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1 Mar 2004 : Column 731Wcontinued
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was collected in fines at magistrates courts in the last year for which figures are available; and what proportion was allocated to (a) central Treasury funds and (b) local crime prevention schemes. 
In 200203 fines income from Magistrates Courts amounted to £121,202,780 of which £43,679,000 was used to fund enforcement activity. The balance of £77,523,780 was allocated to central Treasury funds.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many members of judicial offices in Northern Ireland are (a) female and (b) from an ethnic minority. 
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been paid to the Community Law Partnership of Birmingham by the Legal Services Commission and the Legal Aid Board in each of the last five accounting years for which figures are available; how many cases there were; what proportion of the sum in each year was paid to the Community Law Partnership for cases brought by or against (a) travellers or traveller families and (b) local and public authorities, broken down by authority; how many cases there were in each year; and how many of the cases funded in each year resulted in (i) a satisfied order for costs being made in favour of the client represented by the Community Law Partnership and (ii) an irrecoverable financial loss to the Legal Aid Board or the Legal Services Commission. 
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Mr. Lammy: The Community Law Partnership of Birmingham registered with the then Legal Aid Board in December 1998. Total payments made to the organisation for each full financial year since 19992000 were as follows.
|200304 (to 31 December 2003)||248|
|Total (1998 to December 2004)||1,470|
For the number of cases funded in each year which resulted in (i) a satisfied order for costs being made in favour of the client represented by the Community Law Partnership and (ii) an irrecoverable financial loss to the Legal Aid Board or the Legal Services Commission, please refer to the following table.
|Cases settled at nocost to the Fund||Cases closed with norecovery of costs ordamages|
|Number||Face value (£)||Number||Net cost (£)|
|200304 (to December 2004)49||218,200||159||296,700|
|Total (1998 December 2004)241||996,300||702||1,068,100|
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cost is per case for magistrates courts criminal cases in England and Wales of payments under the legal aid scheme to solicitors in private practice. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many days on average his Department took in Session 200203 to give a substantive answer to a parliamentary Question for Ordinary Written Answer; and what the greatest number of days taken to answer such a Question was. 
Mr. Leslie: On average, my Department took 6.6 sitting days to give a substantive answer to a Parliamentary Question for Ordinary Written Answer. The greatest number of days taken to answer an Ordinary Written Question was 55 sitting days.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what his Department's expenditure on recruitment advertising was in each of the last three years, broken down by publication; and what proportion of such expenditure was (a) to advertise vacant posts and (b) in the form of other general recruitment advertising. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans he has to introduce all-postal voting in trial constituencies for the next general election; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: None. A Bill proposing the conduct of all-postal pilots in selected electoral regions in this year's European parliamentary elections in June is currently under parliamentary consideration. Subject to the Bill's successful passage, the independent Electoral Commission will assess those schemes which are conducted. We will consider carefully the Commission's assessment and any recommendations before considering any extension of pilot schemes to parliamentary elections.
Mark Tami: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment the Department has made of (a) incentive schemes and (b) payments to encourage voter participation. 
Mr. Leslie: None. Any gift or promise of a gift of money, or any other 'Valuable consideration', to an elector is regarded under electoral legislation as a bribe even if the gift is made simply to encourage the elector to vote or refrain from voting. This is a basic feature of any democratic electoral system which purports to be
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open and fair to all electors. Paying electors or offering gifts to turn out to vote would be likely to increase the likelihood of electoral abuse and fraud.
Mark Tami: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what research the Department has collated into the propensity to vote of different social-economic groups. 
Mr. Leslie: None. The Government are able to draw from research undertaken by the independent Electoral Commission on the voting intentions of electors for the European parliamentary and London's Mayoral and Assembly elections in 2004 in its report, 'Public Opinion and the 2004 Elections'. The Commission has also published the reports 'Voter Engagement and Young People' and 'Voter engagement among Black and Minority Ethnic Communities' on those groups in society widely recognised as less likely to vote.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answers of 12 January 2004, Official Report, column 502W and 10 February, 2004 Official Report, column 1423W, on Cheadle Royal Hospital, (1) what assessment he has made of the full market value at the time of its transfer to AMEC in 1994 of charity land at Cheadle Royal Hospital which has become a 67 acre business park; 
(3) pursuant to the Answers of 12 January 2004, Official Report, column 502W and 10 February 2004, Official Report, column 1423W, on Cheadle Royal Hospital, which documents he has assessed to reach his conclusions. 
Fiona Mactaggart: These are matters for the Charity Commission as the Government Department responsible for the regulation of charities in England and Wales. The Director of Operations will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my reply will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answers of 12 January 2004, Official Report, column 502W and 10 February 2004, Official Report, column 1423W, on Cheadle Royal Hospital, what assessment he has made of the scrutiny arrangements with respect to the work of the Charity Commission. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Commission must report annually to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State who lays the report before Parliament. The Commission is audited by the National Audit Office, answers to the courts for its legal decisions and falls within the remit of the Public Accounts Committee. It has introduced administrative arrangements for challenge and review of
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formal decisions, and complaints systems including an independent reviewer. In respect of its administrative actions it comes within the investigative powers of the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
The Cabinet Office Strategy Unit's review of charity law and regulation recommended that it should continue to operate at arms' length from Ministers, with a modernised statement of purpose and accountability framework. The Government accepted these recommendations ("Charities and Not-for-Profits: A Modern Legal Framework", July 2003) and they will be reflected in the draft Charities Bill that will be published in the current Session.
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