|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much the Government car service has paid to Transport for London in congestion charges since they were introduced. 
The responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car Despatch Agency. I have asked its chief executive Mr. Roy Burke to write to the right, hon. Member. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has received in connection with the current review of
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1654W
coroners services from (a) the National Missing Persons Helpline, (b) pathologists and (c) forensic scientists. 
Ms Harman: There have been three formal opportunities for representative groups, or particular organisations, to make submissions about coroner services in recent years: to the Shipman Inquiry; to the Fundamental Review of the Coroner System; and in response to the Government's consequent Position Paper in 2004. Representations have been received from the Royal College of Pathologists on all three occasions, together with a number of comments from individual pathologists; from the British Association of Forensic Science to the Fundamental Review; but no representations have been received from the National Missing Persons Helpline.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent discussions she has had with representatives of coroners courts on the identification of dead persons. 
Ms Harman: The Department for Constitutional Affairs wrote to all magistrates courts committees on 15 December 2004 asking for expressions of interest in setting up a specialist DV court (SDVC). Teesside magistrates court was not among those who responded and was therefore not included in the selection process for establishing the first 25 specialist domestic violence court systems across England and Wales. The Home Office has recently announced a further £1 million to develop and extend the programme further in 200607. As before, all areas across England and Wales will be invited to put themselves forward for inclusion in the programme and a further selection process is planned for early in the new year..
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what role the right hon. Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) played in the drafting of the Electoral Administration Bill. 
Ms Harman: The right hon. Member for Makerfield played no part in the drafting of the Bill. He is a Member of the Legislative Programme and the Constitutional Affairs sub-committee on Electoral Policy (CA(EP) which approved the content of the Bill.
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she is taking to increase the number of female (a) judges and (b) magistrates sitting in the Teesside courts. 
Ms Harman: The Department for Constitutional Affairs is taking forward a Judicial Diversity programme which is aimed at increasing applications for judicial office from groups currently under-represented in the judiciary, including women. The Judicial Diversity programme focuses on three main areas:
As part of the work to encourage applications and raise awareness, the Department is conducting a number of outreach events. Events were held at Newcastle Upon Tyne in June 2005 and at Bedlington magistrates court in October 2005 to inform lawyers about the appointments process and encourage them to apply.
There is a managed recruitment campaign in South Cleveland, aimed at encouraging members of the community to apply for the magistracy. My Department is currently supporting the local Advisory Committee's plans to recruit a further 15 magistrates. Together, we launched a major press and radio campaign at the beginning of October 2005. This was supplemented by a presentation at Teesside University on 3 October and an open day at Teesside Law Courts 22 October.
Ms Harman: The total number of female magistrates on the Teesside bench, that sits at Middlesbrough, is 131 out of a total of 310 (42.2 per cent.). The Langbaurgh East bench, which sits at Guisborough magistrates court, has 44 magistrates of which 19 are female (43.1 per cent.).
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answers of 7 November 2005, Official Report, columns 16566W, on the Great War Medal Index Cards, whether other (a) organisations and (b) museums were given the opportunity to bid for ownership of the cards; and how the Western Front Association was informed that the National Archives wished to pass on the cards. 
Ms Harman: The Ministry of Defence, together with the National Archives, held discussions with the Imperial War Museum (IWM), the National Army Museum, the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Women's Library and Lancashire Military Museums concerning the First World War Army Medal Index Cards.
The considerable publicity given to this subject last spring provided an opportunity for other organisations to express an interest in acquiring the cards. This publicity prompted the Western Front Association to contact the National Archives.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1656W
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has for the mentoring of junior salaried judges to encourage them to progress to higher judicial office. 
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much legal aid was paid to (a) solicitors, (b) junior counsel and (c) senior counsel in each year in England and Wales since 2000. 
Bridget Prentice: The table sets out the payments made both for the Community Legal Service and the Criminal Defence Service. Payment records at the Legal Services Commission do not differentiate between junior and senior counsel. The figures shown therefore account for payments made to all categories of barrister and solicitor.
The figures are gross (i.e. not the cost to public funds) and do not include payments to other people and organisations such as Not for Profit agencies, mediators, trainers and the service for providing police station telephone advice. Figures shown in the Legal Services Commission's annual reports do include such figures.
|Community legal service||Criminal defence service|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|