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7 Jan 2008 : Column 170W—continued

7 Jan 2008 : Column 171W
£ million
Resource Capital













1. Figures are not provided before 2003-04 as not all these services were managed centrally; expenditure was mainly met directly by local probation boards and figures are not held centrally.
2. There may be further related expenditure met locally by probation boards which is not separately identifiable. Other costs met centrally are not considered to be “infrastructure”.
3. From 2005-06 due to a classification of expenditure change, certain property expenditure previously treated as Capital is now treated as Resource.
4. IT expenditure may vary year-on-year according to the amount of one-off costs such as hardware upgrade.


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many plastic bags his Department has procured, and at what cost, since it was created. [176673]

Mr. Wills: Information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only by contacting each division of my Department at a disproportionate cost.

The Ministry of Justice encourage recycling initiatives of which there are many and an increasing number across the estate, to minimise the impact of plastic bags in waste. Our procurement policy is also to ensure that purchasing is environmentally focussed and that our suppliers have their own sustainable strategies. Key elements of our own policy are to keep consumption to a minimum, to use only recycled and recyclable products and materials wherever possible, and to encourage local management and facilities managers to operate effective recycling schemes.

Prosecutions: Easington

John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) convictions for and (b) prosecutions of drug-related offences took place in Easington constituency in each year since 2000. [172767]

Maria Eagle: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts and proceeded against for drug-related offences at Easington magistrates court and North Durham magistrates court for the years 2000 to 2006 can be found in the following table. In 2002, Easington magistrates court was amalgamated with Chester-le-street, Derwentside and Durham magistrates courts to make up North Durham magistrates court.

It is not possible to identify those offenders in the Easington constituency, as the data is not collected at this level of detail.

7 Jan 2008 : Column 172W
The number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty of drug offences in Easington magistrates court and North Durham magistrates court for the years 2000 to 2006( 1,2,3,4)
Easington magistrates court North Durham magistrates court
Proceeded against Found guilty Proceeded against Found guilty




































(1) These data are provided 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 police forces and courts. 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. (3) It is not possible to identify those prosecutions or convictions for other offences, e.g. murder, or manslaughter, which were due to drug-related offences as the circumstances surrounding offences are not held centrally. (4) The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants was found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against. It is also possible that some of those proceeded against were transferred to North Durham upon amalgamation of the four magistrates courts per caveat.
(5) In 2002 Easington magistrates court was amalgamated with the following three other magistrates courts to make up North Durham magistrates court: Chester le Street, Derwentside, and Durham. Source: Court proceedings database held by RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice.


Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment (a) officials in his Department and (b) the Hayden Phillips review have made of trends in the average level of spending in real terms at a local level by parliamentary candidates during the general election periods regulated by the Representation of the People Act. [175174]

Mr. Straw: No such assessment has been made by officials in my Department.

Sir Hayden Phillips’ Review of the Funding of Political Parties considered spending levels by parties and candidates. His publications can be found at:


Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of school buildings approved by his Department were built to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (a) very good and (b) excellent standard in each of the last five years; and what the construction cost of those buildings was. [172284]

Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice has built or approved no schools. However, the Department has completed 38 projects within the last five years or are in the final stages of completion. 26 have been assessed under the BREEAM assessment model.

(a) 15 have been assessed as “Excellent” (58 per cent.)

7 Jan 2008 : Column 173W

(b) 11 have been assessed as “Very Good” (42 per cent.)

(c) 12 projects have still to be assessed.

The capital costs of the work are not known for projects where it was the Landlord who met the Capital cost of the works or the project was procured by the Lead local authority prior to the Courts Act 2005 or the project was a PFI scheme. The capital cost of the 14 projects where costs are known amounts to £190.2 million.

Security Breaches

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many confirmed data security breaches there have been in his Department in the last 36 months; and what action was taken after each occurrence. [170248]

Mr. Wills: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review. An interim progress report on the review was published by the Cabinet Office through a written ministerial statement on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS.

A small number of incidents involving breach of our data security controls have been reported and investigated. Three of these have been reported to the Information Commissioner as potential breaches.

Except in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to comment on particular breaches of security.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many young offenders have been given a custodial sentence in West Chelmsford constituency in each of the last five years. [174980]

Mr. Hanson: Numbers given immediate custody by criminal justice area are published in the Ministry of Justice statistical bulletin, ‘Sentencing Statistics 2006’. The total number sentenced and the percentage given immediate custody for Essex can be found in Table 5.1.

Please note that these figures are for all ages and are not limited to young offenders.

The information is also in the table as follows.

7 Jan 2008 : Column 174W
Number of young offenders( 1) sentenced to immediate custody at Chelmsford courts( 2) , 2002-06
Court 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Aged 10-17

Chelmsford magistrates court






Chelmsford Crown court






Aged 18-20

Chelmsford magistrates court






Chelmsford Crown court






Total for Chelmsford






(1) Young offenders are aged 18-20.
(2) Magistrates courts in Chelmsford and the Crown court if committed by magistrates in Chelmsford.
These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the timetable is for consultation on and implementation of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 in relation to the role of enforcement agents to secure payment of council tax. [176517]

Bridget Prentice: The enforcement law reforms contained within Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 require underpinning rules and regulations. A scoping exercise has now commenced to determine the development of these. It is anticipated that this will be completed by May 2008 and the results will inform the timetable for consultation and implementation.

Voting Rights

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what pilots have taken place in relation to the use of personal identifiers for absent voting. [176521]

Mr. Wills: Two pilots have taken place in relation to the use of personal identifiers for absent voting in respect of postal voting. These were in the London borough of Newham and Stevenage borough council at the May 2006 local elections.

Personal identifiers in the form of codes allocated to electors have been used in all electronic voting pilots since 2002.

In 2007, electronic voting pilots also required identifiers to be provided by electors to administrators to further enhance security.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to consult on weekend voting in elections. [176666]

7 Jan 2008 : Column 175W

Mr. Wills: In July 2007 we published "The Governance of Britain'' Green Paper which sets out our commitment to consult on the merits of moving the voting day for general and/or local elections from Thursday to the weekend.

Work is currently being undertaken to finalise the consultation process for weekend voting.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to extend the use of (a) e-counting and (b) remote electronic voting to future (i) local, (ii) European Parliament and (iii) general elections. [176667]

Mr. Wills: In the Governance of Britain Green Paper the Government sets out a long-term aim to investigate the potential benefits of remote electronic voting and to take advantage of emerging communication technologies to provide increased flexibility and choice in the way people vote.

In the immediate term we are reviewing the lessons learnt from previous e-voting and e-counting pilots. This will help to advise our future programme of work for electoral modernisation.

There are no plans in the short term to extend the use of e-voting and e-counting to (i) local, (ii) European Parliament and (iii) general elections.

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