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Civil servants from the Cabinet Office, the Department for Communities and Local
Government (DCLG) and the Deputy Prime Ministers Office are accommodated in the Ripley Building (26 Whitehall).
Michael Gove: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on (a) security, (b) utilities, (c) facilities management and (d) general maintenance for the Ripley Building in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. McFadden: Civil servants from the Cabinet Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office are accommodated in the Ripley Building (26 Whitehall). The spend on utilities, facilities management and general maintenance for the Ripley Building in 2005-06 was £870,000. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on security matters.
Hilary Armstrong: Since 1997, there has been considerable progress in tackling exclusion among lone parent households. Provisions in the New Deal for Lone Parents have been successful not only in improving job readiness of lone parents, but also in moving them into work. Indeed, employment rates for this group increased from 45.3 per cent. in 1997 to 56.6 per cent, in 2006. There are now around a million lone parents in work for the first time ever.
The Social Exclusion Action Plan announces a series of new demonstration projects to support families at risk of, or already experiencing, social exclusion. One of the guiding principles of the action plan is that we need to move towards more sophisticated approaches for identifying the specific factors which place people at risk of, or protect them from, negative outcomes. This is vital to ensure that programmes are targeted at those who need support most and at those who are likely to benefit.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many representations she has received from practising (a) solicitors and (b) barristers about the proposals in the Carter Review report. 
Vera Baird: As at 13 October, the DCA and Legal Services Commission (LSC) had received 2,695 responses on the proposals in the consultation paper Legal Aid: a sustainable future. Due to the number of responses and the fact that the consultation period only closed on 12 October the LSC is unable to provide a breakdown of responses received from practising solicitors and barristers.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2006, Official Report, column 1798W, on consultancy fees, for what purposes her Department employed Barry Sutlieff. 
Vera Baird: Mr. Sutlieff was employed to fill a short term skills gap. He devised a communications strategy and provided advertising and communication advice to the Judicial Appointments Commission Implementation Team, in financial year 2004-05. The strategy set out how to promote awareness across key stakeholders about how the creation of the Judicial Appointments Commission, upon implementation of the Constitutional Reform Act, would affect Judicial Appointments and what these changes would mean for them.
Vera Baird: It is not possible to provide details of the amount spent by the Department on organising and hosting conferences in the last 12 months as this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Vera Baird: It is not possible to list the costs spent on taxis by the Department in the last 12 months without incurring disproportionate costs as the expenditure is not separately identifiable within the Department's accounts.
All Civil Service travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the prevalence of the payment of bonus money to officials in electoral registration departments of local authorities. 
Bridget Prentice: The Government have not made any assessment of bonus payments to officials. The payment of financial incentives to officials in electoral registration departments is a decision for local authorities.
Anne Milton: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact of a reduction in legal aid fees on the numbers of available legal aid family lawyers. 
Vera Baird: The proposals in the DCA/Legal Services Commission consultation paper, Legal Aid: a sustainable future, have been devised to be cost neutral. A draft regulatory impact assessment is available from the DCA website, www.dca.gov.uk. This includes an analysis of the impact of the proposals on legal aid providers. Consultation closed on 12 October and we will issue our response on the way forward in due course. The final proposals will include a full impact analysis which will look at the effect on providers of any changes to the market.
Anne Milton: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many representations on fees for legal aid family lawyers she has received from (a) Guildford, (b) Surrey and (c) England; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: As at 11 October, the DCA and Legal Services Commission had received 148 responses on the proposals for family legal aid fees set out in the consultation paper Legal Aid: a sustainable future. None of these responses were from Guildford or Surrey.
Ms Butler: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will introduce proposals to impose a duty on local authorities to report to the Electoral Commission breaches of the requirement on local election candidates to return the relevant election expenses forms. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made on negotiations within the EU on converting the Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations into a Community Regulation and modernising some of its rules (Rome I). 
Vera Baird: The European Commission issued the draft Rome I regulation in December 2005. The Council of Ministers Working Group, which comprises officials and other non-ministerial representatives of member states and the Commission, met in May, July and September to discuss the draft. The Presidency has considered the comments made and has now produced a revised draft text. The Working Group will meet again in late October and, subject to confirmation by the Presidency, in December.
The proposed Rome I regulation is subject to co-decision. The JURI (Legal Affairs) Committee of the European Parliament has given initial consideration to the report of its Rapporteur on the proposal.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she expects the work her Department has undertaken to make the small claims process more timely, proportionate and cost-effective to be finished. 
Vera Baird: A forthcoming consultation paper will consider issues relating to the case track limits and ways of improving the claim process to make it more timely, cost-effective, and proportionate. Responses to that paper will help to inform future work in this area and it is therefore not possible to provide a definite timetable for its completion at present.
Vera Baird: Work to identify ways of improving the claims process is being informed by discussions with representatives of key stakeholder organisations, through a main stakeholder group, which meets every six weeks and includes representatives of the legal profession, trade unions, insurance industry and consumer organisations. We have also engaged with stakeholders via smaller ad hoc workshops and meetings.
John Mann: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what advice her Department has issued on lay representation for complainants appearing before a solicitors' disciplinary tribunal. 
Bridget Prentice: The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) is an independent organisation and as such this Department has not issued any advice on lay representation for those appearing before it. The SDT issues no written guidance on representation before the Tribunal but provides a list of solicitors specialising in this area to all parties involved.
The SDT has confirmed that in over 90 per cent. of cases a person complaining to the SDT makes his or her complaint via the Law Society, which will itself refer the complaint to the SDT. In cases where there is a direct complaint to the tribunal from a member of the public, he or she may represent themselves or obtain professional or lay representation. However, lay representation is hardly ever used.
Bridget Prentice: The Law Society keeps statistics on solicitors who have been subject to sanctions by the Law Society and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. It does not maintain statistics on the basis of whether the misconduct was a breach of the practice rules or of other regulations.
Bridget Prentice: The Electoral Administration Act 2006 has introduced a number of measures to allow electors who suffer from mental illness to vote. Section 35 of the Act provides that patients detained in mental hospitals can either vote by post or proxy, or in person at a polling station if they have permission to leave the hospital for whatever reason.
(3) what the most recent estimate is of the total number of vehicles using the A20 road daily between Greyabbey and Newtownards; and what the figures were (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 20 years ago. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland three parliamentary Questions:
(i) How much was spent on the A20 road between Portaferry and Newtownards in each of the last 10 financial years;
(ii) What the most recent estimate is of the total number of vehicles using the A20 road daily between Greyabbey and Portaferry; and what the figures were for (a) five and (b) 10 years ago; and
(iii) What the most recent estimate is of the total number of vehicles using the A20 road daily between Greyabbey and Newtownards; and what the figures were (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 20 years ago.
I have been asked to reply as the issues raised fall within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service.
The following table shows the total expenditure by Roads Service on road improvement schemes on the A20 road for the past nine years. I should explain that while nine years data are readily available, information prior to this period can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost to the Department.
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