|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
23 Feb 2004 : Column 218Wcontinued
Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the letter sent by the hon. Member for Leicester, East to Miss Fitzmaurice on 2 December 2003, what progress has been made in finding the file of Mr. Balwant Singh. 
Mr. Lammy [pursuant to his answer, 2 February 2004, Official Report, c. 726W]: The previous answer stated that checks with the Immigration Nationality Directorate (IND) had confirmed that IND had not received the appeal papers for Mr. Balwant Singh. Following further checks with IND the appeal papers have been located and are currently being processed by IND before being lodged with the Immigration Appellate Authority for a substantive hearing.
Mr. Leslie: The Public Guardianship Office (PGO) expects to meet almost all of its key service delivery targets this financial year, and plans to set more challenging measures for next year so that, among other things, it answers a higher percentage of correspondence within target and deals with applications more efficiently. During 200405, the PGO will focus on quality improvement further to increase customer satisfaction in its services. A review of how complaints are handled has recently been initiated.
Mr. Leslie: The Public Guardianship Office (PGO) experienced severe service delivery problems during 200203 resulting in a large number of complaints (1,338 for the year) and key performance measures being missed. It has addressed these problems, so that this year numbers of complaints are well below those from the previous year (456 to end December 2003) and the PGO is on track to achieve almost all of its key performance measures at the end of March 2004.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will make a statement on constitutional changes necessary for the transfer of powers to regional assemblies. 
Voters in a region will first need to vote "yes" in a referendum under the Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003. An Act of Parliament will then be needed to establish elected regional assemblies, allow elections to take place, set out their constitution and transfer powers to them.
23 Feb 2004 : Column 219W
Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the benches in England and Wales which have not yet signed up to the Magistrates National Sentencing Guidelines; and what percentage of benches this figure represents. 
The Judicial Studies Board incorporated the revised Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines into the Adult Court Bench Book that was recently issued to all magistrates and their legal advisers via their Magistrates Courts' Committees. The guidelines will therefore be available within every magistrates court in England and Wales.
In court lay magistrates sit with their Justices' Clerk or a legal adviser. The Justices' Clerk has a statutory duty to provide advice to the magistrates on questions of law, practice and procedure. This will include advice on applying any case law and relevant Court of Appeal judgments when making decisions on sentence.
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) in how many small claims track cases the power to remit or waive court fees was exercised in 200203; 
Mr. Leslie: Information concerning the use of the powers mentioned above is not collected centrally. Information concerning the number of applications made for exemption or remission of court fees is collected but not in a manner that would enable it to be broken down as requested. During 200203 there were 234,872 such applications made in the county courts of England and Wales.
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs in what percentage of cases in the small claims track (a) the complainant and (b) the defendant was legally represented in 200203. 
Mr. Leslie: During 200203 there were 56,988 small claims cases dealt with in the county courts of England and Wales. Based on sample data collected centrally, in just over 41 per cent. of these cases the complainant was legally represented while the comparative figure for the defendant was nearly 32 per cent.
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when the fee bands for cases in the small claims track were fixed; and what plans there are to change them. 
23 Feb 2004 : Column 220W
23. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to restrict the admission of residents of the east European states which will be admitted to the EU in May. 
Beverley Hughes: From 1 May nationals of the Accession States have the right to free movement through all member states. The United Kingdom welcomes those who can contribute to our economy but will not allow people here purely to claim benefits. We will take the necessary action to ensure the United Kingdom is not open to abuse and will be announcing further details.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with Scottish Ministers about the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Bill. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that the letter of 4 December 2003 from the hon. Member for Castle Point on the future contracts for housing asylum seekers is answered within five days. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter dated 8 December 2003 from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan regarding his constituent, Mr. C. Ming of Fraserburgh. 
23 Feb 2004 : Column 221W
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 15 December 2003 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Shaikh Ijaz Ahmed; 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter to him dated 1 December 2003 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mrs. S. Ahmed. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter of the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, dated 13 December 2003, reference A485596; and what the reason is for the delay in responding to this inquiry. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|