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35. David Taylor: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what recent discussions the Commission has had with contractors and trade union representatives on the dispute with cleaners in the House. 
We will give bereaved relatives of victims of homicide a right to speak to the court after conviction but before sentence. At present, though they are the people most affected by the crime, they are the only ones who have to remain silent throughout the court proceedings.
I met last month with the Deputy Lord Chief Justice and have today written to him to tell him that we are considering piloting allowing victims relatives to speak in courts in about five courts from April next year.
The Government are taking forward a wide programme of work to prevent a compensation culture from developing; to tackle perceptions that can lead to a disproportionate fear of litigation and risk averse behaviour; to discourage and resist bad claims;
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and to improve the system for those with a valid claim for compensation. The Compensation Bill is an important part of that work.
Bridget Prentice: Community law centres play a key role in helping some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society. Their benefit to local communities is made possible by committed and dedicated staff.
23. Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the response of local authorities to applications under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: The Data Protection Act provides a robust framework of protection for individuals' data which properly balances that right with the legitimate interests of other individuals and organisations.
25. John Mann: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans shehas to regulate the activities of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers as a claims handler for industrial injuries. 
Bridget Prentice: The Compensation Bill will provide the legislative framework to introduce the statutory regulation of claims management activities. We intend to use the secondary legislation to exempt trade unions regulated by the Certification Officer from the new provisions, probably subject to conditions such as having regard to the regulators code of practice. Any claims management company established, owned or run by a trade union would not be included in any exemption.
Ms Harman: This is a joint initiative. My Department wrote to all magistrates courts committees on 15 December 2004 asking for expressions of interest in setting up a specialist DV court (SDVC). The responses were analysed, and a selection process established the first 25 specialist domestic violence court systems across England and Wales.
Bridget Prentice: On 23 November I published a report setting out the actions that the Government will take to ensure that talent in the legal profession is drawn from all sections of society, regardless of background.
Ms Harman: An internal review of the experiences of the new UK voting systems introduced for the devolved Administrations, the European Parliament and London Assembly elections is being conducted by officials within my Department. It is at an early stage, and any decisions regarding the next steps for the review will be taken in due course.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the sentinel birds at the quarantine centre in Essex were treated for avian influenza virus after the death of other birds was reported. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 24 November 2005]: The sentinel birds at the quarantine centre in Essex were not treated for the avian influenza virus. However, they were culled and tested for the disease, as is required by the quarantine rules. All were found to be negative.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of imported Brazilian beef on (a) British farmers and (b) the UK beef industry. 
Jim Knight: The United Kingdom is not self-sufficient in beef and requires supplies from third countries such as Brazil to meet consumer demand. Each year, around half of the beef imported into the UK from outside the European Union comes from Brazil. Such imports are a valuable source of raw material for our processing industry.
Our beef industry currently faces a number of challenges, including those arising from the ending of production based CAP subsidies and also in relation to the ending of the Over Thirty Month Scheme for cattle. My noble Friend, the Minister for Food and Farming (Lord Bach) recently hosted a high level meeting to bring the supply chain together to discuss the future, at which he also announced a package of measures worth around £8 million to help the beef sector move forward.
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