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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the EU Advisory Committee on incentives in the field of employment is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. 
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Malcolm Wicks: The Committee on Community measures in the field of employment is due to meet next on 12 November 2002. Each Member State can only have one representative and for the UK the representative is drawn from the Department for Work and Pensions. That is because the business of the Committee is largely about the European Employment Strategy and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has lead responsibility for the Strategy. However, my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the Scottish Executive Ministers, Secretaries of the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive Ministers also have an interest. There is close contact between relevant officials to ensure that Ministerial responsibility is properly represented.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the EU Committee of the European Social Fund is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Committee of the European Social Fund (ESF) is next due to meet on 27 September 2002. Representatives from the Scottish Executive have attended the Committee but are not members.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the cost of an average funeral; what the value is of the funeral grant; what items it covers; and he will make a statement. 
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Malcolm Wicks: We are committed to providing a payment for a respectful funeral to people receiving income-related benefits or tax credits who have good reason for organising the funeral. Social Fund Funeral Payments provide help with necessary funeral charges; the items covered are set out in regulation 7 of the Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 1987, as amended, which are available in the Library.
In addition, up to £600 is allowed for other funeral expenses. This gives the person arranging the funeral the freedom to select the items or services they consider appropriate.
Funeral arrangements vary widely in expense and type across the country and it is not possible to price an average funeral. However, the average Funeral Payment award in 20002001 was £892. We keep the level of support provided to people with funeral costs under review.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the magazines and periodicals subscribed to by his Department, stating for each subscription (i) the number of copies taken, and (ii) the annual cost. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 26 April 2002]: Details of subscriptions taken by the Department's library and legal library have been placed in the Library. Subscriptions may also be taken at local level and information about these is not collected centrally.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the buildings owned by his Department and estimate the market value of each of them. 
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Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary (Paul Boateng) on 3 July, Official Report, column 339W.
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many hours of training are provided for judges and magistrates in relation to domestic violence. 
Yvette Cooper: Judicial Training is the responsibility of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) which is an independent non-departmental public body. It is chaired by Lord Justice Waller.
All newly appointed part-time judges, and all judges who are authorised to hear family cases, are required to attend a residential Induction course in the relevant jurisdiction. Thereafter, both full- and part-time judges attend residential continuation seminars every 3 years in each jurisdiction they exercise. The amount of training time provided on Domestic Violence in JSB courses and seminars is shown in the annexed table. Many judges also attend locally organised conferences.
In addition all full and part-time judges sitting in the Crown Court attend an annual one-day Circuit Seminar on sentencing issues, for which the theme last year was Domestic Violence. This provided, on average, up to 5 hours of additional training on this subject in 20002001
Although the overall framework for the training of magistrates is set by the JSB, statutory responsibility for delivery of training lies with individual Magistrates' Courts Committees. Information on the number of hours training on domestic Information on the number of hours training on domestic violence provided to magistrates in each committee area could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
|Criminal Induction||Sentencing exercise (15 mins)|
|Criminal Continuation||Sentencing exercise (15 mins)|
|Civil Induction||Domestic Violence 15 mins|
|Civil Induction||Committals 15 mins|
|Civil Continuation||Judicial Responses to Violence in the Home. 45 mins||Syndicate Exercises (45 mins)|
|Induction Course for District Judges Authorised under Section 8 Children Act 1989||Emergency Applications (45 mins)||Syndicate Exercises (45 mins)|
|Current Issues in Contact and Making Contact Work (20 mins)|
|Seminar for Potential Care Judges||Proof of Fact in Physical/Sexual Abuse (15 mins)|
|Induction (Private Family Law)||Proof of Fact in Physical/Sexual Abuse Cases (15mins) Applications for||Syndicate discussion (1 hour 30 mins)|
|Contact (4 hours) This comprises a talk by a circuit Judge with particular reference to the decision by the Court of Appeal in the case of Re LVMH, this report by Drs Sturge and Glaser and the Guidelines produced by the Advisory Board on Family Law. A talk by a Child psychiatrist and a plenary discussion Exclusion Orders and Non Molestation Orders (40 mins)|
|Continuation (Private Family Law)||Split Trials in Domestic Violence Cases (15 mins)||Syndicate discussion (1 hour 30 mins)|
|Psychiatric Perspective of Children with a Violent Parent (45 mins)|
|Injunctions and Committals (1 hour)|
19 Jul 2002 : Column 607W
Brian White: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what his policy is towards using open source software; and what percentage is used in his Department. 
Yvette Cooper: The Lord Chancellor's Department ICT Strategy (www.courtservice.gov.uk/info/reps/ict strategy.pdf) is committed to the use of open standards and the Department will follow the Government policy on the use of Open Source Software which is due to be published later in the summer. The draft policy on this subject is currently available at http://www.govtalk.gov.uk/rfc/rfc document.asp?docnum=429.
No percentage figures are available for usage within the Department, however the current deployment of Open Source Software is limited to a small number of specialist applications.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans there are to take payment of fines, pursuant to County Court judgments by switch and debit cards. 
Yvette Cooper: County Court judgments are principally paid directly to the person who is owed the money. Court leaflets advise the defendant to liaise with the claimant on which method of payment is most suitable, but suggest using a method which provides proof of payment. The only circumstance where payment of a judgment debt will be accepted by a court is where enforcement has been initiated, for example through a bailiff's warrant. In 2000 the Court Service piloted a system which gave the defendant the option of paying his/her judgment debt by debit card. The take up rate of this service was very low so it was decided not to implement this system across the courts at that time. We will keep this issue under review.
At present fines issued by county court judges for contempt of court can only be paid by cash or cheque. The Court Service is considering ways of providing court users with more choices in a number of areas, including payment methods. For instance, users can already issue a claim on line via the internet and pay the fee for that claim using a debit or credit card.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) what consultations were entered into with hon. Members prior to the second reading of the European Parliamentary Elections Bill [Lords]; 
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(2) what research his Department has undertaken on open lists, with specific reference to the European Parliamentary Elections Bill [Lords]. 
Yvette Cooper: The European Parliamentary Elections Bill is a consolidation Bill, which re-states in a single Bill the law currently contained in a number of Acts, without any change to its substance. It was considered by the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills, a committee of both Houses, in the usual way.
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