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Mr. Leslie: There are two LINK projects, one covering criminal business, and one covering civil business. As at 30 November 2004, on the criminal court side, 73 courts had received the new infrastructure. The target to deliver to 56 courts by the end of 200304 was achieved, and the project is on schedule to achieve its final objective of 110 sites in total. As at 30 November 2004, £116.61 million had been spent on the project. A further £57.04 million will be required to complete the rollout.
As at 30 November 2004, on the civil court side, 26 courts had received the new infrastructure. The target to deliver to four courts by the end 200304 was exceeded (nine courts were live by the end of 200304), and the project is on schedule to achieve its final objective of 60 sites in total. As at the 30 November 2004, £9.23 million had been spent on the project. A further £11.95 million will be required to complete the rollout.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many witnesses have provided evidence by video link from suites in courts for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses introduced under the LINK scheme since the introduction of such suites; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The LINK Infrastructure Project has been set up to deliver a comprehensive IT infrastructure to court staff and the Judiciary in the Crown court. It does not directly provide video link equipment in courts although it does enable these links where equipment is provided. 89 per cent. of Crown court centres now have some form of video link. Records are not being kept centrally of how many witnesses have used the video links since they were introduced for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many people work for the magistrates' courts services (a) in Wales and (b) in England, broken down by workplace. 
Mr. Leslie: The number of appeals made by paying authorities pursuant to section 56 (3) of the Justice of the Peace Act 1997 against the closure of magistrates' courts over the last three years is as follows.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many claims have been issued online in each year since the introduction of the Money Claim Online scheme. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much the Money Claim Online scheme has cost the Department to run in each calendar year since its introduction. 
Mr. Lammy: The cost to the Department of running Money Claim Online software systems in the first quarter to March 2002 was £221,286; in 200203 the cost was £885,144 and for the period April 2003 to September 2004 the cost was £442,572.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans the Department has to increase the amount for which fixed claims can be made by means of the Money Claim Online scheme. 
Mr. Lammy: My Department currently has no plans to increase the limit on the value of claims which can be made using Money Claim Online. This reflects present indications that only a small proportion of claims issued online are of a value close to the £100,000 limit.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) how many staff have been employed by the Office of Public Guardianship in each of the last two years; 
Mr. Lammy: The budget allocated to the Public Guardianship Office for the current financial year is made up of net administration costs of £17,540,000 and a capital budget of £1,500,000. These costs are offset against a projected net fee income of £13,960,000. In 200304 the Public Guardianship Office employed an average of 304 whole-time equivalent permanent civil servants, 116 agency staff and nine contract staff. In 200203 the Public Guardianship Office employed an average of 295 whole-time equivalent permanent staff, 159 agency staff and 14 contract staff. Full details of the Public Guardianship's financial position and staffing numbers are included in the Annual Reports and Accounts which were laid before Parliament on 26 October.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many written questions for the Department were unanswered when Parliament prorogued; and how many of the unanswered questions were tabled in each of the previous months of the 200304 Session. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many properties in (a) Nelson and (b) Colne have sold for less that £20,000 in each year since 1997. 
Separate figures below local authority level are not readily available. However, since Nelson and Colne are both within Pendle district council, the annual sales figures for the whole of Pendle from 1997 to 2003 were as follows.
|Number of residential property sales within Pendle district council at less than £20,000|
Mr. Lammy: The Better Regulation Task Force in its report, 'Better Routes to Redress' recommended that research should be carried out into the potential impact of raising the small claims limit for personal injury cases from the current limit of £1,000. In its response to the report, published on 10 November, the Government indicated its acceptance of this recommendation. The Government also indicated that it intended to review all the financial limits that define the small claims and fast tracks, and to also consider other options in addition to raising the small claims limit for personal injury.
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