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17 May 2007 : Column 906W—continued


Sentencing

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women were sentenced for public protection in each of the last five years; and how many have been released. [135779]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

Public protection sentences were first provided in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and implemented for relevant offences committed on or after four April 2005.

The numbers(1) of male prisoners received into prisons in England and Wales under indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) were 670 in 2005-06 and 1,670 in 2006-07. The numbers(1) of female prisoners were 30 in 2005-06 and 40 in 2006-07. There have been three male and two female prisoners released from IPP sentences up to April 2007. The reliability of the data on the numbers received and released under the extended sentence for public protection (EPP) is not sufficiently robust for publication. It is not possible to distinguish sentences made on the basis of public protection before this date.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.


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Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many indefinite sentences of public protection have been handed down in each month since their introduction. [135846]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

Figures on the numbers of prisoners received into prisons in England and Wales under indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) by each month since their introduction can be found in the following table.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Number of IPP receptions into prison by month since their introduction( 1)
Month Number

April 2005

0

May 2005

0

June 2005

20

July 2005

30

August 2005

40

September 2005

60

October 2005

90

November 2005

70

December 2005

60

January 2006

80

February 2006

100

March 2006

130

April 2006

100

May 2006

120

June 2006

110

July 2006

140

August 2006

140

September 2006

150

October 2006

120

November 2006

180

December 2006

190

January 2007

140

February 2007

150

March 2007

160

Total

2,450

(1 )Figures rounded to nearest 10.

Terrorism

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether legislation in respect of the prevention of terrorism constitutes criminal justice legislation and falls within his Department. [136956]

Mr. McNulty: All counter-terrorism legislation will remain the responsibility of the Home Office. However, the Department will continue to work closely on all aspects of counter terrorism legislation with other Government Departments, including the Ministry of Justice.

Theft: Motor Vehicles

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons are for the recent increase in charges to owners for recovery of stolen cars. [137507]


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Mr. Coaker: There has been no recent increase to the changes prescribed by statute to be paid by the owners of vehicles removed by the police under their powers to remove any vehicle that is illegally, obstructively or dangerously parked, or broken down or abandoned. This includes vehicles abandoned after being stolen. The charges help meet the cost of the removal and subsequent storage.

We are currently consulting on possible changes to these charges and have not yet reached any conclusions. The consultation document is available on the Home Office website at:

Vetting: Young People

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many under-18-year-olds have had Criminal Records Bureau checks. [137234]

Joan Ryan [ h olding answer 16 May 2007]: Since the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) launched its Disclosure service in March 2002, 412,902 Disclosures have been issued to applicants under the age of 18.

Wiltshire Police Authority: Pensions

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the current pension fund deficit is of Wiltshire police authority. [136607]

Mr. McNulty: Police authorities now operate a separate pensions account into which are paid officers’ contributions and an employer’s contribution (currently 24.6 per cent. of pensionable pay) and out of which pension payments are made. Wiltshire police authority has recently provided the Home Office with its unaudited accounts for 2006-07 which show a £3,066,000 deficit in their pensions account. In November 2006, Wiltshire police authority estimated a deficit of £3,296,000 in their pensions account for the 2007-08 financial year. Under the new system of funding for police pensions, any deficit in an authority’s pensions account is reimbursed with a grant from central Government each year; any surplus is recouped.

Deputy Prime Minister

Departments: Standards

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department has set any performance targets. [119970]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to my Office’s annual report, which was published today. Copies are available in the Library for the reference of Members.

Post Office

Bob Russell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on how many occasions in the last 12 months he has chaired meetings to consider issues relating to the future of the Post Office network. [136143]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I meet regularly with colleagues to discuss a range of issues.


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Duchy of Lancaster

Cabinet Committees

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will list the Cabinet Committees of which she is a member in her capacity as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. [136660]

Hilary Armstrong: My membership of Cabinet Committees reflects the full range of my responsibilities. I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister’s written ministerial statements on Cabinet Committees 14 December 2006, Official Report, columns 37-40WS and 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 102WS.

Disadvantaged: Health Services

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the proposed trials of new evidence-based assessment tools for use by midwives and health visitors mentioned in her progress report on social exclusion will take place; and if she will make a statement. [137534]

Mr. McFadden: Evidence-based assessment by midwives and health visitors is part of the Health Led Parenting Pilots which went live in 10 sites across England in April 2007. The Government have commissioned a report by Professor Sir David Hall on risk factors as part of these pilots which is due to be published shortly. Findings from Professor Hall’s study have informed the different eligibility criteria and pathways onto the programme being trialled and evaluated as part of the Health Led Parenting Pilot Project.

Domestic Visits

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) when she last visited land controlled by the Duchy; [136662]

(2) if she will list her public engagements for the week beginning 4 June. [136636]

Hilary Armstrong: I have attended a number of public events and regional visits relating to the full range of my Ministerial responsibilities.

Ministers meet many individuals and organisations and attend many public events relating to Government business, and as part of the process of policy development.

Impact Assessments

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in what ways impact assessments will differ from regulatory impact assessments. [137092]

Mr. McFadden: Following a public consultation, on 2 April 2007 the Government announced the introduction of a new Impact Assessment (IA) to replace the previous Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process.

Details of the new IA, including changes from the RIA process, can be found at:


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Key changes include:

The new process is being phased in—IAs in the new format will appear in public consultations from mid-May and, from November 2007, we expect that all IAs will use the new format.

Local Better Regulation Office

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what the budget is for the Local Better Regulation Office in each year between 2007 and 2012; [136657]

(2) how much her Department expects to spend on the establishment of the Local Better Regulation Office. [136656]

Mr. McFadden: The Local Better Regulation Office's (LBRO) key role will be to reduce burdens on business without compromising regulatory outcomes and working in partnership with local authorities, national regulators and departments to drive up the quality of local authority regulatory services. As a result of LBRO’s activities the Government expect to see compliant businesses benefiting from a regulatory regime that is less burdensome, more consistent, more coordinated and better targeted.

The Treasury has allocated the Cabinet Office £2.7 million for 2007-08; and provisionally £5.3 million for 2008-09; £4.4 million for 2009-10 and £4.4 million for 2010-11 to set up and fund the Local Better Regulation Office. The budget for 2011-12 has not yet been established.

Expenditure establishing the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) is expected to be in the region of £325,000 (ex VAT).

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Local Better Regulation Office will continue to operate after 2012. [136658]

Mr. McFadden: The Local Better Regulation Office’s (LBRO) key role will be to reduce burdens on business without compromising regulatory outcomes and working in partnership with local authorities, national regulators and departments to drive up the quality of local authority regulatory services. As a result of LBRO’s activities the Government expect to see compliant businesses benefiting from a regulatory
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regime that is less burdensome, more consistent, more coordinated and better targeted.

It is anticipated that at some point in the future the LBRO’s work will be complete. The Government proposals regarding the circumstances under which the LBRO might be dissolved is included in a consultation document for the Draft Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill the Government published on 15 May 2007.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, (1) what steps her Department is taking to assist the Local Better Regulation Office in improving the performance of local authority regulatory services; [136668]

(2) what steps her Department is taking to assist the Local Better Regulation Office in making regulation simpler. [136671]

Mr. McFadden: The role of the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) is to reduce burdens on business without compromising regulatory outcomes and working in partnership with local authorities, national regulators and departments to drive up the quality of local authority regulatory services.

The Cabinet Office has played a key role in the development of the LBRO including the recruitment of the Board and Chief Executive and securing the office space. My Department provide LBRO with access to a breadth of better regulation experience and expertise. They will continue to provide such advice and assistance but, as the LBRO Board formally take up their appointments, LBRO will take on responsibility for the development of their own organisational structure and policies.

In addition, on 15 May 2007 the Government published a consultation document which set out in detail its proposals regarding the role of the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) including its role in helping to improve the performance of local authority regulatory services and making regulation simpler.


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