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Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she expects the results of the consultation, HM Court Service London Region Proposals for Network of Family Courts Centres to be announced. 
Ms Harman: As indicated in the consultation paper entitled HMCS London Region Proposals for a Network of Family Courts Centres, a paper summarising the responses received will be published in December 2006 by being made available online at http://www.dca.gov/index.htm The region is currently considering the suggestions made in the 60 responses received and will be using this information to inform business planning discussions for 2007-08. It is expected that the results of consultation will be announced in March 2007 as part of this business planning process. Any proposals or suggestions that the region wishes to take forward, that affect individual courthouse use, will be discussed locally with judiciary, staff and court users.
Ms Harman: Under the Juries Act 1974 you are qualified to serve as a juror if: you are for the time being registered as a parliamentary or local government elector; you are aged between 18 and 69; you have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for any period of at least five years since attaining the age of 13; you have not been given various criminal sentences within specified periods; you are not on bail; and you do not suffer from a mental disorder as defined by the Act.
Jurors are selected from the electoral register. On their summons reply jurors are asked to declare whether they are disqualified from jury service under any of the categories referred to above. Before confirming jury service the Jury Central Summoning Bureau runs a check against the Police National Computer system to confirm the juror is not disqualified by virtue of being on bail or having received a relevant criminal sentence within a disqualifying period.
John Hemming: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs why the rate at which litigants in person can claim costs has not risen since 1995; what estimate she has made of the additional costs to the Government were this rate to rise; and if she will raise the rate at which litigants in person can claim costs. 
[holding answer 23 November 2006]: The hourly rate payable to litigants in person was reviewed in 2003 by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, when it was decided that the rate should remain at the existing
level. No estimate has been made of additional costs, should the rate be raised and there are no plans to raise the rate at present.
Civil Procedure Rule 48.6(2) provides that where the litigants in person can prove financial loss (greater than £9.25) has occurred due to time he has reasonably spent on doing the work, he is entitled to claim up to two thirds of the amount which would have been allowed if he had been legally represented.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the reintroduction of the means test in magistrates courts on the criminal justice system. 
Vera Baird: The predicted savings from restoring the means test in magistrates courts are occurring and such delays, as the need for applications has produced, are also as predicted and are under regular review. For instance, I recently announced a package of changes to improve the operational effectiveness of the new scheme.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the outcome of the recent meeting with Mr. David Johnson, US Deputy Ambassador, concerning attendance of US service personnel at the inquests of British soldiers killed in friendly fire incidents in Iraq. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether her Department uses an internal traffic light or colour-coded system in relation to written parliamentary questions; and whether her Department grades or classifies written parliamentary questions according to their political sensitivity. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether her Department has a traffic light system in place for processing parliamentary questions, where questions are categorised using a colour code. 
Vera Baird: My Department does not use an internal traffic light or colour coded system to answer parliamentary questions. Neither does it grade or classify written parliamentary questions according to their political sensitivity. We endeavour to reply to all parliamentary questions within parliamentary deadlines.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the total capital value is of each private finance initiative scheme overseen by her Department which has reached financial close; over what period repayments will take place; and what the total cost of repayment will be in each case. 
Ms Harman: There are a total of 11 PFI schemes providing 16 Court Houses, a facility for the storage and retrieval of probate records and two IT projects. The total capital value of these schemes is about £272 million with a projected whole life cost over their respective concession periods of about £1,361 million. Details of each are in the following table.
|Scheme||Cap value (£ million)||Period (years)||Total cost of repayment (£ million)|
Hilary Armstrong: The terms of reference of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Programme (LP) are to consider legislation and related matters. Information relating to proceedings of Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) is Chair of LP. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend on 16 November 2006, Official Report, columns 7-8WS, listing Bills in the legislative programme, including those not referred to in the Queens Speech. A summary of the proposed content of each of the Bills in the programme has been placed
in the Library for the reference of Members. It can be found on the website of the Leader of the House of Commons at:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what (a) contracts have been awarded and (b) payments have been made to Freud Communications by (i) the Prime Ministers Office and (ii) the Cabinet Office since May 1997. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether Mr. Alastair Campbell has received payment from public funds in relation to his work for the Cabinet Office, including the Prime Minister's Office, since his resignation as Director of Communications and Strategy in 2003. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how much was spent on external consultants and advisers by (a) the Prime Ministers Office and (b) the Cabinet Office in each year since 1997-98; and what the expected costs are in 2006-07; 
The increased costs between 2004-05 and 2005-06 relate mainly to expenditure on shared services, feasibility work, SCOPE cross-departmental information strategy, development of the Government Gateway, departmental capability reviews and advice on our land and buildings.
Costs incurred on external consultants and advisers in 2006-07 will be available only when the Departments resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament. This is expected to be before the 2007 summer recess.
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