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16 Feb 2006 : Column 2194W—continued

In-house Legal Services

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which proposals in the Compensation Bill will apply to in-house legal services provided by trades unions. [48631]

Bridget Prentice: Part 2 of the Compensation Bill provides the legislative base for introducing statutory regulation of claims management services. The primary aim is to regulate the activities of commercial claims management companies in certain sectors, to tackle bad practices and improve consumer safeguards. Where trades unions provide claims management services within a regulated sector, for example personal injury, they would be subject to regulation unless explicitly exempted—achieved by secondary legislation. The Government have indicated the intention to exempt trade unions, subject to the views of both Houses during the Bill's passage. We will take full account of concerns and other comments made in coming to a final decision on this issue.

Justice for All

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on progress towards meeting the target set out in the Justice for All White Paper 2002 to establish a secure portal to enable victims to track their cases online by 31 December 2005; when she expects such a portal to be available in every criminal justice area; and what assessment she has made of the reasons for the delay in meeting the target. [47532]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I have been asked to reply.

Following the concerns expressed by organisations representing victims and witnesses, and after victims and witnesses individually expressed a preference for dealing with trained intermediaries, it was considered inappropriate to deliver a secure internet service to enable victims to track their own case online, as defined in the Justice for All White Paper 2002. Instead, with Ministerial approval, an alternative solution was
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implemented. Following a successful pilot exercise, the No Witness No Justice" initiative was set up to provide Witness Care Units across England and Wales staffed by trained intermediaries, who understand the needs of victims and witnesses and are more responsive to their individual requirements.

To support these Witness Care Units a new witness care management tool, called the Witness Management System, has been created. This provides trained Witness Care Unit officers with access to existing case data stored on the Crown Prosecution Service Case Management System, as well as the ability to search the system by witnesses and to add/amend case details relating to victims and witnesses. These officers can, therefore, provide both victims and witnesses with key information, not only about the progress of their case but also about how the CJS works and what the next steps are likely to be.

The Witness Management System in use in 100 out of the 170 Witness Care Units in England and Wales and is already playing a key role in providing first class care for victims and witnesses. The roll-out to all Witness Care Units will be completed during the spring of 2006.

Land Registry

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Land Registry records whether a property purchaser is a first time buyer. [50884]

Bridget Prentice: Land Registry does not record this information.


British Library

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the British Library spent on purchasing (a) books, (b) stamps and (c) other items for collections in each of the last 10 years. [52313]

Mr. Lammy: The British Library's expenditure on purchasing items for its collections over the last ten years was as follows:
£ million

Other collection items1.091.142.671.111.42

Other collection items1.762.292.722.49

(1) These figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.
(2) Forecast.
1. Other collection items" include manuscripts, music scores, maps, newspapers, patents, sound recordings, theses and print and drawings.
2. Figures include both revenue and capital expenditure on acquisitions. Acquisitions expenditure arising from donations for purchase of major items is excluded due to its distorting effect on the figures.
3. In 1998–99 budgetary pressures meant the library had to undertake a large programme of journal cancellations and stop buying books that were regarded of low-use or lesser research significance.
4. In 1999–2000 the library was able to allocate more resources to acquisitions due to increased funding.
5. Expenditure on stamps was zero because the library acquires philatelic material by donation, bequest, transfer from other organisations or by loan.
6. A breakdown of expenditure in 1996–97 has not been provided because the information is only held in paper records which, if retrieved, would be unlikely to give the details requested. The total acquisitions expenditure for 1996–97 (excepting donations, as explained in note 2) is £13.7 million.

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British Museum

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent on acquisitions at the British Museum in each of the last five years. [52451]

Mr. Lammy: The British Museum has spent the following amounts on acquisitions in the last five years.
£ million

This includes items purchased using the museum's funds, items given in lieu of inheritance tax, items purchased with the help of donations and items donated to the museum.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what advice her Department has given to the Heritage Lottery Fund regarding sourcing timber from Burma. [52219]

Mr. Lammy: My Department has not issued the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with advice regarding the sourcing of timber from Burma, but has encouraged it to develop a policy on timber procurement with the assistance of the Central Point of Expertise on Timber. This is set out in guidance published by the HLF in January 2005.

Creative Partnerships Scheme

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of schools in England have received funding for arts education under her Department's Creative Partnership scheme in each year since the scheme began. [52380]

Mr. Lammy: Creative Partnerships does not provide direct funding for arts education in schools. Creative Partnerships works with schools to provide children
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with the opportunity to explore their creativity, working with creative organisations and individuals. The proportion of schools that have benefited from Creative Partnerships up to 2004–05 is set out in the table:
Proportion of schools(3)(%)
2002–031st Phase roll out—16 areas1
2004–052nd Phase roll out—9 further areas3

(3) LEA maintained and non-maintained specialist schools.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost of administering the Creative Partnerships scheme has been in each year since the scheme began. [52381]

Mr. Lammy: Creative Partnerships was established in 2002 in 16 areas and was expanded in a phased approach working in a total of 36 areas by September 2005.

The administration costs of Creative Partnerships are set out in the table:
Costs including National Office (£ million)

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people are working on the Creative Partnerships scheme. [52382]

Mr. Lammy: The number of staff currently employed to work directly on Creative Partnerships is 149.

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