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Youth Services: Expenditure

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been spent on youth centres in each of the last 12 months. [182766]

Beverley Hughes: Youth centres are delivered locally by local authorities through their youth provision and national and local voluntary youth organisations. Information is not held centrally on how much has been spent on youth centres at local, regional or national level. However, the following table includes details of the planned net expenditure on youth service by local authorities in England for 2007-08:


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Planned net expenditure on youth service by local authorities in England: 2007-08
2007-08 (£)( 1, 2)

Planned net expenditure on youth service(3) by local authorities in England

410,373,000

(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds.
(2) 2007-08 figures is subject to change by the local authority.
(3) Youth service includes the following items of planned expenditure on the youth service and youth work:
Employees
Staff Training
Premises related expenditure
Transport related expenditure
Supplies and services
Third-party payments
Support services
Youth work costs at residential and non-residential youth centres
Youth work costs at activity at outdoor and urban studies centres
Grant funding to the voluntary sector for youth work.
Notes:
1. Figures are drawn from local authorities 2007-08 Section 52 Budget Statements (Table 1 line 2.7.1) submitted to the DCSF (formally DfES).
2. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 28 January 2008.

Justice

Bail: Crimes of Violence

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many violent offences were committed by persons on bail during the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by category of offence. [183493]

Maria Eagle: Court proceedings data held by my Department do not identify whether persons were on bail at the time of committing an offence.

Bail: Reoffenders

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consider introducing procedures to improve the accountability of the magistracy for decisions to grant bail to defendants who then commit further crimes while on bail. [184811]

Maria Eagle: The court's decision on whether to grant bail or remand a defendant in custody is governed by the Bail Act 1976. The court must decide on each occasion, with all the information before it, if the defendant presents such a bail risk as to warrant custody. This decision is an exercise of judicial discretion.

Compensation: Industrial Diseases

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government has taken to ensure Coal Health Compensation Schemes are being effectively dealt with. [183442]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 31 January 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

The Department negotiated Claims Handling Agreements (CHAs) for each of the Coal Health Compensation Schemes with the groups representing claimants’ solicitors. These set out in detail how claims will be processed. They also provide for solicitors costs of successful claims to be met by the Department to ensure claimants are legally represented.

The Department also has in place detailed audit procedures to ensure that all its contractors comply with the procedures set down under the CHAs for the Coal Health Compensation Schemes.


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With regard to individual offers, claimant representatives have access to all of the Department's calculators and are able to confirm the offer made.

There are also dispute procedures in place should the representative or client wish to query the amount.

The CHAs can be viewed on the Department's website:

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government has taken in relation to solicitors and third parties who have billed clients claiming under the Coal Health Compensation Scheme. [183443]

Bridget Prentice: The Government believes it is important that miners who complain to the Law Society under the coal health compensation schemes get the level of service and compensation they deserve. The Government therefore takes a close interest in this issue.

The legal profession is independent and as such complaints about solicitors are a matter for the Law Society rather than Government. However the Government seeks regular updates from the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to ensure that progress is being made in dealing with these complaints against solicitors. The Government appointed the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner in 2004 as an independent regulator of the Law Society's complaints handling functions.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has authorised investigations into 60 firms of solicitors; 20 firms have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the SRA has won the first three disciplinary cases heard there. To date, solicitors have refunded over £3 million to miners. This figure is expected to rise as more investigations are completed.

The Government have legislated in the Legal Services Act 2007 to create an independent Office for Legal Complaints, which will remove complaints handling from the legal professional bodies. It will also enable approved regulators to deal more effectively with cases of widespread wrongdoing in the future.

In June 2007, the Government sent a joint letter to all the solicitors involved in the scheme to remind them again of their obligations to pay back money to claimants where this was taken without their consent.

The LCS is taking forward awareness raising initiatives such as the Rother Valley Pilot which involved mailing an information pack to each named individual on the DBERR database of original government coal health compensation schemes COPD and VWF claimants within the Rother Valley parliamentary constituency.

The LCS will now write to all living claimants on the DBERR database in order to raise awareness and to identify all outstanding consumer dissatisfaction within a 12-month period.

Constituencies

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the estimated general election electorate will be of each Parliamentary constituency under the revised Parliamentary boundaries for England that will be in operation for the next general election. [184045]


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Bridget Prentice: The report of the Boundary Commission for England, Cm 7032, published in 2007, contains the boundary commission’s proposals for parliamentary constituencies in England. It provides the electorate for each new constituency in England as at 2000 and 2006. The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007 gave effect without modification to the recommendations in the boundary commission’s report and the new boundaries will take effect at the next parliamentary general election. I understand that ONS will publish on 28 February a table of parliamentary electors by parliamentary constituency using the new boundaries based on data from the 2007 canvass of electors.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if the Government will take steps to ensure that the rules for the next Parliamentary boundary reviews reduce the likelihood of a deviation of constituency electorates from quota of more than 10 per cent. above/below quota. [184047]

Bridget Prentice: Under the current rules governing reviews by the boundary commissions, the electorate of any constituency must be as near the electoral quota (broadly, this is the average number of electors in each constituency) as is practicable. The boundary commissions may depart from strict application of the rules in specified circumstances, in particular if special geographical considerations apply. The Government agreed in their response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Eleventh report, “Review of the Electoral Commission”, that it would be appropriate to review the current legislation in relation to the conduct of parliamentary boundary work. Any review is likely to consider the sorts of issues raised by the hon. Member.

Coroners: Armed Forces

Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many coroner inquest cases into the deaths of armed forces personnel overseas are outstanding. [182942]

Bridget Prentice: I refer my right hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement published on 31 January for details of the status of all inquests into the deaths of armed forces personnel overseas as at 21 January 2008, Official Report, columns 35-37WS. Since this date a further five inquests have been heard.

Crime

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many crimes were committed by people on bail in the last period for which figures are available. [183538]

Maria Eagle: Court proceedings data held by my Department do not identify whether persons were on bail at the time of committing an offence.

Criminal Justice Act 2003

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) which provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 have not yet come into force; and when he expects each to come into force; [183948]


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(2) which provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 have yet to come into force; and when he expects each to come into force. [185089]

Mr. Straw: Only a small percentage of the 335 substantive sections in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 have yet to be fully implemented. These are: S.23A; s.34-s.35; s.43; s.62-s.66; s.137-s.138; s.151; s.154-s.155; s.161; s.181; s.188; s.280-s.283; and s.298.

Officials are actively working on these areas of legislation with a view to implementation, considering resource implications; undertaking pilot exercises; or examining other necessary procedures and practices.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what products featuring departmental or Government branding have been procured by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies since its establishment. [179796]

Maria Eagle: Since the Ministry of Justice was established on 9 May 2007, my Department has procured a range of products with the new Ministry of Justice branding, as part of our ongoing communications to stakeholders and the general public. These comprised:

The executive agencies within the Ministry of Justice produce materials using their own branding.

The MOJ branding also appears on electronic media such as Ministerial press notices and the Ministry of Justice website.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department and its agencies spent on end-of-year bonus payments in each of the last five years. [171534]

Maria Eagle: Year-end-bonus payments are awarded to high performing staff in all grades to reflect their individual contribution during the previous year. Performance years run from 1 April to 31 March. The following table reflects payments to staff on former DCA terms and conditions:

£

2002-03

779,357

2003-04

1,024,750

2004-05

1,385,594

2005-06

1,567,635

2006-07

1,834,466


With the establishment of the Ministry of Justice in May 2007, HM Prison Service became an agency of the new Ministry. Information on bonus payments to staff in HM Prison Service is available only at disproportionate
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costs. In addition, under the same the machinery of Government changes, approximately 3,200 former Home Office Civil Servants joined the Ministry of Justice. These staff were subject to the Home Office pay award during 2002-07 and payments to them (including those for the Office of Criminal Justice Reform and the Probation Service) are included in the figures provided by in the response to the same question for the Home Office.

Electoral Register

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the (a) set-up and (b) ongoing costs of introducing individual electoral registration. [184057]

Bridget Prentice: The Government agree with the principle of individual registration but is not yet convinced that it could be implemented in Great Britain (GB) without causing a significant drop in the registration rate.

An assessment of the set up and ongoing cost for introducing individual registration was made following the Electoral Commission’s Voting for Change Report in 2003.

At that time, it was estimated that the cost of an annual canvass under household registration stood at approximately £40 million. Likely costs of the annual canvass under individual registration were estimated at approximately £55 million and the one off set-up costs of implementing individual registration at approximately £17 million. These figures did not take account of the potential for the ongoing costs of individual registration to be mitigated by reducing the frequency of the annual canvass as in Northern Ireland.

Under section 67 the Electoral Administration Act 2006, the Electoral Commission has power to collect financial information about expenditure of registration. This will provide up to date and more complete data to estimate costs for policy changes for elections in the future.

Our vision for electoral registration is clear: we want to protect the rights of every eligible person to participate in the UK’s democratic process by ensuring complete, accurate and secure electoral registration.

Any new system of electoral registration in Great Britain would need to be tailored to current circumstances, and in particular, would need to address the challenge of under registration as an estimated 3.5 million eligible electors are not currently registered to vote.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make a statement on the process for determining the security requirements for the CORE electoral database; and which consultancies have been employed to produce a business impact assessment. [184067]

Bridget Prentice: The security requirements of the CORE electoral database will be determined within the overall specification by business and user requirements. An analysis of those requirements should be completed by the end of the year. Under current plans an appointment should be made by April following completion of a competitive tender. In the meantime,
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as a first step, Vega Group plc have been employed to undertake a business impact assessment to establish the protective marking of data held on the CORE system.

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the specifications for the CORE electoral database will facilitate the sharing of data with the National Identity Register; and whether the database will have an interface with the register. [184068]

Bridget Prentice: At present there are no plans for the CORE database to link with any other database other than local electoral registers, nor for the data held by CORE to be shared with the National Identity Register. A final decision as to the scope and specification of the CORE project will be made once an analysis of both the business and user requirements has been made. The requirements gathering exercise should be completed by the end of this year.


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