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Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many (a) cremations and (b) burials of deceased human bodies have been carried out in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
Ms Harman: I have made no assessment on the appointment of a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) (DJ (MC)) for Northamptonshire. Her Majesty's Court Service Area Director for Northamptonshire has recently considered making a bid for a DJ (MC) post this year but decided not to make an application this year.
Ms Harman: My Department introduced the Electoral Administration Bill on 11 October which will apply to Northern Ireland except clauses 9, 10, 11, 61 and 64 and related paragraphs in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will place in the Library copies of the submissions received by her Department as part of its consultation on the Electoral Administration Bill. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the numbers of unregistered voters for (a) the UK as a whole and (b) each region of the UK. 
Ms Harman: The Electoral Commission published its report Understanding Electoral Registration in September this year. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of registration rates and a detailed analysis of the reasons for non-registration.
The report shows that on 15 October 2000the date the report's analysis is basedthe level of non-registration among the eligible population in England and Wales was between 8 per cent. and 9 per cent.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps the Government are taking to improve the administration of elections, with particular reference to (a) ensuring access to voting for all, (b) securing the highest possible turnout and (c) reducing fraud. 
Ms Harman: I refer my hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement dated 11 October 2005, Official Report, column 17WS which sets out the measures we are taking to improve access to elections and reduce fraud. Improving turnout at elections is a complex issue, and something which we cannot address by legislation alone. However, some of the measures in the Billparticularly giving returning officers the power to promote elections and providing funding for them to do so, and also enabling people to register after an election has been calledwill assist further work in this area.
The Electoral Administration Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on Tuesday 11 October 2005, gives the Secretary of State the power to make regulations concerning the supply of certain electoral documents produced at UK elections,
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including copies of the marked register of electors. This regulatory power includes a provision to prescribe the form in which election documents are supplied.
Ms Harman: It is for the trial judge to determine if the witness being called to give expert evidence, including medical evidence, has acquired by study or experience sufficient knowledge of the subject to render his opinion of value in resolving the issues before the court.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has received from public bodies on their entitlement to withhold information requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
However, my Department, through the Clearing House, provides advice and assistance to Whitehall Departments on those requests for information that are particularly difficult or have implications across Government. Its advice is designed to ensure that a consistent and appropriate approach is taken to the application of the legislation. Since the Freedom of Information Act came into force on 1 January, nearly 3,000 cases have been referred to the Clearing House.
In addition, guidance is published on my Department's website for use by public bodies on (a) compliance with statutory requirements of the Act and (b) the appropriate application of exemptions to the Act. This information is freely available to all public bodies.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many judges have a physical disability; and what steps the Department takes (a) to monitor disability among the judiciary and (b) to make a judicial career more accessible to those with a disability. 
Full data on the incidence and type of disability in the serving judiciary are not currently available. We are currently considering how to improve the disability information we hold.
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We are working with organisations and individuals with an expertise or interest in disability equality, such as the Disability Rights Commission, to explore what more needs to be done to support disabled judges and candidates for appointment.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was
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levied in fines by each magistrates court in Greater London in each of the last five years; how much was written off by each court; and what percentage of fines was collected by each court. 
Ms Harman: Information on fines imposed and collected is provided by the 42 HMCS areas in England and Wales. The following table shows the total amounts imposed, total amounts written off and the payment rate in London for the last five financial years. Information broken down by individual magistrates courts is not centrally available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Financial year||Amount, imposed total (£)||New amount owed total (£)||Total amount/written off (£)||Payment rate(1)|
|April 2001-March 2002 (2)||60,828,532||77,640,695||13.916,583||46|
|April 2002-March 2003 (2)||64,793,641||111,347,014||13,688,849||40|
|April 2003-March 2004||51,000,859||59,713,621||15,324,667||66|
|April 2004-March 2005||39,674,566||60,260,556||1,038,403||68|
|April 2005-August 2005||17,988,694||24,676,677||257,540||60|
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been spent over the last five years on (a) maintaining and (b) refurbishing (i) Barry, (ii) Neath, (iii) Port Talbot and (iv) Aberdare magistrates courts. 
Ms Harman: Expenditure incurred on refurbishment was not separately recorded from other types of maintenance. The following table provides the aggregated sums recorded by the local authority, over the last five financial years, of spend on maintenance and capital maintenance projects. It is likely that the spend on capital maintenance was mainly in respect of refurbishment works.
|Magistrates court||Maintenance||Capital maintenance|
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