|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will take steps to prevent personal cross-examination of victims
21 Feb 2005 : Column 43W
by an alleged domestic violence perpetrator in (a) Crown court trials and (b) family court proceedings. 
Mr. Leslie: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of13 December 2004, Official Report, column 872W. There are no plans at present to legislate to prevent cross-examination of a witness by a defendant in the criminal court, or by a respondent in the family court.
Section 36 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 already gives the court discretion to prevent cross-examination by a defendant in person in criminal proceedings, if it appears to the court that the quality of the evidence given by the witness is likely to be diminished by such examination. The wide discretion afforded judges in hearing family proceedings gives them sufficient powers to ensure that victims can be protected from intrusive and unfair questioning by the respondent in family proceedings. They can offer assistance in how questions are framed and evidence is presented. The judge also has an inherent power to refuse to admit evidence at a trial if he considers that it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been spent on official ministerial (a) business cards, (b) headed paper and (c) compliment slips in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Lammy: My Department has spent the following amounts on ministerial stationery in the last two years. No central figures are held prior to April 2003 and to obtain them would incur a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lammy: Total cost for mobile phones for my Department which covers costs for the Court Service, the Public Guardianship Office and my Department's headquarters, was £72,000 in 199899, £225,000 in 19992000, £202,000 in 200001, £223,000 in 200102, £267,000 in 2002- 03, £296,000 in 200304 and £241,000 in 200405 (up to 31 December).
Dr. Evan Harris:
To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what
21 Feb 2005 : Column 44W
proportion of judgments made by district judges in the Principal Registry (a) went to appeal and (b) were successful or partially successful on appeal in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Leslie: The total number of cases dealt with by a district judge in the Principal Registry since April 2004 was 32,327 of which there were 73 appeals. The outcome of appeal hearings is not recorded centrally, and this information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs on how many occasions the Department's Ministers used the Queen's Flight in each of the past five years. 
Travel by Ministers makes clear that special flights may be authorised when a scheduled service is not available, or when it is essential to travel by air, but the requirements of official or Parliamentary business or security considerations or urgency preclude the journey being made a scheduled service. In respect of overseas travel by Ministers since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers, costing £500 or more during each financial year. The list published in 1999 covers the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 1999. Where RAF/Private Charter aircraft are used this is shown in the list. The Government have published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the list are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 200405 will be published in due course.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the cost of producing a staff identity pass was in the Department on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many staff identity passes have been reported lost or stolen in each year since 1997. 
Records of the number of lost or stolen identity passes were not kept until 2003 within my Department and the same year applies to the Wales Office. As a result, in 2003 113 passes were reported lost and 16 stolen from within my Department and none were reported as lost or stolen in the Wales Office. In 2004 to date, 140 passes have been reported lost in my Department and 13 stolen and in the Wales Office, five have been reported lost.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 45W
A new identity and access system was introduced in my Department in 2004 and as a result the cost of producing a pass is approximately £6.32 per pass. A similarly new system was introduced in the Wales Office in May 2003, with a cost of £6.04 per pass. Both costs have been established by identifying the cost of the equipment and the number of identity passes produced.
When a security pass is issued staff are required to sign a register confirming receipt and where appropriate return any old pass. When passes are lost or stolen all staff are requested to inform the Department as soon as possible and appropriate steps are taken to reduce the risk of unauthorised access into any of the Department's buildings.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether cattle in the early pre-patent stage of bovine tuberculosis may shed significant numbers of infectious organisms and thereby contributeto the spread of the disease by cattle to cattle spread. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if, following the outcome of the four counties study of bovine tuberculosis in Ireland, she will abandon the Krebs trials and adopt proactive controls on badger hotspot areas where there is significant incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle; 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have made it clear that we are prepared to consider a badger culling policy but only if the available scientific evidence supports this as a cost-effective and sustainable solution. We welcome the report of the Irish Four Area Culling Trial and have sought independent scientific advice on whether the findings are readily translatable to the situation in Great Britain. The advice we receive will be published on the Defra website.
At present, we have no plans to abandon the Randomised Badger Culling Trial. Significant results from the reactive element of the trial, notified to Ministers by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG), led to suspension of culling in the reactive treatment areas in November 2003. The ISG has undertaken to bring any significant results from the proactive element of the trial to Ministers' attention without delay. The ISG has advised that trial operations should be complete in early 2006 with final data analysis commencing shortly thereafter.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 46W
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has conducted on the possible use of polymerase chain reaction portable laboratories for the detection of bovine tuberculosis in badgers, their excretions or material contaminated by them. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment her Department has made of whether the conclusion of the four counties study on bovine tuberculosis in Ireland that reducing the badger population controls bovine tuberculosis is applicable to the UK; 
(2) what assessment her Department has made of the reasons for the differences in the outcomes between the four counties study of bovine tuberculosis in Ireland and the Krebs trial results so far reported; 
(5) if she will make a statement on the implications for control of bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales of the findings of the four counties study on bovine tuberculosis in Ireland regarding the effect of proactive culling of badgers on the rate at which herds become subject to a confirmed restriction. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We welcome the report of the Irish Four Area Culling Trial and are considering the implications of this work for bovine TB control in GB. We have sought advice from both the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB and the Godfray Group on whether the findings are readily translatable to the situation in Great Britain. The advice we receive will be published on the Defra website.
The data from the Irish Four Area Culling Trial will form part of the evidence base used in the models which we propose to utilise to assess potential policy options for the future, under the new bovine TB Strategy which we aim to publish shortly.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in how many herds in Cumbria, where purchased animals were introduced, cattle to cattle spread of bovine tuberculosis infection was judged by her officials to have occurred within the herd during 2004. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Seven of the 16 confirmed bovine tuberculosis breakdowns disclosed in Cumbria during 2004, were judged, by the Veterinary Officer, to have been introduced through purchased stock. This number is provisional pending culture results for incidents disclosed in the last quarter of 2004.
Three of the seven breakdowns were traced to purchased stock involving a single purchased reactor animal. In the remaining four breakdowns, all of the
21 Feb 2005 : Column 47W
reactors taken in the incident were purchased and did not include cattle which were not cattle born onto the holding in Cumbria. However, the possibility that transmission between one introduced animal and another when they were in Cumbria cannot be excluded.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether analyses of TB99 returns provide data on the number of tuberculosis breakdowns attributable to (a) cattle to cattle spread and (b) badger to cattle transmission. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No. Given the way the questions in the TB99 questionnaire were framed it is not possible to ascribe the relationship between cause and effect to particular risk factors, nor clearly attribute factors to a risk from cattle or wildlife. What the analyses do identify are the probabilities associated with certain risk factors.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which the spread of tuberculosis by infected cattle in the re-stocking period immediately after foot and mouth disease was eradicated in the UK during 2001 was influenced by the absence of pre-movement tuberculosis restrictions in cattle herds. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are aware that cattle to cattle spread of bovine TB has taken place as a result of restocking following foot and mouth disease and Defra is funding research, by Warwick University, that aims to (i) identify and estimate risk factors associated with the introduction of bovine TB in restocked farms and (ii) model transmission dynamics within cattle populations. The modelling work will take account of the exposure of cattle to badgers. The research project is due to end in 2006 and results will be published on the Defra website.
While no specific assessment has been made of the possible impact that pre-movement testing would have had on bovine TB in herds restocked following FMD, Government recognise that pre-movement TB testing is important as a mechanism to help prevent further spread of the disease. Defra's advice to farmers, published in the booklet 'TB in CattleReducing the Risk', has always been to consider private TB testing and isolation of any animals bought in to a herd. This advisory booklet has been available to farmers, free of charge, since 1999. Officials are currently working with stakeholders to develop detailed proposals to make pre-movement TB testing of cattle from the areas of the country most badly affected by bovine TB compulsory.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|