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Mrs. Liddell: I have discussions with Executive Ministers on a wide range of issues. The Barnett Formula provides a fair deal for Scotland. It has provided stable settlements under successive governments for over 20 years.
25. Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the First Minister and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the European capital of culture competition 2008. 
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European City of Culture would be a boost for any of our cities and towns throughout the UK. I am very aware of the interest shown by Inverness and the Highlands in bidding to become the European City of Culture in 2008 and wish them well with their bid.
The Advocate-General for Scotland: I am always conscious of the need to secure value for money in my role as Advocate-General. The organisation of my office as part of the Scotland Office provides for efficient operation and contributes towards better value for money.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The pilot was launched on 1 October 2001. It is testing whether holding Court of Protection hearings locally for contested matters and fund management benefits parties by reducing the time, cost and anxiety involved in attending court. A full evaluation report will be available by the end of April 2002, but early indications are that local hearings will prove to be more convenient to parties, their families and their legal representatives. If successful, the Lord Chancellor will consider extending the scheme to other parts of England and Wales.
Mr. Wills: The hon. Member will be aware that decisions concerning the future of magistrates courts in the West Mercia area are for the West Mercia Magistrates' Courts Committee to determine, in consultation with the local paying authority.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what measures his Department uses to assess the work load in different magistrates' courts in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: Work load, in the form of completed cases, performed in the magistrates courts is collected by each of the 42 Magistrates Courts Committees (MCCs) and collated centrally. Each MCC provides the numbers of completed proceedings in one of 14 case types (as detailed
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in the attached list) and agreed weightings are applied to each case type to provide an overall unitary value of case load.
Indictable/triable either way
Youth (all categories)
Section 8 orders
Emergency Protection Orders
All other family
Right to Representation (formerly Legal aid).
Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Department has received six representations on the closure of magistrates courts in North Yorkshire. It is the Government's policy that decisions concerning the number, location and future of magistrates courts are for each magistrates courts committee to determine, in consultation with its local paying authority or authorities.
40. Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent discussions he has had with the central council of the magistrates courts committees concerning the Auld report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: I met with the central council of the magistrates courts committees on 31 January to discuss their views on Sir Robin Auld's review of the criminal courts. The central council have also submitted a written response to the report which is available on our website. Their views are being considered along with the other responses received and will help inform the Government's conclusions on the report's recommendations.
41. Mr. Connarty: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on the enforcement of maintenance agreements made by Scottish courts in English courts. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Under Scots Law a maintenance agreement can be drawn up by means of a Minute of Agreement. (This is an agreement entered into by two or more people, usually drawn up before a solicitor). If there is a clause of consent for registration in the Books of Council and Session and sheriff court, this can then be transferred under section 18 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.
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Section 18 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 deals with cross border judgments in the UK. In this section "judgment" can mean any document which in Scotland has been registered for execution in the Books of Council and Session or in the sheriff court books kept for any Sheriffdom. If a Minute of Agreement has been registered for execution, this can therefore be transferred to the appropriate court in England under that section.
An individual who is in possession of a Minute of Agreement, that has not been registered, has another option. For example, if a party did not subsequently adhere to the obligations stated in the minute, the other party would be able to present the Minute of Agreement to the appropriate court in Scotland and request that a maintenance order is granted. In the event that an order was granted, it could be transferred to another part of the UK under section 16(2)(b) of the Maintenance Orders Act 1950.
An order made in a Scottish court, in relation to either spousal or child maintenance can be transferred to the appropriate court in England for registration and enforcement under section 16(2)(b) of the Maintenance Orders Act 1950.
Subject to the provisions of section 18 of the Maintenance Orders Act 1950, a maintenance order registered in a court in any part of the United Kingdom may be enforced in that part of the United Kingdom to which it is sent in all respects as if it had been made by that court and as if that court had had jurisdiction to make it.
42. Mr. Amess: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what her policy is on payment of fees by the Legal Aid Board to members of the legal profession; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In making any remuneration order for publicly funded legal work administered through the Legal Services Commission (LSC), formerly the Legal Aid Board, the Lord Chancellor is required by section 25(3) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 to have regard to
Payments made to members of the legal profession for publicly funded work under the General Criminal or General Civil contracts are of an agreed monthly amount and are paid on a regular basis. In addition, the Lord Chancellor requires the Legal Services Commission to publish targets for bill processing and payment in their annual report. The Commission monitors performance against these targets on a monthly basis.
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