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17 Nov 2008 : Column 19W—continued

Departmental Information Officers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many full-time equivalent press officers (a) work for and (b) provide assistance for his Department. [235301]

Mr. Wills: As at April 2008, there were 31 full-time equivalent press officers working for the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice is also occasionally supported by COI News which provides regional press support on an issue or case-by-case basis. However, because of the nature of this support it is not possible to quantify it as an equivalent to full-time press officers without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental Official Residences

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what permanent residential accommodation is provided for use by civil servants in his Department; how many residential dwellings are provided; where they are located; and for what grade of civil servant they are provided. [221967]

Mr. Malik: Her Majesty's Courts Service has a total of 19 residential properties across London and regional areas of England and Wales and of these, 14 are occupied by managers of judges lodgings. All residents of these properties are a Grade EO apart from one that is a Grade HEO. The remaining five properties, mainly located within Greater London, are allocated to a Regional Fire and Safety Manager at Band C, Court Keepers at Band D, and a Custodian/Keeper at Band F.

Her Majesty's Prison Service has 360 residential properties across 36 regional towns and cities in England and Wales with the largest number of properties (195) in London. Prison officers occupy 280 properties and chaplains and agricultural workers occupy a further 69. The remaining 11 properties accommodate industrial workers, store men, admin staff, former staff and staff widows.

The rest of Ministry of Justice has no residential property.

Departmental Pensions

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of civil servants in his Department and its agencies are members of the (a) Classic, (b) Classic Plus, (c) Nuvos and (d) Premium civil service pension schemes. [229528]

Mr. Wills: Information on staff pensions in the Ministry of Justice as at September 2008 is as follows:

Number of staff in scheme Proportion of staff in each scheme (percentage)

(a) Classic



(b) + (d) Classic Plus + Premium Civil Service Pension Scheme



(c) Nuvos



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The figures provided do not include employees who have elected to join a Partnership pension scheme or have opted out of the pension. Therefore the figures provided do not total 100 per cent. of employees currently in the Department.

It is not possible to differentiate between those employees in the Premium pension scheme and those in the Classic + pension scheme. They are not recorded separately on the pension records held by the Department’s payroll provider and would be available only at disproportionate cost, if at all.

Departmental Public Expenditure

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what reductions in expenditure his Department plans to make by April 2011; and what assessment he has made of their likely effects; [232502]

(2) what recent decisions have been taken on reducing his Department's future expenditure; and if he make a statement. [232503]

Mr. Straw: The MoJ settlement received in the last Comprehensive Spending Review meant that the MoJ would have to absorb cost of living increases and other upward pressures equivalent to approximately £1 billion over the three-year period. We have plans for year 1 and plans are being developed for years 2 and 3 taking us up to March 2011. The details are being worked on, but will focus on reducing overheads, removing duplication and increasing efficiencies. We will prioritise front line services we provide to the public to make communities safer, provide access to justice and cut re-offending—without jeopardising performance throughout the MoJ. We will continue the transformation of the services we provide so that they are more open, visible and transparent to the people they service.

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will publish the presentation given in his Department on 28 September 2008 on the Department's budgetary position and the options for dealing with its budgetary shortfall. [232504]

Mr. Straw: No. The presentation was a piece of draft analysis presented by the MoJ Corporate Management Board to Ministers for internal planning purposes. The MoJ Permanent Secretary has undertaken to write to Select Committee in December with more details of our planned savings package following a period of due diligence.

Electronic Voting

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what lessons his Department has learned from pilots of e-counting; and what steps he has taken to ensure that such lessons are taken into account in any future pilots. [233952]

Mr. Wills: The purpose of pilots is to investigate the issues surrounding the use of various potential innovations in electoral administration and gain learning that will inform development of policy and possible future e-counting solutions. One of the aims of the e-counting pilots that took place in May 2007, for example, was to investigate whether commercially available scanning
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machines could successfully be used in an e-counting solution. The pilots demonstrated that it is possible to use commercially available scanning machines, and this should lead to lower costs.

All electoral pilots are evaluated by the Electoral Commission, which makes recommendations regarding the future operation of particular innovations. These evaluations usually encapsulate the key lessons and recommendations from each pilot. The Government take these into account alongside lessons learned during development and implementation of the pilots themselves and, where relevant, the experience of e-counting elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

Feltham Young Offender Institution and Remand Centre

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost for providing a place in (a) Feltham A for 15 to 17-year-olds and (b) Feltham B for 18 to 21 year olds is in the latest year for which figures are available. [236048]

Mr. Hanson: The average annual cost for providing a place in Feltham A for 15 to 17-year-olds is £43,360 and Feltham B for 18 to 21-year-olds is £42,050. The cost includes direct prison costs only and excludes overhead costs.


Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many sales orders in respect of residential property were made in each year since 1997; [235908]

(2) how many charging orders over residential properties were issued in each year since 1997. [235909]

Bridget Prentice: The table shows the numbers of applications for charging orders, and the number of charging orders made, in the county courts of England and Wales in each year since 1997. These figures cover charging orders against all types of property, not just residential property. Figures relating solely to orders against residential property are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Similarly, figures on the number of orders for sale are not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

N umber of applications for charging orders and charging orders made in England and Wales 1997-2007

Applications Orders made


































HMCS CaseMan system (2000-07) and manual returns (19,97-99)

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Members: Correspondence

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to reply to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire’s letter of 1 August on the length of time taken to respond to a freedom of information request regarding Titan prisons for Wychavon District Council made on 25 April 2008. [236479]

Mr. Hanson: I replied to the hon. Member on 6 October.

Penalty Notices

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether primary legislation will be required to amend the sentencing guidelines for penalty notices for disorder. [234872]

Mr. Straw: The independent Sentencing Guidelines Council has not produced a sentencing guideline for penalty notices for disorder as these disposals are issued by the police and other designated persons and not by the courts.

Penalty Notices: Shoplifting

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of issuing penalty notices for disorder in preventing shoplifters from re-offending. [234774]

Maria Eagle: No assessment has been made. A study of criminal histories and re-offending rates of PND recipients is under way and will be published in due course.

The aim of the PND Scheme is to provide the police with a swift financial punishment to deal with misbehaviour, including minor shoplifting, and a practical deterrent to future re-offending.

Political Parties: Finance

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to change the regulated limit for local candidate spending during election periods for (a) local elections, (b) devolved institution elections and (c) European Parliamentary elections; and if he will make a statement. [233385]

Mr. Straw: I have no such plans.

Prisoners: Suicide

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) suicides and (b) self-harm incidents there have been in (i) HM prisons and (ii) young offender institutions in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [235714]

Mr. Malik: The numbers of suicides and self-harm incidents since 1998 are contained in the following table.

The National Offender Management Service has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This encompasses a wide spectrum
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of Prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, substance misuse and resettlement. Any prisoner identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm is cared for using the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) procedures. ACCT is the prisoner-centred flexible care-planning system introduced across the prisons estate in partnership with the Department of Health during 2005-07 to replace the old F2052SH system.

Any death in custody is a tragic event. The Government are committed to learning from such events and reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in state custody. We are implementing many of the recommendations of Robert Fulton's Review of the Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody. From April 2009, a new three tier Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody will replace the existing forum and the Ministerial Roundtable on Suicide.

All prisons Young offender institutions( 1)

Self-inflicted deaths Self-harm incidents Self-inflicted deaths Self-harm incidents



















































(1) Due to the mixed roll (adult and young offender) of some prisons and re-rolling over the years there is more than one way to present figures for young offender institutions therefore caution needs to be taken when interpreting them. (2) A new system for monitoring self-harm was introduced in December 2002, and as a result, recording of self-harm improved through 2003. Self-harm figures for 2003 and earlier are not comparable with later years.

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