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Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what her Departments expenditure was on legal aid for asylum and immigration cases in each year since 1997; and what the (a) budget allocation and (b) expenditure was on administration for such cases in 2005-06. 
|(1) The cost of civil representation has been estimated for these years.|
The figure for 2005-06 includes £5.7 million for administration. Administration expenditure is the proportion of the Commissions running costs that are directly or indirectly attributed to immigration and asylum. This expenditure was in line with the forecast for the year.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the total cost was of legal aid provision for under 18-year-olds who have sought to challenge antisocial behaviour orders in each year since their introduction. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make it her policy to ensure that overspending in the Legal Aid budget is not financed by reductions in the budget for HM Courts Services. 
Ms Harman: The Department must manage its total spending on legal aid, courts and other services within the limits set by the Treasury. The proposals in the report of Lord Carter, published on 13 July, set a basis for ensuring that in future the cost of the legal aid scheme within the spending of the Department as a whole is better managed and controlled.
Ms Harman: Since becoming the Minister of State for the Department for Constitutional Affairs in May 2005, my ministerial office has not been decorated. It was an existing office space that I inherited from the previous responsible Minister and was not decorated prior to my arrival. The office was not decorated during the tenure of the previous incumbent which dates back to 2003. To produce any costs for the years preceding this would incur a disproportionate cost as the Department for Constitutional Affairs was only created in June 2003.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many coroners have been appointed in Northern Ireland in the past two years; and what (a) experience in private practice as a lawyer and (b) other professional experience each of the appointees had. 
There have been three new coroners appointed in Northern Ireland in the past two years.
One of the appointees is a High Court Judge who was appointed to the office of coroner in May 2006 to be the Presiding Judge for the Coroners Service.
Of the two other appointees, one is a solicitor of 19 years standing of which one year was served in private practice and 18 years in public service, and the other is a barrister of 13 years standing of which six years were served in private practice and seven years in public service.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many people applied to become coroners in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years; and what experience as a private lawyer each had. 
Bridget Prentice: I am informed by the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission that 31 applications were received for the post of Coroner which was advertised earlier this year. The applicants experience in private practice ranged from none to 31 years.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many parliamentary questions tabled to her Department were awaiting a reply on 10 July 2006; which of those had been waiting longer than (a) two and (b) three weeks for a reply; and what the reason for the delay was in each case. 
Vera Baird: 98 parliamentary questions tabled to my Department were awaiting a reply on 10 July 2006. 13 of these were overdue with (a) three awaiting a reply longer than two weeks and (b) six awaiting a reply longer than three weeks. The remaining four were awaiting a reply for less than two weeks.
The reason for the delay in replying to the overdue questions is that in many cases the information requested was not readily available and in one case the information had been archived. While my ministerial colleagues and I fully understand the importance of meeting deadlines for parliamentary questions, we are also keen to ensure that the answers we give are as accurate as possible.
Ms Harman: At present we are piloting the Victims Advocate scheme, which offers legal advice to the families of murder and manslaughter victims. Decisions about the future of the Victims Advocates scheme will be taken when we have assessed the success of the pilots.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many security passes have been reported (a) lost and (b) stolen by staff in her Department in each year since February 2004. 
Bridget Prentice: In 2004, 395 security passes were reported lost and 22 reported stolen by staff within the Department for Constitutional Affairs. In 2005, 170 were reported lost and 24 stolen. In 2006, to date, 148 have been reported lost, and 6 stolen.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Official Report, column 1830W, on Sir Alistair Graham, for how many days Sir Alistair Graham claimed as a member of the Employment Appeals Tribunal in each year of his membership; and what his total remuneration was in each such year. 
Vera Baird: The number of days Sir Alistair Graham claimed for as a member of the Employment Appeals Tribunal in each year of his membership, and what his total remuneration was in each such year is a matter for his personal disclosure.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what meetings (a) she and (b) her officials have had with representatives of the United States Department of Justice in the last 12 months. 
Ms Harman: I have not met with any representative of the United States' Department of Justice. In January 2006 my officials organised an international conference on the codification of criminal procedures. The Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Legislation in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice attended the conference during the course of which he spoke on an informal basis with my officials. No other meetings between DCA and US Department of Justice officials have taken place in the last 12 months.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what criteria were used in selecting Crown courts for the pilot victims' advocates scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
The following criteria were used in selecting the courts for the Victims' Advocates pilot: (a) a mix of courts with wide geographical spread, (b) the pilot should cover courts in both urban and rural areas, (c) the courts should have large enough numbers of
murder and manslaughter trials for effective evaluation, (d) the level of local interest and enthusiasm for the scheme and (e) not overburdening courts with pilot schemes and other initiatives. The selection of the pilot courts was made in consultation with the President of the Queen's Bench Division. The President then wrote to the courts concerned asking them to take part in the pilot.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many court cases were included in the pilot for the victims' advocates scheme for the bereaved relatives of murder and manslaughter in each of the pilot Crown courts. 
Ms Harman: The pilot scheme applies to cases of murder and manslaughter in the pilot areas charged on or after 24 April 2006. As of mid-July, we are aware of 52 cases eligible for the scheme in the five pilot areas (three for the Birmingham pilot site, five in Cardiff pilot site, 36 in London pilot site, five in Manchester pilot site and three in Winchester pilot site). None of the cases has yet come to trial or resulted in a conviction.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average time was for dealing with persistent young offenders from arrest to sentence in each of the last five years. 
Ms Harman: The following table shows the average number of days from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders in England and Wales in each of the last five years. The table also shows the number persistent young offenders in England and Wales in each of the years, as is the convention with the statistic.
|Period||Days||Number of cases|
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what baseline transfers have been made from the Department of Work and Pensions to other central Government departments to reflect changes in funding responsibilities for Access to Work for their disabled employees since October 2006. 
Mrs. McGuire: The most recent independent assessment the Department for Work and Pensions has made of the effectiveness of the Access to Work programme was a study published in September 2002(1). The study involved case studies with participants and employers to assess the difference the programme makes in enabling users to take up and stay in work. The interviews with users and employers were carried out between September and December 2001.
Additionally, between July and October 2005, Access to Work Business Centres sent out 4,000 questionnaires to Access to Work customers, seeking their views on the service they had received. Of the customers who responded, 91 per cent. indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall service they had received from Access to Work.
(1) Evaluating the Impact of Access to Work: A Case Study Approach, Patricia Thornton and Anne Corden, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, Report number WAE 138, September 2002.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures will be put in place to monitor and prevent the fly-tipping of textured coatings containing asbestos under the draft Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. 
Mrs. McGuire: The draft Control of Asbestos Regulations set out controls on work with asbestos and do not deal with the illegal disposal of waste materials containing asbestos. Controls on the fly-tipping of waste asbestos is covered under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which makes the illegal disposal of waste an offence. Government have worked with the Environment Agency to set up Flycapture the national fly-tipping database which records the numbers of fly-tipping incidents dealt with by local authorities and the Environment Agency. The database was set up in April 2004 and records summary data on fly-tips by waste type, for example asbestos. Government are committed to helping the enforcement authorities tackle this problem and has developed a range of proposals as part of its fly-tipping strategy.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the (a) policy and (b) drafting of Article 3 Paragraph 3 of Directive 2003/18/EC on control of asbestos. 
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