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Hywel Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will review the law relating to the theft of caravans. 
Hazel Blears: I have been asked to reply.
The Government sees no need for a review of the law in this area. Theft of caravans is already a criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. We continue to review ways of reducing this type of crime, working with key stakeholders through the Leisure Sector Theft Action Group, a sub group of the Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if the Government will seek to legislate to require the family courts to be satisfied that contact arrangements will be safe for children. 
Ms Harman: The Government are committed to supporting positive contact arrangements following parental separation where it is in the best interests of, and is safe for, the child.
Under the Children Act 1989, when making any decision pertinent to a child's upbringing, his or her welfare must be the court's paramount consideration.
Furthermore, with the introduction in January 2005 of Gateway" forms, it is now easier for those suffering from domestic violence to bring it to the courts' attention at the start of contact and residence proceedings.
The courts are required by the Children Act to consider any harm that a child may suffer before making a contact order. The definition of harm" was expressly clarified by Section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, commenced 31 January 2005, to include harm caused to a child by seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person.
In addition, the Children and Adoption Bill, currently before this House, would place a duty on CAFCASS to conduct a risk assessment in any private law proceedings where they are involved. This duty applies not only in cases where issues of harm are raised, but also in cases where the CAFCASS officer suspects that harm may be an issue. The CAFCASS officer is required to inform the court of the results of the risk assessment. That Bill would also allow courts to direct parties in contact proceedings to attend a domestic violence perpetrator programme to address violent behaviour.
These measures, taken together, will ensure that the family courts are in a position to make decisions on what contact arrangements may be safe, based on all the facts, as early as possible in the proceedings.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the availability of civil legal aid to people living in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. 
Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission contracts with service providers throughout England and Wales to provide a range of legal and advice services across different categories of law.
There are currently 19 service providers with a contract to undertake civil legal aid work in Hammersmith and Fulham. Service providers in Hammersmith and Fulham may help people who live outside the area, and people who live in Hammersmith and Fulham may visit a service provider in a different area.
Any person residing in England or Wales can access free quality legal advice and information through Community Legal Service Direct. This service is available direct to the public through a telephone line, website and information leaflets.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many offenders' cases (a) were brought to court and
30 Jan 2006 : Column 150W
(b) adjourned; how many trials were cancelled because the defendants were absent in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: Figures relating to how many offenders' cases (a) were brought to court and (b) adjourned; how many trials were cancelled because the defendants were absent in the last year for which figures are available; can be found in the following table.
|January 2005 to December 2005||Crown court||Magistrates court(46)|
|Cases listed for trial||38,264||170,842|
|Total ineffective trials||5,261||97,104|
|Defendant not present||1,281||8,555|
|Reasons for defendant not present|
|Defendant failed to attend||844||4,686|
|Defendant not produced by Prison Service||49||2,459|
|Defendant illtrial stood out||388||1,410|
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many civil servants in her Department worked from home for at least one day a week in the last year for which figures are available. 
Ms Harman: My Department does not centrally monitor the number of staff who work from home. The total number of days worked from home could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs. My Department's Work Life Balance policy encourages home working through formal agreements, informal and 'ad-hoc' arrangements as part of a range of flexible working options available to all staff. My Department's Work Life Balance policy is considered an example of best practice by external organisations such as Opportunity Now, Working Families and Carers UK.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the appointment of three new deputy lieutenants for Lancashire. 
Ms Harman: Deputy lieutenants are appointed by the Lord Lieutenant in accordance with section 2 of the Lieutenancies Act 1997, subject to confirmation that Her Majesty does not disapprove of their appointment. In November last year, my Department informed the Lord Lieutenant for Lancashire that Her Majesty did not disapprove of the appointment of six new deputy lieutenants. These appointments were subsequently gazetted on 16 December.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs who was consulted on the appointment of three new deputy lieutenants for Lancashire; which geographical area the three newly appointed deputy lieutenants come from; where the existing deputy lieutenants reside; and what steps are taken to ensure (a) that deputy lieutenants represent the geographical diversity of Lancashire and (b) that there is a political balance among the deputy lieutenants. 
Ms Harman: Before appointing any deputy lieutenant, the lord lieutenant is required to satisfy himself that Her Majesty does not disapprove of the appointment. In December 2005, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire appointed six new deputy lieutenants. They are: John Barnett, Esq, MBE, 33 North Park Drive, Blackpool FY3 8NJ; Edwin John Booth, Esq, Sykes Farm, Osbaldeston, Blackburn BB2 7LS; Mrs. Davina Margaret Dickson, Pointer House Farm, Langley Lane, Goosnargh, Preston PR3 2JS; Lt. Col. Edward John Downham, MBE, Knight Stainforth Farm, Knight Stainforth, Settle BD24 ODP; David Andrew Jones, Esq, MD, FRCS, Sugarcroft, Vicarage Lane, Blackburn BB1 9HY and Thomas Woodcock, Esq, LVO, Whiteholme, Slaidburn, Clitheroe BB7 3AE.
The allocation of deputy lieutenants to particular geographical areas is a matter for the lord lieutenant and lord lieutenants take geographical location into consideration when appointing deputy lieutenants. Information on membership of political parties is are not held centrally. Deputy lieutenants are, of course, aware that their role is essentially non-political and impartial.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the deputy lieutenants for Lancashire, indicating of which political party those who hold such membership are members. 
Ms Harman: I will place a list of the deputy lieutenants for Lancashire in the Library, shortly. My Department does not keep a record of the political affiliation, if any, of deputy lieutenants.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she plans to introduce proposals for custodial sentences for the abuse and unauthorised sale of government information. 
Ms Harman: Custodial sentences are already in place for the unauthorised disclosure of some types of government information, including tax and social security data. My Department, together with the Home Office, is currently considering whether custodial sentences would be an appropriate sanction for unauthorised disclosure of other types of personal information.
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