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John Bercow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has to reform the law relating to unmarried couples to provide legal protection for cohabitants in the case of relationship breakdown. 
Ms Harman: The Government have no plans to reform the law in this area. The Law Commission is working on a project on cohabitation as part of its ninth programme of law reform. The Law Commission is considering how the law affects cohabiting couples on the termination of their relationship by separation, or death, and the merits of providing greater legal protection. The Government will consider any recommendations made by the Law Commission when it reports in summer 2007.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many (a) households and (b) developments have adopted commonhold tenures since the introduction of commonhold. 
Ms Harman: As at 26 January 2006, there were seven commonholds registered at Land Registry: six in England and one in Wales. These comprise 97 units. 18 residential units have been transferred to unit-holders.
No statistics are available for unregistered commonhold developments, but proposals for a £500 million mixed-use commonhold, including up to 2,000 homes, were announced on behalf of the developer on 16 December 2005.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many inquiries were
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referred through to the community legal service by (a) citizens advice bureaux, (b) law centres, (c) high street solicitors and (d) other independent advice centres in the last year for which figures are available. 
Bridget Prentice: A variety of organisations, such as citizens advice bureaux, law centres and high street solicitors, provide advice under the Community Legal Service (CLS). Information is not held centrally on inquiries referred to, or between, CLS providers.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many inquiries were submitted through the Community Legal Service network in (a) Leicestershire and (b) England and Wales in each year between 2000 and 2005. 
Bridget Prentice: Information is not held centrally on inquiries referred to, or between, Community Legal Service providers. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) record numbers of new matter starts. New matters started in Leicestershire and England and Wales between 2000 and 2005 are set out in the following table.
|England and Wales||Leicestershire|
|Payments (£ million)|
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what research she has commissioned on the perceptions of (a) Citizens Advice Bureaux, (b) Law Centres, (c) high street solicitors and (d) other independent legal advice centres of the effectiveness of the Community Legal Service. 
The Department commissioned an independent review of the Community Legal Service (CLS) in 2004. This was conducted by Matrix Research and Consultancy. The review looked at how the CLS had impacted on the accessibility of legal advice services and the quality of provision. Key stakeholders and suppliers were consulted on their views and perceptions of the CLS.
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In 2005 the Legal Services Commission published a consultation paper, Making Legal Rights a Reality", outlining its proposals for the future development of the CLS. Key stakeholders and suppliers were consulted on the proposals outlined in the document.
Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Research Centre (LSRC) has conducted two surveys relating to the Community Legal Service and Civil and Social Justice since 2000 (covering England and Wales). The findings of the first of these surveys are available in the LSRC's Causes of Action: Civil Law and Social Justice" publication.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many inquiries were referred to the Community Legal Service in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by type. 
Bridget Prentice: A variety of organisations, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, Law Centres and High Street Solicitors, provide advice under the Community Legal Service (CLS). Information is not held centrally on inquiries referred through the Community Legal Service. The information in the table concerns new matters started, and certificates issued, in 200405 by suppliers contracted by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to deliver publicly funded advice through the CLS. This information is broken down by category.
|Matter type||New matter starts||Funding certificates granted|
|Actions Against the Police||4,551||918|
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact of section 1 of the Compensation Bill on the funding of employers' liability cases. 
Clause 1 of the Compensation Bill contains a provision relating to the law of negligence, which reflects the existing law and guidance given by the higher courts. It is not anticipated that this provision will have any impact on the funding of employers' liability cases.
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Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact of the Compensation Bill on the work of small claims courts. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the powers of the coroner to conduct inquiries into major public incidents; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: I am satisfied that coroners within England and Wales have sufficient powers to hold inquests into fatalities arising from major public incidents. I will be publishing a draft Bill to reform the coroner service, and to improve the law relating to coroners' functions, later this session.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2006, Official Report, column 490W, to the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald), on coroners, what is the timetable for the appointment of a judge to conduct inquests into the fatalities arising from the Potters Bar rail crash; and how soon she expects such inquests to be held. 
I understand that the coroner will proceed to set a date for the inquests and appoint a judge as his deputy once a current application for judicial review of a decision relating to the incident has been resolved.
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