submissions from the UK financial services industry, and is engaging with industry practitioners on an ongoing basis through round-table consultation meetings.
(3) if he will make a statement on the time taken before rating appeals are considered by the Valuation Office. 
Ruth Kelly: So far during the current financial year, a total of 132,847 appeals against the 2000 rating lists have been settled and they took an average of 314 days to settle. The average for each group valuation office area is not readily available.
Rating appeals received by the Valuation Office Agency are considered immediately and categorised accordingly. Where there is a question of hardship (including foot and mouth related appeals) they are given priority. Others are allocated to published programmes, whereby they are dealt with by category and chronology.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what action he took in (a) 1999 and (b) 2000 to assess whether the Financial Services Authority was in compliance with the service level agreement concluded on 18 December 1998; 
Ruth Kelly: Until the implementation of the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, interim arrangements have been in place. These are designed to create the benefits of the new regime as far as possible under existing legislation. Under these arrangements, the Treasury has contracted out to the FSA the prudential supervision of insurance companies.
Staff in both the financial regulation industry and corporate services directorates are involved in the service level agreement. Formal quarterly meetings are held to discuss insurance issues. In addition, Treasury and FSA officials meet frequently, either with other colleagues, or
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Mr. Gordon Brown: Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve my recommendation that next year a design showing the Royal Arms within a wreath of laurel should appear on the reverse of the gold sovereign.
The design is inspired by that on sovereigns struck during the first 50 years of the reign of Queen Victoria and for numismatists there will accordingly be a pleasing link between Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee of 1887 and next year's Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. The new design, whose use will be extended to half- sovereigns, double-sovereigns and five-pound pieces, will be adopted only for the Jubilee year, after which the regular design of St. George and the Dragon will be restored.
Ruth Kelly: Regulations are today being laid before Parliament to implement a regulatory regime for bureaux de change, cheque cashers and money transmission agents as recommended in the June 2000 PIU report "Recovering the Proceeds of Crime". The regime will come into force on 12 November.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when, and for what reason, he suspended the publication of job vacancy statistics; and when he expects to resume publication of such statistics. 
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Mr. Miliband: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many job vacancies there are in (a) South Shields, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the north-east; how many there were 12 months ago; and what is the national vacancy rate per 1,000 of population. 
|Jobcentres||April 2000||April 2001|
|Tyne and Wear||8,153||11,662|
|North East Region||17,654||23,586|
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