Previous Section Index Home Page

End of Life Vehicles

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Government will comply with the EU directive on end of life vehicles. [62036]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

The Government will transpose the directive once it has decided upon the method of implementation that best suits the UK. Consultations with industry and other interested parties continue, to ensure that all the implications of this complex measure are properly understood. No other member state has yet transposed the directive into national law.

19 Jun 2002 : Column 427W


Child Contact Orders

Margaret Moran: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the targets for each year since 1997 set for the Lord Chancellor's Department to increase the number of contact orders in family proceedings. [62437]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor's Department first adopted a target 'to increase continued contact between children and the non-resident parent after a family breakdown, where this is in the best interest of the child', following the 2000 Spending Review. This target has not changed since then. The Department has set up a programme for the delivery of this target, including establishing a baseline for contact and setting up stakeholder groups to look at all aspects of contact, including the safety of both children and their parents.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent advice the Lord Chancellor has received regarding (a) Articles 12, 3 and 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and (b) the Human Rights Act 1998 in respect of private law cases involving child contact orders. [62427]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Advice to Ministers routinely covers the compliance of legislation and policy both with the Human Rights Act 1998 and with international Conventions that the UK has signed or ratified. This includes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Public Guardianship Office

Mr. Key: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the target time is for completing cases in the Public Guardianship Office; and in the last year how many cases have been completed (a) on target, (b) in one month, (c) in three months, (d) in six months, (e) in one year and (f) in over one year. [62011]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Public Guardianship Office supervises the finances of the mentally incapacitated. Its involvement in a case is ongoing while the client is mentally incapacitated. Therefore there are no target times for completing cases. The Public Guardianship Office publishes charter standards outlining commitments to service delivery for various aspects of case management including: responding to correspondence, making payments and appointing a receiver.

Child Witnesses

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the policy is of the Court Service on the treatment of children as witnesses in criminal cases. [60857]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I understand the hon. Member is concerned about the position in Northern Ireland. The Court Service there gives special consideration to child witnesses in accordance with the Courts' Charter for Northern Ireland. A range of facilities are provided at main court venues including separate child-friendly waiting rooms and live television links that enable children to give their evidence without having to enter courtrooms. The Court Service has also facilitated the

19 Jun 2002 : Column 428W

work of the Young Witness Service pilot scheme provided by the NSPCC, and will participate in the roll-out of that scheme to additional court venues in due course.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Soames: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the cost was in the financial year 2000–01 of judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings involving asylum seekers. [52765]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I apologise for the delay in replying. The cost to public funds of running the Immigration Appellate Authority for the year 2000–01 was £35.4 million. This does not, however, take account of accommodation costs and costs for court service provided services such as personnel and training. It should also be noted that these costs also cover the immigration work undertaken by the IAA as well as asylum cases.

Figures are not available for the running costs of asylum cases taken to the higher courts. The High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords do not break down their costs by case type.

In addition to this, the Legal Services Commission paid out £81.3 million in public funding (formerly known as legal aid) for Immigration and Asylum during 2000–01. Of this, £4.9 million was paid out for bills relating to representation at the High Court. The remainder (£76.4 million) was paid out for Legal Help and Controlled Legal Representation in immigration and asylum matters. The figures on Legal Help and Controlled Legal Representation include cases before the Immigration Adjudicator and Appeals Tribunal, but also include work carried out on cases that completed prior to a hearing (for example a successful initial application).

Magistrates (Warrington)

Helen Jones: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) how many people from Warrington, North constituency were serving as magistrates in Warrington (a) in 1997 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available; [32254]

Yvette Cooper: Pursuant to the replies of 12 February 2002, Official Report, columns 66 and 155W, I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising her concerns about the accuracy of those answers. As a result my hon. Friend the Member for North Swindon (Mr. Wills) commissioned further checks to be made and I regret to say that the figures given in original answers were not accurate. I apologise to my hon. Friend for the incorrect information she was given. There was no intention to mislead her or the House in so doing. In the preparation of the reply assumptions were made about the course of the constituency boundary which have turned out to be wrong. In the light of the further investigations, 41 per cent. of the magistrates currently serving on the Warrington bench live in the Warrington, North constituency and not 57 per cent.

As my hon. Friend has stated, the Cheshire Advisory Committee does find it harder to find people in Warrington generally who are prepared to put themselves

19 Jun 2002 : Column 429W

forward for appointment. The advisory sub-committee for Warrington is working closely with the local council and the press to do all it can to encourage people to put themselves forward. I know that the advisory committee would happily discuss with her any initiatives that she feels might assist, and the secretary of the committee has been asked to contact her to arrange a discussion. I agree with her entirely that it is important that people from all sections of the community throughout an area covered by a particular court feel able and are encouraged to put themselves forward for appointment as magistrates.


Medical Students

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many medical students have dropped out before the completion of their course in each of the last five years. [61434]

Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

Information on non-completion rates for higher education students broken down by subject is not held centrally. For full-time first degree students who began their studies in 1998–99, the overall non-completion rate for the UK was estimated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to be 17 per cent. England's completion rate is the second best in the OECD comparative league table.

Medical Schools

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on staffing levels at medical schools in London. [61468]

Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

The staffing levels at medical schools in London and elsewhere are for each institution to determine in the light of its operational needs and circumstances.

Coronary Heart Disease

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he expects his Department to meet milestone 3 of the milestones for hospitals admitting patients for the management of heart failure in the national service framework for coronary heart disease; what additional milestones he plans to set to promote quality of care; and if he will make a statement; [44695]

19 Jun 2002 : Column 430W

Ms Blears: Evidence from the primary care and coronary heart disease (CHD) collaboratives suggest that the primary care milestones 1 and 2 of the national service framework (NSF) for CHD are largely being met although we realise that the heart failure element is lagging behind the development of CHD registers more generally. Reports from the former regional offices indicate that hospital milestone 1 has also been met.

Progress towards the milestones is being monitored locally by strategic health authorities. The national focus has been on monitoring the immediate priorities. These were:

We are aware from individual contacts that protocols in both primary care and hospital settings are being developed. However, progress could be patchy as implementation of the NSF for CHD to date has focused on the immediate priorities. In due course, the commission of health improvement will provide an independent assessment of progress, including a specific review of the NSF for CHD.

With the focus on the immediate priorities, progress in the management of heart failure has not been as rapid as that in other areas. However, heart failure will be one of our key priorities during the middle phase of the overall 10-year NSF implementation programme. We are currently developing more detailed plans for improving services. We will consider whether there is a need for any additional milestones as part of this process.

Next Section Index Home Page