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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what proportion of returning officers submitted their form Ks after the general election on time and with all the information supplied; which returning officers failed to submit a form K; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: Under the representation of the People Regulations 2001, electoral registration officers (EROs) have access to the records of the local registrar of births, marriages and deaths for the purpose of their registration duties. EROs will also act upon any information received from other sources, such as the family of a deceased person.
Ms Harman: All 42 magistrates court areas took partin Operation Payback Two. Essex ran Operation Payback Two from 29 November through to 3 December, with visits to Southend West taking place on 1 December.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what criteria were used in
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making the decision not to make a statement to Parliament on the Department's plans to introduce an Innovations Fund for elections. 
The Innovations Fund will provide seed funding of £10,000 to up to 10 projects that will build, test and evaluate new tools, both online and offline, that will facilitate democratic engagement between Government and the public or between members of the public.
The Innovations Fund is a small, trial project with a maximum budget of £100,000 that is not directly related to the election process. It was therefore not considered to be of a large enough scale to announce in Parliament.
All projects funded by the Innovations Fund will have robust contracts in place to ensure that funding is allocated appropriately. The Innovations Fund is separate from proposals for administrative pilots at the May 2006 elections.
The Innovations fund will provide seed funding of approximately £10,000 to up to 10 projects that will build, test and evaluate new tools that will facilitate democratic engagement between elections, either online or offline, between government and the public or between members of the public.
The Innovations fund is not related to elections per se, but instead will fund projects that will explore ways of motivating and mobilising citizens to participate in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and their communities in between elections.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many (a) Crown court and (b) appeal court judges were convicted of a criminal offence in each year since 1975. 
Ms Harman: Convictions for serious criminal offences (i.e. those potentially or actually carrying a sentence of imprisonment) are considered by the Lord Chancellor as incompatible with holding judicial office. In the period since 1975, there has only been one such conviction (for smuggling) and the circuit judge in question was removed by the Lord Chancellor in 1983. The information on other convictions is not held centrally.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the judiciary in Chelmsford on the reform of the judges' lodging system; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the total cost was of each judge's lodging housing a judge sitting in Chelmsford Crown court in each of the last five years for which figures are available; on how many nights they were used by judges in each year; how many staff were employed in such lodgings in each year; and what the (a) capital value is of each freehold property and (b) surrender value is of each leasehold property. 
Ms Harman: There is only one judges' lodgings used by the High Court Judiciary sitting at Chelmsford Crown court. The property is owned by Essex county council and is hired as serviced accommodation under the terms of a license. I am therefore unable to supply the information on staffing, capital value, and the surrender value. The other information is given as follows.
|Total spend (£)||Judge nights occupation|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the written statement of 15 December 2005, Official Report, column162WS, on judicial pensions, what the evidential basis is for the deregistering of judicial pension schemes having no net cost; and if she will give an estimate for the (a) cost and (b) saving of each component of the reforms. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many and what proportion of judges she estimates will have pension funds larger than £1.5 million in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the tax yield from judges' pensions if they were subject to the provisions of the Finance Act 2004. 
It is not possible to provide an estimate of any lifetime allowance charge liability as this would depend on a number of factors, including the level of personal pension benefits, the effect of any relief under the transitional provisions of the Finance Act and the order in which judges chose to vest their personal and judicial pensions.
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Ms Harman: Candidates for the magistracy must be between 18 and 65 years of age and must demonstrate at interview each of the following six key qualities: good character, understanding and communication, social awareness, maturity and sound temperament, sound judgment, and commitment and reliability. Details of those factors which will act as a bar to appointment are set out in the Lord Chancellor's directions to Advisory Committees, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
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