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5 Jun 2008 : Column 1109W—continued

Polyclinics: Greater London

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance his Department has made available to primary care trusts in London to develop a polyclinic; and if he will make a statement. [207339]

Mr. Bradshaw: Primary care trusts (PCTs) in London will receive their share of the £120 million made available from 2009-10 to provide general practitioner-led health centres. The share will be based on the weighted capitation formula which has been
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reviewed for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 PCT allocations that will be announced this summer.

Prescription Drugs

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were prescribed (a) anti-depressants, (b) mood stabilisers, (c) anti-psychotic drugs, (d) major tranquillisers and (e) minor tranquillisers in each year from 1990 to 2007. [208324]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not hold information on the number of people prescribed medicines.

Television

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many plasma television screens have been purchased by his Department and its agencies, and at what cost, in the last 24 months. [191082]

Mr. Bradshaw: In the last 24 months the Department has bought 28 plasma television screens at a cost of £36,300. The Department’s agencies bought one plasma television screen at a cost of £3,500.

Justice

Children: Protection

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many Legal Services Commission family contract holders were undertaking special Children Act proceedings work in (a) Berkshire, (b) Cambridgeshire, (c) Cumbria and (d) Kent in (i) October 2005, (ii) October 2006 and (iii) October 2007; [204725]

(2) how much the Legal Services Commission spent on special Children Act proceedings in (a) Berkshire, (b) Cambridgeshire, (c) Cumbria and (d) Kent in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. [204727]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not available in the form requested. Information is available by financial year for LSC procurement areas covering similar geographical areas.

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Number of provider offices Expenditure (£ million) Number of provider offices Expenditure (£ million) Number of provider offices( 1) Expenditure (£ million)( 2)

Berkshire

30

3.1

25

3.0

29

n/a

Cambridgeshire

35

3.2

33

3.5

29

n/a

Cumbria

35

1.0

34

1.0

33

n/a

Kent

80

4.3

54

4.9

56

n/a

(1) The civil Unified Contract introduced in April 2007 brought all of a provider’s offices under one contract and aligned not for profit organisations with solicitor firms. There are currently no not for profit organisations undertaking this work in these four areas.
(2) Final expenditure figures for 2007-08 will not be available until July 2008.

The reductions in the number of contracts held both in civil and criminal law reflects the trend in the last several years of offices doing small amounts of legal aid work to drop out of the market or merge with other offices, so that the work is done in larger volumes at fewer offices. As the LSC continues to pursue higher quality legal services, the number of providers is reducing. Expenditure in Cambridgeshire and Kent has increased since 2005-06 and has been broadly stable in Berkshire and Cumbria.

A provider with a family law contract may have offices in more than one procurement area or more than one office in the same procurement area. Information at this level can be provided only on the basis of individual
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office location, rather than the location of the provider’s head office. Where providers carry out work is not necessarily an indication of where their office is located. The provider office numbers include all those with an active family contract who have done Special Children Act cases in each procurement area.

The spend figures are on the basis of net payments authorised. The figures may include payments to providers who no longer have contracts but were completing ongoing cases or where work has been completed but the financial aspects of it have not yet been reconciled. Where counsel have been instructed by a solicitor, payments made for work done by counsel have been included in the totals for the procurement area where the lead solicitor is based. Payments to barristers may have been made either directly as family graduated fees, or indirectly for bills submitted by the solicitor.

Criminal Proceedings

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions are taking place between the Legal Services Commission, the Bar Council and the Law Society on Very High Cost Case (VHCC) criminal cases in relation to (a) the present VHCC contract of April 2008 and (b) the next round of VHCC cases; and if he will make a statement. [208650]

Maria Eagle: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, and I have discussed the present Very High Cost Case contract with the Legal Services Commission, the Bar Council and the Law Society on a number of occasions. We have established a working group to make proposals for the next VHCC scheme. Representatives of the Legal Services Commission, the Bar Council, the Law Society, the Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice officials are members of that group.

Offenders: Rehabilitation

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to implement the recommendations of the Breaking the Circle report of the review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. [208847]

Mr. Hanson: The Government undertook a review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in 2002 and published the document ‘Breaking the Circle’ which set out proposals for reform of the Act. That paper made proposals for modifying disclosure periods for offences, and other changes to the operation of the Act. In 2003 the Government agreed that the proposals had merit and proposed to legislate when parliamentary time allowed. The position is now under review in the light of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which was based on the recommendations of the Bichard report, and which makes changes to the disclosure regime for ex-offenders in many areas of employment.


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Open Prisons: Prison Accommodation

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the capacity of the open prison estate is; and how many such places were occupied at the most recent date for which figures are available. [206876]

Mr. Straw: As at 30 May 2008 (the latest date for which figures are available), the operational capacity of the open estate(1) was 5,138 and the total population was 4,869. The overall occupancy rate on this date was 95 per cent.

Road Traffic Offences

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the Government plans to implement section 20 of the Road Safety Act 2006 regarding the offence of causing death by careless driving; and if he will make a statement. [207715]

Maria Eagle: We intend to implement the section 20 offence of causing death by careless driving together with the Section 21 offence of causing death by driving—unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured—following the publication of sentencing guidelines by the Sentencing Guidelines Council. We anticipate that the guidelines will be published before the summer recess and we are currently considering possible implementation dates.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) criminal prosecutions and (b) civil actions were brought by (i) local authorities, (ii) the Crown and (iii) other parties against a person failing to comply with (A) a breach of condition notice under Section 187A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and (B) an enforcement notice under Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in each year since 1997; and how many such prosecutions resulted in (1) a criminal conviction and (2) a civil enforcement action. [208693]

Maria Eagle: Information on the number of criminal prosecutions and criminal convictions for the offences requested is provided in the following table.

The figures given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Information on the number of civil actions and civil penalties are not held centrally.


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5 Jun 2008 : Column 1114W
Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under sections 179 and 187a of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, England and Wales 1997-2006( 1,2)
Section 179: Non-compliance with enforcement notice Section 187A: Failure to comply with "breach of condition notice"
Proceeded against Found guilty Proceeded against Found guilty

1997

465

288

163

84

1998

462

237

195

108

1999

461

238

242

98

2000

435

234

162

105

2001

378

205

135

90

2002

394

217

112

66

2003

375

202

88

40

2004

424

231

105

66

2005

406

233

108

64

2006

498

283

126

61

(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. Source: Court proceedings database—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice.

Young Offenders: Prisoners Release

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many young offenders sentenced to immediate custody were released early from custody in each of the last five years. [207801]

Mr. Hanson: Figures showing the numbers of 18 to 20-year-olds who were released under (i) home detention curfew and (ii) after recommendations by the Parole Board from all prison establishments in England and Wales between 2002 and 2006 can be found in the following table:

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Early releases under home detention curfew

Population within eligible sentence length band

8,822

8,688

8,196

7,940

7,802

Released

3,543

3,546

3,127

2,667

2,034

Release rate (Percentage)

40

41

38

34

26

Determinate sentence cases considered by the Parole Board

Considered

230

200

260

280

300

Released

120

90

120

150

90

Parole rate (Percentage)

52

45

46

54

30


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