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Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe) requested his private office to draw up a list of the chief officers of probation and chairs of probation boards who were thought to be positive supporters of the Offender Management Bill; for what purpose this list was intended; and whether any persons named on the list were subsequently appointed probation area chairman as of 1 April 2007. 
It is entirely normal and appropriate for a Minister to seek the views and opinions of stakeholders throughout the progress of legislation. This can seek to identify positive supporters of the legislation and I requested information on stakeholders throughout the legislation process. This is in line with the ministerial code. The process for appointment of
chairs of probation area boards was one of free and open competition following the best practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the conduct of the new chairman of the London probation board previous to receiving her current appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has conducted into conviction rates for rape in different areas of England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
The Home Office-commissioned study A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases (Kelly, Lovett and Regan, 2005) focused on the general process by which rape cases are lost from the criminal justice system but did include a statistical analysis of conviction rates by police force area using routinely collected administrative data.
The Home Office is currently concluding a study of rape attrition in eight force areas in England and Wales which is more explicitly aimed at improving our understanding as to why conviction (and detection) rates vary across the country. This study will be published in 2007.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 21 March 2007, Official Report, column 975W, on Weare prison, how much expenditure, and on what, would have been required to keep HMP Weare open. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: An investment appraisal undertaken in January 2005 identified that a number of significant shortcomings would prevent the continued effective operation of the Weare as it lacked the necessary space for workshop, education and exercise facilities and required extensive refurbishment. In addition the living accommodation was unsuitable and much of it had limited access to natural light. The review estimated that to continue operation for another seven years with an improved regime would have cost around £60 million on a net present value (NPV) basis.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The table shows data extracted from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform in respect of convictions for rape committed by youths in England and Wales from 1997 to 2005.
|Number of defendants aged 18 years or under convicted of rape at all courts, England and Wales, 1997 to 2005( 1,2,3)|
|10 to 15||16 to 18||Total|
|(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Office for Criminal Justice Reform.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. 
Mr. Hain: I regularly meet with the First Minister when we discuss a range of issues, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, my hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen, West and South Pembrokeshire (Nick Ainger) regularly meets with the Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services, when he discusses issues including cross border matters in the health service in Wales.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations the Better Regulation Executive has made to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on how many occasions and for what purposes the extended powers given to Ministers by the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 have been used since it received Royal Assent. 
Mr. McFadden: 30 Regulatory Reform Orders (RROs) have been passed under the Regulatory Reform Act and five further RROs are currently before Parliament. RROs were for purposes as diverse as amending Sunday trading rules, simplifying fire safety legislation and removing game licensing requirements. Comprehensive information can be found on the Cabinet Office's Better Regulation Executive website:
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were living in a household with neither parent in employment in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. 
|C hildren in workless households UK|
|Number ( Thousand )|
|C hildren in workless householdsNorth East (spring q uarter)|
|Number ( Thousand )|
| Note: Because of the small sample size, the data provided above should be considered as indicative rather than exact. Source: Labour Force Survey, Spring 2006.|
To measure progress relating to children in workless households (CIWH) the Department uses the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). However, it is not possible to disaggregate this data below Government office region.
The information in the following table uses administrative data to provide the number of children dependent on workless benefits in the Jarrow constituency and South Tyneside. A timeline has been provided from 2004 onwards, the first year where the data are available.
|Number of children in workless households|
1. The official definition of a CIWH is a child aged under 16 in a working-age household where no adult works. The administrative data are an inexact proxy for this as they chart all children under 16 in a working-age household who have at least one parent claiming workless benefits (IS, JSA, IB/SDA, and PC). 2. The administrative data do not incorporate in their definition workless adults who do not claim benefits. The definition used also differs from the standard CIWH definition in that it includes children in households with both working and non-working adults, as opposed to a household with no working adults. 3. Furthermore adults working part-time may also be eligible for IS, and such claimants may be included in the administrative data.
4. The information on those claiming income-related social security benefit is not available.
Source: DWP Information Directorate.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what response he has made to David Freud's recommendation that back to work support for the hardest to help claimants should be provided by contracted organisations. 
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