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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2009, Official Report, column 1548W, on shoplifting: fixed penalties, what length of time should have passed before a previous shoplifting offence should be taken into account when considering whether to issue a second penalty notice; and whether the ability of the offender to pay is taken into account in deciding whether to issue a second notice. 
Mr. Straw: Further to the reply given on 9 February, the guidance is designed to help with the exercise of a police officer's discretion in issuing a penalty notice for disorder. No specific time period is set after which a further PND may be issued, but the guidance to forces makes clear that it will not be appropriate to do so where there has been another shoplifting offence in the recent past.
No means testing is involved in the issue of a penalty notice for disorder for a first or subsequent offence. The success of the scheme depends on the speed and simplicity of issuing a ticket. The existing guidance states that a penalty notice for disorder will not be appropriate where no satisfactory address exists for enforcement purposes, possibly because the suspect may be homeless or sleeping rough.
Maria Eagle: Data showing defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for TV licence evasion in England and Wales, from 2005-07 are shown in the following table. The Criminal Statistics data for 2008 are due to be published in November 2009.
The statistics relate to defendants for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the principal offence is the offence 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.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for television licence evasion, England and Wales, 2005-07( 1, 2)|
|(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.
(3) As well as television licence evasion, these data include proceedings for summary offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 to 1967.
(4) These figures relate to the offence television licence evasionCommunications Act 2003.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he plans to take to ensure that witness statements from disabled adults who communicate using non-formal methods can be accepted in courts. 
Maria Eagle: In the criminal courts statements from disabled adults who use non-formal methods of communication are treated in the same way as statements from a witness whose first language is not English.
When taking a statement from a witness who requires assistance with communication, the police interview is conducted with necessary assistance, such as an accredited deaf signer, an intermediary, or communication aids or relay interpreters where more than one form of
communication is required. The statement is written by the police officer following the witness interview and then communicated back to the witness, with any necessary assistance to check its accuracy before the witness is invited to sign it.
So far as the admissibility of the statement is concerned, this is a matter for the court to determine in each case. Written statements are admissible in certain circumstances but normally a witness would give evidence orally in court, again with any necessary assistance with communication.
In the civil courts there are no plans to change the current arrangements in respect of witness statements. Each court has a customer service officer who is able to assist users by providing services such as hearing loops, sign language or lip speakers. When required, arrangements may be made to give evidence outside the court room, for example in a hospital. The judge, parties and court staff adopt a flexible approach to allow each case to be dealt with individually according to the circumstances of the person concerned and to accommodate any special needs.
Bridget Prentice: The question was transferred to the Solicitor-General on 4 February 2009. The Ministry of Justice's parliamentary branch wrote to the hon. Member on that day informing him of the transfer.
Mr. Hanson: Establishments operate a policy that young adult remands (18 to 21-year-olds) do not cell share with adult remands. Remanded young adults are either placed into dedicated young offender institutes or into local 'adult' prisons. Where accommodation is within the main adult estate, young adults would not share with adults.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what proportion of meat produce served in the House of Commons was Freedom Food-approved in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
In the 11 month period from April 2008 to February 2009, approximately 35 per cent. of all fresh chicken meat purchased by the House of Commons was approved under the RSPCAs Freedom Food scheme. No other fresh meat purchased over the same period was Freedom Food approved, but all fresh meat was sourced only from producers demonstrating high levels of animal welfare under other recognised quality assurance schemes, such as the Assured Food Standards Boards Red Tractor scheme.
Lack of availability is the main obstacle to the House of Commons increasing the proportion of Freedom Food approved meats purchased. The Freedom Food organisation acknowledges that supply is not always available in the food service sector due to the demands of retailers and the House of Commons catering service is working closely with the organisation to try to address this issue.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much funding the House of Commons Commission has provided to Millbank Systems in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The parliamentary service is engaged in providing greater electronic access for the public to parliamentary material and as part of this work it has developed digital access to historic Hansard data. Millbank Systems is the name used for the experimental web domain on which the historic Hansard digitisation content is being piloted. The cost of web hosting, which is funded by the Commons alone, was £2,500 in 2007-08 and will be £14,550 in 2008-09.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much has been (a) budgeted and (b) spent since April 2008 on security in the Palace of Westminster; and if he will make a statement. 
Between April 2008 and December 2008 the actual spend on the Palace of Westminster security contract (including armed police) was £22,417,500 against a budget of £22,989,900 (an underspend of £572,400). The budget for the full year is £30,902,400. These figures are the total costs for the Palace of Westminster, which are shared between the House of Commons and the House of Lords on a 69 per cent./31 per cent. basis.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which works of art from the Government Art Collection each Minister in his Department has selected for display in a private office. 
Mr. Woodward: I do not have any Government Art Collection works of art on display in my office. The following artworks are on display in my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Paul Goggins) private office:
Strand on the Green by Rodney Joseph Burn;
Tours by Bernard Kay;
At the Ebb by Tom Mackenzie;
Three Window Views by Christine Wilkinson;
Battersea River-Scape by Michael Halliday;
Castle Rigg I by Susan E. Jameson; and
Castle Rigg II by Susan E. Jameson.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what use (a) his Department and (b) service providers under contract to his Department made of (i) 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers and (ii) revenue-sharing telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; for which services such numbers are used; what prefixes are used for revenue-sharing numbers; how much revenue has accrued from revenue-sharing numbers in each of the last five years; what consideration his Department has given to introducing 03-prefixed telephone numbers for calls to all such services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: The Department maintains the use of one 0845 number for use by members of the public. This line allows members of the public to request information on the Mentally Disordered Offenders Victim Information Scheme.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 978W, on 10 Downing Street: repairs and maintenance, if he will place in the Library (a) a copy of the non-intervention letter sent by English Heritage and (b) a copy of the plans that were sent to and are held by English Heritage, redacting elements which could compromise security arrangements. 
Barbara Follett: I am arranging for copies of English Heritages non-intervention letter of 7 February to Westminster city council, with regard to repairs and maintenance to 10 Downing street, to be placed in the House Libraries.
However, I am informed by officials at 10 Downing street that for security reasons, it is their policy not to release any information about the floor plans or the layout of the Downing street complex.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Government grant funding has been provided for the arts in (a) Wiltshire and (b) the South West in each year since 1997. 
Barbara Follett: Government funding for the arts is made through Arts Council England according to the arms length principle. Decisions about which arts organisations to fund are therefore, a matter for the Arts Council.
Arts Council England advises that it provides the following grant in aid funding through its Regularly Funded Organisation programme. These figures do not include funding from the Grants for the Arts initiative.
|Regularly funded organisations|
Art Council Englands predecessors, the regional arts board, were independent bodies and maintained records according to their own systems and requirements. Consequently, Arts Council England is unable to provide compatible figures for the RFO portfolio in the years before 2003-04.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what progress has been made in reducing the carbon footprint of (a) his Department, (b) its agency and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in the last 12 months; 
Barbara Follett: In order to set a benchmark for carbon emissions reduction, DCMS calculated a carbon footprint for the Department; the Royal Parks Agency and 16 non-departmental public bodies in 2008. Progress is being monitored by individual organisations and will be followed up by DCMS after March 2010 once an appreciable amount of data is available. Specific operational examples of reduction carried out by DCMS are the replacement of existing gas boilers with more energy efficient models and the installation of improved energy efficient light fittings, variable speed drives (systems for controlling the rotational speed of an alternating current electric motor) and air handling units. Our sponsored bodies are making similar adjustments to their operational procedures. Further examples of their actions are available in the Pathways to Sustainability section of the Department website.
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