Previous Section Index Home Page

15 May 2007 : Column 675W—continued


Youth Services: Finance

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the Government's budget is for spending on youth services in 2007-08. [137334]


15 May 2007 : Column 676W

Mr. Dhanda: The Government do not set a budget for spending on youth services. Local authorities decide what should be spent, taking into account Government policy and local needs. For 2006-07 local authorities in England reported that they intended to budget £403 million on youth services. Figures for 2007-08 are not yet available.

Northern Ireland

Transport: Crime

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many crimes were reported on Northern Ireland’s transport network in each of the last three years, broken down by type. [128129]

Paul Goggins: The PSNI have provided the following information:

Number of offences recorded
Crime type 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 1 April 2006 to 28 February 2007

Offences against the person

151

127

133

69

Sexual offences

5

7

12

12

Burglary

1

0

1

0

Robbery

5

5

17

2

Theft

116

89

91

88

Criminal damage

887

699

930

570

All other offences(1)

6

5

6

5

Total crime

1,171

932

1,190

746

(1) All other offences includes fraud and forgery, offences against the state and other notifiable offences.
Source:
Central Statistics Unit, PSNI

These statistics include offences where the location of the offence was a bus or train, the property involved was a bus or train, or the victim was a bus or train driver.

These figures are provisional and may be subject to revision.

Prime Minister

Departmental Responsibilities: Home Office

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 29 March 2007, Official Report, columns 133-5WS, on machinery of Government change, what the estimated cost is of the machinery of Government changes; and if he will make a statement; [136481]

(2) if he will place in the Library all cost evaluations undertaken on the machinery of Government changes. [136482]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 May 2006, Official Report, column 1983W, to the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies).


15 May 2007 : Column 677W

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Prime Minister who the health policy adviser is at No. 10 Downing street. [135889]

The Prime Minister: Professor Paul Corrigan.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many of his special advisers have been employed as Government special advisers for four years or longer; [136994]

(2) for what reason 25 special advisers named for the Prime Minister were listed in his written ministerial statement of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 87WS, on special advisers, but salary details included for 22; and how many of his listed special advisers are unpaid. [137173]

The Prime Minister: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made on 24 July 2006, Official Report, columns 86-91WS. Information on the number of special advisers before 2003 was provided at regular intervals. This information is available in the Libraries of the House.

The information requested on salary details can be found in the pay band table included in the annual list.

Joint Intelligence Committee: Official History

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his written ministerial statement of 26 April 2007, Official Report, column 27WS, for what reasons he appointed Dr. Michael Goodman to write the official history of the Joint Intelligence Committee; and if he will place in the Library Dr. Goodman’s biographical details. [136350]

The Prime Minister: I have appointed Dr. Michael Goodman to write the official history of the Joint Intelligence Committee because he is an expert in the field. Dr. Goodman is a lecturer at King’s College London where he specialises in the study of intelligence.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Baron: To ask the Prime Minister when he will reply to the letter dated 2 May 2007 from the hon. Member for Billericay on the subject of his oral answer of 2 May 2007, Official Report, column 1505, on Iraq. [136943]

The Prime Minister: My Office has replied to the hon. Member.

Petitions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations he has received on e-petitions; how much was spent on promoting e-petitions in each year since the project was created; how much is planned for the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [136798]


15 May 2007 : Column 678W

The Prime Minister: Since November my office has received approximately 50 letters about e-petitions.

No costs have been incurred in promoting e-petitions, and no such costs are planned for the next 12 months. All spending on e-petitions is included in the overall cost of the No. 10 website.

Written Questions

Mr. Baron: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to reply to question 136508, on Iraq, tabled by the hon. Member for Billericay on 3 May. [136945]

The Prime Minister: I replied to the hon. Member on 14 May 2007, Official Report, columns 469-70W.

Justice

Electoral Fraud

26. Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what plans she has to bring forward proposals to strengthen the law on electoral fraud. [136928]

Bridget Prentice: The Government have taken significant steps in recent years to tighten up the security of the electoral process, and assist the police and prosecutors in tackling electoral fraud. These measures are primarily established by the Electoral Administration Act 2006 and associated secondary legislation.

We will wish to consider the effectiveness of these new measures in light of the experience of them at the May 2007 elections.

Ministerial Visits

27. Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice which prisons she plans to visit before the end of June 2007. [136929]

29. Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Minister of State Ministry of Justice which prisons she intends to visit before the end of June 2007. [136931]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Members of our ministerial team will continue to visit prisons, probation offices and regional offender managers throughout England and Wales over the coming months.

Legal Aid

28. Anne Milton: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what assessment she has made of the effect of her legal aid changes on access to justice. [136930]

Vera Baird: Legal aid reform will mean that we can help as many people as possible and place legal aid on a sustainable basis for the future. It will enable us to shift resources away from criminal legal aid, so that we can spend a greater proportion on civil and family legal advice and assistance.


15 May 2007 : Column 679W

Electoral Administrators

30. Chris Mole: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what discussions she has had with the Electoral Commission on performance standards for electoral administrators. [136932]

Bridget Prentice: I have met with Sam Younger, Chairman of the Commission to discuss performance standards. I have also formally responded to the Commission's consultation paper on developing registration performance indicators. A pilot of these is now well under way and the Commission intends to roll out a set of electoral registration performance indicators to administrators by December 2007.

Voter Registration

31. Mr. Betts: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what further steps her Department plans to take to increase voter registration. [136933]

Bridget Prentice: The Government are committed to increasing registration rates. The Electoral Administration Act 2006 has a number of measures to increase levels of electoral registration. These include:

The Government are currently evaluating the effectiveness of these new measures and keep this area under review to identify initiatives that will further increase levels of electoral registration.

Electoral Register

32. John Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice if she will place a duty on electoral registration officers to use all available databases to compile the electoral register. [136934]

Bridget Prentice: The Electoral Administration Act 2006 introduced a new duty to help Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) increase registration rates and compile a more accurate register. This includes:

I am pleased to say that as of 1 December 2006, the number of registered electors in the UK has increased by just over half a million people.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice whether the Electoral Register will be updated automatically following changes of address notified to the National Identity Register. [136990]


15 May 2007 : Column 680W

Bridget Prentice: The Government have no plans to link the electoral registration process to the National Identity Register.

Magistrates Courts

34. Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what assessment she has made of the adequacy of facilities for victims and witnesses in magistrates courts. [136936]

Ms Harman: We have undertaken two audits in the past two years to establish how existing witness facilities meet established minimum standards. Following those audits over £3.3 million has been invested in both magistrates and Crown courts to improve facilities. Examples of work undertaken include the re-decoration and re-furnishing of witness waiting rooms as well as the purchase of toys and games for child witnesses.

Magistrates Courts: Lancashire

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice whether she plans to review her decision on the merging of magistrates courts in Lancashire. [136935]

Ms Harman: I have no plans to review my decision on the merging of Chorley, Ormskirk and South Ribble local justice areas.

Absent Voting: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what percentage of the electorate in each local authority in Gloucestershire has registered for a postal vote. [136764]

Bridget Prentice: The Government hold information on registration figures only as of 1 December 2006, and the number of postal voters as of 1 January 2007. Using this information provides the following percentages for the local government electorate in Gloucestershire:

Percentage

Cheltenham

20.58

Cotswold

15.74

Forest of Dean

11.92

Gloucester

17.17

Stroud

10.91

Tewkesbury

8.96


Next Section Index Home Page