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Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people his Department estimates were entitled to receive their winter fuel payment but did not do so in (a) 200102, (b) 200203, (c) 200304, (d) 200405 and (e) 200506. 
Mr. Timms: Most people who qualify for a winter fuel payment do not need to make a claim because they are paid automatically from DWP records. Some people aged 60 or over who are not in receipt of a benefit administered by DWP do need to claim. Many men aged 6064, for example, fall into this category and need to claim. However, we do not have any estimate for how many eligible people have not claimed.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people his Department estimates did not receive their backdated winter fuel allowance for 200506 consequent on his Department's ruling that claims had to be made by 30 March 2006 for this winter. 
Mr. Timms: Using departmental records we issue claim forms automatically to people we can identify who may be newly eligible. We cannot identify everyone who may be newly eligible as some people have had no recent contact with the Department and we do not hold up-to-date address details. It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of how many eligible people have not received a winter fuel payment because they did not make a claim by 30 March 2006. In order to maximise take-up we run an extensive publicity campaign advising people how to claim their payment and giving details of the cut-off date for claims.
|Winter||Appeals received||Appeals allowed by tribunal (Number)||Appeals allowed by tribunal (Percentage)|
|2002||1,407||5||Less than 0.5|
|2003||1,157||2||Less than 0.5|
|2004||733||4||Less than 1|
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she plans to take to increase the number of cases presented to magistrates courts by designated caseworkers. 
The CPS has embarked on a recruitment, training and development programme to prepare sufficient numbers of designated caseworkers to handle a minimum of 16 per cent. of routine magistrates court sessions nationally in 200607. In some areas this figure will be much higher. Recently revised guidelines issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions expanded the range of cases capable of being handled by designated caseworkers; and CPS staff will work closely with their HMCS partners to seek better scheduling of cases suitable for presentation by designated caseworkers.
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether she plans to establish small prosecution case management teams, made up of designated caseworkers, administrative staff and lawyers responsible for reviewing and presenting cases from a single police division as recommended by the National Audit Office. 
As identified by the NAO in their visits to a number of operational units, particularly in Northumbria and South Wales, alignment of dedicated teams of CPS prosecutors, designated caseworkers and administrative staff, to police divisions/basic command units, and ideally servicing discrete magistrates courts, offered the best model for the effective local delivery of justice, both in terms of value for money, victim and witness care, and in promoting the confidence of the local community.
The CPS has initiated a programme of activity to restructure all operational units handling volume crime into a similar model, working in close partnership with police colleagues and the courts, and in line with current proposals for police reform, currently the subject of consultation.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment the Department has made of the impact of the bad character provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 on criminal proceedings. 
We have commissioned a research project to assess the impact on the courts of the bad character provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The researchers are due to complete their work by the end of 2006.
25 Apr 2006 : Column 1068W
James Duddridge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on voter participation of thenarrowness of the majority of the sitting hon. Member. 
Bridget Prentice: My Department has not made an assessment. Research into the relationship between voter participation and the contestability of seats has not led to a consensus on its impact. It is one of many factors which people may take into account in deciding whether to vote.
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what progress has been made towards making the Human Rights Act 1998 applicable to private providers of public functions; 
Bridget Prentice: My noble Friend the Minister for Human Rights (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) undertook that the Government would seek a case in which to argue for the its original intention as to the scope of the Human Rights Act 1998. A suitable case has been identified, and the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs has applied to intervene. We believe that a successful intervention would be the best resolution of this problem.
The Government nevertheless still intends to issue a consultation on the scope of the Human Rights Act in the context of the Discrimination Law Review. As part of this, my noble Friend is of course in contact with her ministerial colleagues, including the Minister for Women and Equality at the Department of Trade and Industry (Meg Munn).
Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) send an electoral registration form to every household each year at the annual canvass of electors, and a member of each household is required to complete and return the registration form to the ERO on behalf of all persons living there. The Electoral Administration Bill currently before Parliament places a duty on EROs to ensure electoral registers are complete. As part of this duty, EROs will be required where necessary to make house-to-house inquiries to ensure completed registration forms are returned for all eligible persons. Therefore illiterate, or semi-literate, electors may not have to complete the registration form by themselves.
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Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2006, Official Report, column 139W, on advertising and marketing campaigns, what financial limits will be placed on advertising of services by hospitals. 
Mr. Byrne: The initial principles set out in The NHS in England: The Operating Framework for 200607" state that providers will not want to spend excessively on marketing and are likely to welcome clear guidance on what is acceptable. As indicated in my earlier response, the Department is currently working with key stakeholders, such as the NHS Confederation, the Foundation Trust Network, the Healthcare Commission, and NHS Partners, in order to develop this guidance, which will be published later in the year.
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