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1 Feb 2006 : Column 489W—continued

Westminster Hall

Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will consider (a) replacing the temporary boarding fencing off Westminster Hall for building works with perspex screens and (b) creating perspex windows in the boards to allow visitors to the Palace and Officers to view Westminster Hall and the progress of works there until normal access is restored. [47202]


 
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Nick Harvey: Portholes are to be cut into the screen to allow a view of the works in progress and they will be complemented by a temporary information display. A photo montage is in the course of preparation which will give Members, staff and visitors a view of Westminster Hall.

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Coroners

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans the Department has to reform the law in relation to coroners. [44773]

Ms Harman: I intend to publish a draft Bill to reform the law in relation to coroners in the late spring. I plan to make a further statement shortly.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has received from the Hertfordshire coroner on the powers available to him to conduct appropriate inquiries into the Potter's Bar rail crash; and what response she has made to those representations. [44774]

Ms Harman: The Hertfordshire coroner wrote to my officials on 8 November 2005 questioning the adequacy of his powers to conduct inquests which would effectively investigate the fatalities arising from the Potters Bar rail crash. He stated that if such inquests went ahead, his other inquests would be delayed as a result. He further indicated that he would seek to appoint a judge as his deputy to conduct the inquests. It has been agreed in principle that a judge would be released to conduct the inquests and the coroner has been informed of this.

Court Service

Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average length of time was for the Court Service to notify the police of conviction details following a verdict in court for (a) all offences and (b) offences which require amendment of the sexual offenders register in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [44623]

Ms Harman: Information about the average length of time for the Courts Service to notify the police of conviction details following a verdict in court for (a) , all offences and (b) offences which require amendment of the sexual offenders register in the last 12 months is not recorded centrally. However, figures showing how expeditiously the Courts notify the police of all case outcomes, against a target time of three days are in the following table.

Magistrates courts
The production and despatch of the court register within three working days of the court hearing in England and Wales

AreaNumber of registers completed within the survey periodNumber of registers produced within 3 working daysPercentage of registers produced within 3 working days
October-December 200479,14370,93289.6
January-March 200581,40972,23388.7
April-June 200581,47072,21788.6
July-September 200581,46872,48989.0
12 month total323,490287,87189.0







 
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Crown court
The number of Crown court results to the Police National Computer (PNC) within three working days of the court hearing in England and Wales

AreaNumber of results completed within the survey periodNumber of results produced within 3 working daysPercentage of Results produced within 3 working days
October-December 200427,78221,95979.0
January-March 200525,54321,09282.6
April-June 200519,00115,74982.9
July-September 200511,92310,31186.5
12 month total84,24969,11182.0

Departmental Estate

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by her Department in (i) 2005–06 and (ii) 2006–07; and what the expected costs are of each project. [37410]

Ms Harman: My Department has (a) (i) undertaken no new building projects in 2005–06. (ii) My Department has no building projects planned for 2006–07. Building projects are defined as 'new builds' as per the Treasury guidance referred to as follows.

My Department has (b) (i) undertaken no refurbishment projects in 2005–06 and (ii) has no refurbishment projects planned for 2006–07. Refurbishment projects are defined as 'upgrading' as per the Treasury guidance referred to as follows.

The answer provided relates solely to building and refurbishment projects on the HQ estate of the Department for Constitutional Affairs. It does not cover HM Court Service, Associated Offices or NDPB's as this information is neither collated nor managed by DCA and to obtain it would incur a disproportionate cost.

Trials (Location)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many trials in (a) magistrates courts and (b) the Crown court were moved to a different location at the request of the (i) prosecution and (ii) defence in each year since 1990. [47185]

Ms Harman: Information on the reason for cases being transferred to a different location is not held centrally for either magistrates courts or the Crown court and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost to the Department.

WALES

Business Rates

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was raised in business rates in (a) Rhyl, (b) Prestatyn, (c) St. Asaph, (d) Bodelwyddan, (e) Rhuddlan, (f) Dyserth and (g) Denbigh in each of the last 10 years. [46171]

Nick Ainger: Figures for individual towns and communities are not held centrally, and I understand from Denbighshire county council that they could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
 
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Denbighshire county council's contribution to the non-domestic rates pool in each year since the re-organisation of local government is provided in the following table.
Contribution to the non-domestic rates pool by Denbighshire county council

£000
1996–9712,936
1997–9812,729
1998–9912,475
1999–200013,721
2000–0114,206
2001–0216,285
2002–0314,164
2003–0415,059
2004–0514,367

LEADER OF THE HOUSE

Members Travel Expenses

Tom Brake: To ask the Leader of the House how much was claimed by hon. Members for travel by (a) air, (b) rail and (c) motorcycle in the last two financial years for which figures are available; and what the 10 highest claims were in each year. [46257]

Mr. Hoon: The following figures report the cost of air and rail travel on parliamentary business within the UK plus certain European travel for the financial years 2003–04 and 2004–05. Details of claims relating to travel by motorbike are recorded together with claims for all forms of motor mileage and are not separately reportable.
£
10 highest claims
RailAir
2003–0418,20325,399
15,32819,648
15,30419,504
13,13819,223
12,63317,608
12,42916,381
12,41015,851
11,77515,696
11,29215,636
10,90615,591
Total claimed1,698,2071,295,780
2004–0519,04430,855
15,21624,151
14,06718,527
12,46617,943
12,02817,532
12,02117,074
11,95416,780
11,54016,383
11,33616,332
11,30516,289
Total claimed1,818,7041,234,017

 
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