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14 Mar 2005 : Column 102W—continued

Work-focused Interviews

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the target time is for the holding of a work-focused benefit interview following the initial claim by an individual for income support, incapacity benefit or job seeker's allowance; and what the average time between the initial call and the interview being conducted was at the job centres in (a) Blandford,
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(b) Bridport, (c) Christchurch, (d) Poole and (e) Wareham in the most recent period for which figures are available. [212339]

Mr. Pond [holding answer 3 March 2005]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, David Anderson. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from David Anderson to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 14 March 2005:


Census Records

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Lord Chancellor has ever exercised a power or authority to apply Public Records Act Instrument No. 12 (1966) to decennial population census records for England and Wales that have been retained by the Registrar General and have not been deposited in the Public Record Office/National Archives. [221178]

Mr. Leslie: Instrument number 12 was signed by the Lord Chancellor in exercise of the power conferred on him under section 5(1) of the Public Records Act 1958. This section governed access to public records in the Public Record Office, now The National Archives, including decennial population records held there.
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The Instrument did not cover those decennial census records held by the Registrar General, including those retained by him under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958, and from which the disclosure of information is protected by the provisions of section 8(2) of the Census Act 1920.

Magistrates/County Courts

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many (a) magistrates and (b) county courts there have been in each of the last 20 years. [221406]

Mr. Leslie: (a) The provision of magistrates courthouses and the collection of statistics relating to the numbers of courthouses is a matter for each of 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 (DCA). Since 2000, the DCA have collected the information in the table on the number of places used as magistrates courthouses:
Number of magistrates courts(33)

(33)This includes occasional places used as courtrooms (e.g. where a town hall" is used).

(b) Data and information on the number of county courts in each of the last 20 years is not available. However, data since 1989 is provided as follows.
Number of county courts

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the projects being undertaken by his Department in respect of which information cannot be given in answer to parliamentary questions as a result of commercial confidentiality. [216632]

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Mr. Leslie: A decision not to release information relating to any project as a result of commercial confidentiality is made on the basis of the specific request made in each parliamentary question.

An assessment of commercial confidentiality may apply to specific element within a project as well as to an entire project. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested.

Regional Offices

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what regional (a) bodies, (b) institutions, (c) taskforces, (d) panels, (e) offices and (f) organisations the Government have established since May 1997 which are the responsibility of his Department; [219910]

(2) which (a) non-departmental public bodies and (b) Executive agencies within the remit of his Department have regional offices based on the Government offices for the regions' regional structure; and when the regional offices were established in each case. [219915]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is responsible for two organisations which have regional offices. The Legal Services Commission, a non-departmental public body, was established under the Access to Justice Act 1999, replacing the Legal Aid Board. From January 2000, it adjusted its regional boundaries so that in the main they matched those of the Government offices for the regions 1 regional structure in England. However, in addition to the North West (Manchester) Regional Office, they have a Merseyside Regional Office.

The Court Service is an Executive agency of the DCA, which from the 1 April 2005 will become part of a new agency, Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS). Both the current and future agencies are made up of seven regions, which match Government regions with the following exceptions. For business reasons, HMCS combines the following into single regions:

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