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12 Feb 2004 : Column 1666Wcontinued
12 Feb 2004 : Column 1667W
Mr. Jamieson: The 2002 estimate of the number of unlicensed (i.e. untaxed) vehicles is £1.76 million, of which 161,568 were declared as SORN 1 . This estimate includes £1.19 million vehicles in the car and light van category, of which 104,419 were declared as SORN.
I understand that many of the vehicles which are unlicensed are also uninsured. My Department is currently undertaking research to estimate the number of vehicles that are unlicensed, uninsured and without a valid MoT Certificate.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many owners of untaxed foreign cars were traced and brought into the car tax regime in the last year for which figures are available; and what recent estimate he has made of the number of untaxed foreign owned cars in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Jamieson: International agreements govern the use of motor vehicles in international traffic. The main principle is that a vehicle properly registered, taxed, insured and tested in its home country should not be subject to domestic laws of the host country during a temporary visit.
DVLA does not have information on the number of foreign owned cars registered in GB or those which are evading tax. Discussions are taking place with police and local authorities in an attempt to quantify the extent of the problem.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles he estimates are powered by (a) liquefied petroleum gas, (b) compressed natural gas, (c) petrol and (d) diesel, broken down by (i) cars, (ii) buses, (iii) coaches and (iv) trucks in (A) the UK, (B) the North West, (C) Lancashire and (D) Chorley. 
Mr. Jamieson: The following tables show the numbers of cars, buses/coaches and trucks broken down by fuel typegas, petrol and dieselfor Great Britain, the North West, Lancashire and Chorley, at the end of 2002. Unfortunately, data is only available for Great Britain and not for the UK. Gas refers to vehicles powered by gas, petrol/gas, gas/bi-fuel and gas/diesel, as available data is not broken down by liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas. Further, the available data is not broken down separately by buses and coaches.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many staff in his Department have been (a) suspended, (b) dismissed, (c) prosecuted and (d) convicted for involvement in benefit fraud in each of the last six years; and what the amounts involved in each of the cases listed were. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to his answer of 18 December 2003, Official Report, column 1112W, on the 1911 Census, for what reasons the 1921, 1951 and 1961 census records for England and Wales are listed in Public Records Act Instruments No. 5, No. 23 and No. 38; and whether those census records are closed to public inspection solely under the provisions of Public Records Act Instrument No.12. 
Mr. Leslie: Under S.3 (4) of the Public Records Act 1958, public records are usually transferred to the National Archives or an approved place of deposit not later than 30 years after their creation. However, they may be retained in departments if they are required for administrative purposes or another special reason. In these cases departments have to obtain the approval of the Lord Chancellor, after he has received the views of his Advisory Council on National Records and Archives. The present position is that Lord Chancellor's Instruments numbers 38 (1996) and 63 (2001) sanction the retention of the 1921, 1951 and 1961 census records by the Office for National Statistics for administrative purposes.
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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to his answer of 18 December 2003, Official Report, column 1112W, on the 1911 Census, how many applications were approved in each year from 1999 to 2003, under the provisions of section 5 (1) of the Public Records Act 1958, to reduce previously determined periods of closure on departmental records. 
Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average cost was per case for magistrates courts criminal cases dealt with in England and Wales by (a) solicitors in private practice and (b) the Criminal Defence Service in the last year for which figures are available. 
(a) The amount of money charged for private work by a solicitor, not funded by the Criminal Defence Service in private practice, for magistrates courts cases is a matter between the solicitor and client and as such this information is not held centrally.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when Sir Hayden Phillips started his review of the honours system; what the remit is of his review; when he is due to finish it; and if he will make a statement. 
The current review began in the summer of 2003. The review's remit is to consider how to introduce greater transparency into the honours process and how to ensure the Honours List is representative of society. Sir Hayden Phillips will deliver his report when it is completed.
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many complaints he has received in the last 12 months from members of the (a) legal profession and (b) public, concerning the competence of named judges; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: From 1 January to 31 December 2003, 1,113 complaints about members of the judiciary were received in the Judicial Correspondence Unit. The Unit does not keep statistics to allow the identification of complaints relating to 'judicial competence'. However, figures for the number of complaints relating to judicial decisions are available and show that 455 such complaints were received. Of these, 11 came from members of the legal profession and the remaining 444 from members of the public.
The principle of judicial independence, which is central to our constitutional arrangements, means that it is not open to the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor or his Department to consider complaints about judicial decisions. However, the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor does consider complaints about the personal conduct of individual Judges and other judicial office holders.
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