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10 Dec 2002 : Column 274W—continued

Youth Provision (Battersea)

Martin Linton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what housing assistance is available to young people resident in Battersea who have left care homes or foster parents (a) over the age of 16 and (b) over the age of 18. [85523]

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Mr. McNulty: Care leavers in Battersea can obtain housing assistance from the London borough council for Wandsworth. Help is available through the housing providers that work with Wandsworth, such as Shaftesbury Homes and Aruthusa, NACRO and the Wandsworth Independent Living Scheme. The council also offer specialist services for the black minority ethnic community, offenders and young parents. Care leavers wishing to access these services can do so by contacting their social worker or Wandsworth's homeless persons unit. Alternatively the Connexions service personal advisers help those leaving care who may become homeless in Wandsworth through working with voluntary organisations such as Grenfell, Threshold and Patchwork Housing. Advice on services which are available to young people between 16 and 18 years of age is best obtained by an individual setting out their detailed circumstances to the agencies listed.


Carlson v. Townsend

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what action she has taken as a result of the judgment in the Court of Appeal in the case of Carlson v. Townsend. [86520]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The implications of the judgment in Carlson v. Townsend was one of the issues considered by the Personal Injury Protocol Working Party as part of its comprehensive review of the protocol. The findings of the working party will be considered as part of the on-going process of monitoring the working of the protocol.

Equal Access Workshops

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when workshops to examine difficulties of equal access to legal services took place; what the (a) cost and (b) purpose of each workshop was; what minority ethnic organisations she consulted on the programme of these events; how many persons and what organisations have been represented at events; and what plans she has for further events in the next 12 months. [86017]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Five Community Legal Service (CLS) Diversity Workshops have taken place. The target groups and the costs of the relevant workshops were as follows:

Children and Young People4,738.90
People with Disabilities3,668
Minority Ethnic Groups2,763.87
Older People616.58
Women's issues750

The purpose of the workshops was to see how access to legal help and advice could be improved for each of

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the five target groups. In particular the aim of the workshops was to assess the following issues as they specifically applied to the target group:

No minority ethnic organisations were consulted on the programme of the workshops.

A list of the organisations and the total number of people who attended the events is shown in the following list.

A decision has not yet been made about the number or nature of further events.

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Local Boundaries (Wales)

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether the review of local government boundaries in Wales will report in December. [85620]

Yvette Cooper: This is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

Medical Reports

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if the Lord Chancellor will issue directions to regulate the use of agreed medical reports. [86521]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My Department does not intend to regulate the use of agreed medical experts. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), allows parties in civil proceedings to instruct a single joint expert. To regulate this further would incur unnecessary costs and defeat the objectives of the CPR—to make civil disputes easier, quicker and cheaper to resolve.

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Personal Injury

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what monitoring has taken place on the Personal Injury Pre-action Protocol. [86519]

Ms Rosie Winterton: To assess pre-action behaviour and the effect of the protocols, the Civil Justice Council and the Law Society jointly commissioned research by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the University of Westminster. The report, XMore Civil Justice?", which was published on 25 April 2002, focused on three specific areas of dispute: personal injury, clinical negligence and housing disrepair. The study found that in all three areas there was evidence of a culture change and better communication between opposing sides, which has increased the number of claims settling without going to court.

The report included a number of recommendations that are being considered by the Personal Injury Working Party in the comprehensive review of the protocol that it is currently conducting.

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