|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, if he will list the (a) magistrates courts and (b) county courts which have been closed since May 1997. 
Mr. Leslie: The provision of magistrates courthouses is a matter for the 42 Magistrates Courts Committees (MCCs). From 1 April 2005 Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCS) will take responsibility for the administration of all courts below the House of Lords. HMCS will be an executive agency of the Department of Constitutional Affairs.
MCCs are not required by statute to inform my Department of magistrates court closures that are not subject to an appeal, although the Department does keep a complete record of county court closures. The information available to my Department on the county courts and magistrates courthouses which have closed since 1997 has been posted in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, if he will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of his Department, with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. 
Mr. Lammy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Europe to the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr. Hayes) on 29 November 2004, Official Report, column 10W.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, how many people were working on fines enforcement for each magistrates courts on (a) 1 April of each year since 2001 and (b) the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Leslie: The latest estimates are that there are approximately 1,900 magistrates courts staff working on criminal enforcement (including fines). Data for numbers of staff working on fine enforcement in individual magistrates' courts is not held centrally, and it is therefore not possible to provide a breakdown for each court. In addition no figures are available for preceding years.
Mr. Leslie: The records of the Privy Council Office show that 945 Charters have been granted since the year 1231. Many of those will no longer be in force, but the task of establishing which are still extant could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Leslie: The number of Charters granted in each year since 1974 is shown in the following table. Information on the number of Charters that have been surrendered in that period could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Number of charters granted|
Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps are taken to enforce conditions attached to Royal Charters; and who is responsible for such enforcement. 
Mr. Leslie: All amendments to Charters are subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council. Once a body has duly resolved to amend its Charter it sends the amendments to the Privy Council Office, who arrange for them to be considered by an ad hoc Committee of Council. If the Committee agrees that the amendments should be allowed they are put to Her Majesty in Council for approval.