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Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many appeal cases relating to mis-calculation of debts have been heard (a) in Coventry, (b) in the West Midlands and (c) nationally in each of the last five years; and how many such appeals (i) with and (ii) without legal aid were upheld. 
Mr Djanogly: The question has been interpreted as relating to the overpayment of social security benefits. The following table shows the number of overpayment of benefit cases cleared at hearing for Coventry, West Midlands and nationally together with the number of hearing outcomes found in favour of the appellant. The information is only available from 2007-08 onwards.
|Overpayment of benefit|
|Cleared at hearing||Decision in favour of appellant||Cleared at hearing||Decision in favour of appellant||Cleared at hearing||Decision in favour of appellant|
At present in welfare benefit cases legal aid is only available for advice and assistance, not for legal representation. The appellant is required only to provide reasons for disagreeing with the decision in plain language. For those who need assistance on a welfare benefits matter, there is advice and assistance available from the voluntary sector as well as, for example, the benefits inquiry line.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many upheld appeal cases relating to disability living allowance that were a result of (a) administrative and (b) procedural errors made by (i) government departments and (ii) local authorities there have been in each month of 2010 (A) in the West Midlands and (B) nationally. 
Mr Djanogly: The first-tier tribunal-social security and child support does not hold the information requested as there is no business need or benefit to do so. The information can be provided only at a disproportionate cost by manually checking each individual case file. In addition, the first-tier tribunal (social security and child support) destroys appeal files six months after the conclusion of a case, so, for the majority of the period requested by the hon. Member, information is no longer available.
Mr Djanogly: The data relating to court utilisation rates and the estimated travel impact of closures is contained in annexes B and C respectively of the consultation response papers. Data concerning the financial and socio-economic impact of closures can be found in the impact assessments and analysis and research into the effect on different communities and groups of people is in the equality impact assessments.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) open and (b) suicide verdicts were returned in each coroners' jurisdiction in England and Wales in each year from 2000 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: A table showing the number of verdicts of suicide, and the number of open verdicts, reported by each coroner's district for each of the years 2000 to 2009 inclusive, has been placed in the Library of the House.
Information relating to the year 2010 is not yet available, but will be published in the 2010 edition of the annual statistical bulletin "Deaths reported to coroners, England and Wales", which will be published on the Ministry of Justice website in May 2011.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what damage was caused to Supreme Court buildings during the demonstration held on 9 December 2010; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of making good the damage; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: During disturbances in Parliament square and Broad Sanctuary in the afternoon and evening of Thursday 9 December, the Supreme Court had panes of glass in 14 ground floor windows broken, including the destruction of original 97-year-old leaded lights. All the windows have secondary glazing and none was penetrated, albeit that one pane of the secondary glazing was damaged and has had to be replaced.
Paint was also sprayed on the semi-circular stone seating in Parliament Square in front of the main entrance but the seating is the responsibility of Westminster city council and the council cleaned off the paint.
The costs for the repairs carried out to date amount to £7,375. This does not include the cost of the restorer's repair of the leaded lights for which the provisional cost is £9,000, nor the cost of painting the window putty beads when the putty has hardened.
Some protestors also climbed over the railings around the court's perimeter to rip down pigeon netting across window reveals and to jump on the grilles over the building's "moat". Presently it is not clear whether these will have to be replaced.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to encourage small businesses to bid for contracts let by his Department; and what recent guidance he has provided to small businesses on bidding for such contracts. 
Mr Blunt: The Cabinet Office recently announced a package of measures designed to help government meet its aspiration that 25% of Government contracts go to small and medium sized enterprises. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is working closely with the Cabinet Office to ensure that these measures are embedded in its procurement practices.
The MoJ also acts proactively to engage and attract the interest of the voluntary community and social enterprise sector (VCSE). Opportunities are currently advertised through "Supply to Government" and will shortly migrate to the new contracts finder portal where all Government opportunities over £10,000 will be published. Opportunities are also advertised through Clinks, a charity that assists in communication to the sector.
Procurement activity is tailored to the value and complexity of the requirement but tends to be shorter and involve engagement opportunities with the sector via dialogue sessions to discuss the requirement. MoJ has recently implemented an e-procurement tool that is easy for small businesses and the VCSE to use. The MoJ procurement processes comply with the Cabinet Office VCSE Compact.
The Legal Services Commission meets regularly with representatives of the voluntary sector including Advice UK, Advice Service Alliance (ASA), Citizens Advice (Cit A), Housing Law Practitioners' Association (HLPA) and the Law Centres Federation. The Civil Contract Consultative Group, which also includes ASA, meets quarterly to share information and discuss overarching issues about contracts and tendering. Separate category specific meetings for social welfare law and immigration are held to resolve practical issues.
We have a standing Advisory Group for the voluntary sector which covers all matters related to the sector's contribution to reducing reoffending including contracts. In developing proposals to open up the market to independent providers to bid for offender management services, the Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Agency held a market engagement workshop, prior to the publication on 7 December of our Green Paper 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders'. The workshop included organisations from the voluntary and community sectors, including those currently delivering our services and those interested in competing for future opportunities. The Green Paper makes clear the significant increase in opportunities for the sector to bid for contracts including as part of innovative payment by result approaches.
NOMS met with independent providers including the voluntary sector, in consultation meetings in nine locations across the country to discuss opportunities for bidding for contracts around education, training and employment under the European Social Fund Co-financing Programme. These were followed up by a number of "meet the providers" events aimed at enabling smaller organisations from the sector to access subcontracting opportunities.
The sector was, and is, widely engaged in advising NOMS on the specifications, benchmarking and costing exercise of all services required by prisons and probation. The timetable for the exercise is available on the MoJ website at:
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases have been heard by an Employment Tribunal (a) in Coventry, (b) in the West Midlands and (c) nationally in each of the last five years; and how many such cases (i) with and (ii) without legal aid were upheld. 
It has not been possible to provide a breakdown of the number of cases specifically heard by employment tribunals in Coventry and the West Midlands. However, the following table lists the number of claims
disposed of either at hearing or by way of a default judgment by employment tribunals nationally and in the Midlands group, ie Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Shrewsbury in the period 2005-10.
Legal aid is available for advice in respect of an employment tribunal claim (though not for advocacy before the tribunal), and for both advice and representation for appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The employment tribunals do not hold information on whether a claim has attracted legal aid.
|Employment tribunals jurisdictional claims successful and unsuccessful for offices in the Midlands and Nationally 2005-10|
|Office||Financial year||Successful at hearing-claimant||Default judgments issued||Unsuccessful at hearing||Dismissed at preliminary hearing||Total disposals at hearing|
1. Rounding: All figures are rounded independently according to the following conventions. Values less than 100 remain as unit values; values from 100 to 999 are rounded to nearest ten; and values of 1,000 and over are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. Claims disposed figures are calculated with reference to the office at which the claim was accepted. The Shrewsbury office was changed from a hearing and administrative centre to a hearing centre administered by Birmingham in 2009-10, therefore, the number of claims disposed attributed to Shrewsbury in 2009-10 is lower as this office no longer accepts claims.
Employment Tribunal Management Information Database and Employment Tribunal Annual Reports.
Mr Djanogly: The information requested on the number of social workers instructed by the county courts was 311 for the Family Proceedings courts (magistrates) and 152 for the county courts for the period 2009-10.
Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Government support, in principle, the recommendations delivered by the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity in its February 2010 report. The recommendations seek to deliver speedier and sustained progress to a more diverse judiciary at every level and in all Courts in England and Wales, without diminishing appointment on merit.
My noble Friend, Lord McNally, is a member of the Judicial Diversity Taskforce established to oversee the delivery of the Panel's recommendations. The Taskforce's other members are the Lord Chief Justice, the Senior President of Tribunals, the Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission, the Chairman of the Bar Council, the President of the Law Society and the President of the Institute of Legal Executives.
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is the non-departmental public body with responsibility for the administration of the legal aid fund and the tender process and award of legal aid contracts are operational matters for the LSC. In this tender process the LSC aimed to commission services based more closely on where clients need them.
In social welfare law the LSC based the numbers of New Matter Starts available on its indicative needs model, which uses demographic data to show which the likely level of need for legal aid services. This was combined with information on current service provision. Where the needs model differed from current service provision, the New Matter Starts made available in that area were increased or decreased by up to 10% compared with current service provision.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the eligibility criteria for legal aid in providing access to justice for those with low or no incomes. 
The financial eligibility criteria for civil legal aid are intended to focus it on the most vulnerable. At present those in receipt of certain welfare benefits
automatically qualify financially for civil legal aid. For all others, in the areas where means testing is required, those with a gross annual income of £31,884 are potentially eligible for legal aid, depending on the amount of their assessed disposable income and/or capital.
On 15 November the Justice Secretary announced the publication of a consultation on a package of proposals for the reform of legal aid, including proposals to reform the financial eligibility criteria. The consultation paper: 'Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales' is available at the Ministry of Justice website at:
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information was contained in the letter from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in his Department of 9 August 2010 to the Law Society on provisions in the 2007 unified civil contracts for extension of those contracts beyond October 2010. 
"I understand that there is no further provision in the current contracts for extension beyond their expiry date in October".
Prior to September 2010 the Unified Contract contained a provision that notice of any further extension of the contract must be given at least three months' notice prior to 31 March 2010. Therefore at the time the letter of 9 August was written there was no power on the face of the contract allowing for any further extension. Following an application for judicial review of the contract tender for family legal services by the Law Society, the Legal Services Commission agreed to a one month extension to preserve the status quo and ensure continuity of provision pending the outcome of the judicial review. The mechanism to achieve this was to amend the above notice provision in the contract; this amendment was made pursuant to Clause 13.4 (minor amendments). This was not something envisaged at the time of my letter. Thereafter when judgment was given in the judicial review further amendments were made to the extension provisions of the contract to allow for it to be extended for family services only. Those were made under Clause 13.2, which allows for amendment in response to a court judgment. This approach was approved by the court at the final hearing of the judicial review.
Mr Djanogly: Legal aid in England and Wales is administered by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). For the purpose of granting legal aid, the LSC does not distinguish between those having entered the UK illegally from others seeking legal aid in immigration and asylum matters, or any other matter. Therefore, the information is not held by the LSC.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Legal Services Commission (LSC) takes to assist its staff to comply with their obligations under the LSC's Employee Charter; what procedures are in place for ensuring staff compliance with the Charter; whether any enforcement mechanisms for staff operate with regard to the Charter; on how many occasions the provisions of the Charter have been breached by the LSC; and what actions have been taken in each such case. 
Mr Djanogly: The Employee Charter is not contractual and therefore the Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not enforce employee obligations under the Charter. The Charter was developed by employees who volunteered to participate in its development. The LSC has incorporated the Charter into its core behaviours which underpin the personal development reviews for all LSC employees.
If an employee felt there had been non-compliance with the Charter they would have the opportunity to have this addressed through: discussion with their line manager or union representative, LSC internal mediation, the LSC's grievance procedure and, potentially, the LSC's disciplinary procedure.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what obligations are placed on staff of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) under its Employee Charter; when the Charter was first produced; by what means it was disseminated to LSC staff; what changes have been made to the Charter since it was first produced; on what date and for what reasons such changes have been made; and what information has been produced by the LSC in connection with the Charter. 
Mr Djanogly: The LSC launched its Employee Charter in conjunction with a new behavioural framework in September 2008. The Charter was developed by employees as an expression of the aspirational values of the organisation. While the Charter is not intended as a performance measurement tool, the behavioural framework describes how the LSC's competencies can be demonstrated through behaviours and is used in performance development review meetings and for recruitment.
The method of dissemination of the Charter was decided by local senior management teams and varied across the sites of the LSC. All staff had access to it through an intranet article and mention in the 'core brief' (standardised monthly face to face communication from managers). Booklets were available for distribution and each office had a 'champion' who ran information sessions in their regions. It is included in induction packs for new starters.
The Charter is published with the behavioural framework in the booklet titled 'Empowering our Future'. It is also referenced in the Employee Handbook which contains terms and conditions of employment. Employees who demonstrate the values of the Charter have been recognised
publicly with intranet stories and posters for notice boards describing how their behaviour makes a positive difference to the LSC.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the Department of the Legal Services Commission headed by its Chief Legal Adviser was renamed; for what reasons it was renamed; and what changes in its functions there have been since 1 April 2007. 
Mr Djanogly: In May 2010, the three separate departments of Legal, Procurement and Policy were merged into one, now referred to as Legal, Commissioning and Operational Policy. The overall functions of each have remained the same, with the changes having taken place in reporting structure. The director of this department reports direct to the chief executive on legal matters and the executive director of commissioning on all other matters.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what normal working hours are required of full-time employees of the Legal Services Commission (LSC); and what provision there is in the contracts of employment for LSC personnel to work in excess of normal working hours. 
Mr Djanogly: A full-time equivalent employee at the LSC works 35 hours per week. The LSC adheres to the EU working time directive and the policy on overtime is contained within the LSC's Employee Handbook, which states
"It is not the LSC's aim to encourage (staff) to work overtime. However, there will be occasions where operational requirements necessitate additional work to be undertaken. These will be organised by (the) manager. Overtime requirements must be requested by the Line Manager in charge."
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much was paid in (a) redundancy and (b) severance payments to each former employee of the Legal Services Commission's Legal, Commissioning and Operational Policy department and its predecessor departments in each year since 1 April 2007; 
(2) how many employees with permanent contracts in the Legal, Commissioning and Operational Policy department of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) and its predecessor departments left the LSC in each year since 1 April 2007; and what their (a) name, (b) job title and (c) date of departure was in each case; 
(3) how many temporary staff were employed by the Legal, Commissioning and Operational Policy department of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) and its predecessor departments in each year since 1 April 2007; and what the cost of (a) recruitment, (b) national insurance and (c) remuneration costs were of such temporary personnel in each year. 
Mr Djanogly: It is not possible to answer the question in the exact format requested. The LSC has undergone significant restructuring since April 2007. Each restructure has aimed to ensure that the LSC is better prepared for the future and that it has the right people with the right skills and experience to deliver legal aid. Various people have moved between departments and the departments themselves have been renamed and restructured. To track the staff and match them to departments is not possible except at disproportionate cost. However, I am able to provide total figures for the whole LSC as set out in the following table. Please note that the figures for the number of employees leaving the LSC include those who have left for reasons other than redundancy and so these figures should not be compared directly with the severance costs reported.
|2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2010-11 to date|
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff are employed on permanent contracts in the Legal, Commissioning and Operational Policy department of the Legal Services Commission. 
The cost of the contract for the proposed prison was £567 million, to be paid over a 261/2 year period. The construction costs, which were included in the total contract cost, were estimated at around £95 million.
A total of £16 million has been spent on the site since it was purchased in 1998. This includes site purchase costs, site security, obtaining planning consent and detailed planning permission, discharging the planning conditions and demolishing the buildings that were on site.
Not proceeding with the project will save a total of £567 million in running costs. We are now likely to save around £14 million to £16 million more over the Spending Review Period than if we had decided to continue. This saving would have continued beyond this period at around £7 million to £9 million per year once the proposed prison had become operational.
The cost of external professional advice (including legal, financial, insurance and technical advisors, as well as Partnerships UK), for the procurement of prisons at Maghull and Belmarsh West was about £2.4 million. As the tendering process for both prisons was run simultaneously, a breakdown of the cost of external professional advice for Maghull alone is not available.
Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his most recent estimate is of the maintenance costs required for the upkeep of the 18 magistrates and local courts in Wales listed in the court closures consultation paper. 
Following the decisions announced on 14 December, HMCS will continue to undertake any essential maintenance work required until the courts which are to close have been formally closed and the buildings disposed of.
Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which Ministers in his Department have visited the North East since their appointment; and what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each such visit. 
Mr Kenneth Clarke:
The Prisons Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Mr Blunt), visited
Durham Probation and HMP Frankland on 27 and 28 May 2010 as part of a series of visits to prisons and probation areas.
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what criteria he plans to use to determine the release of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences who have completed their minimum tariff. 
Mr Blunt: On 7 December we published proposals in the Green Paper, "Breaking the Cycle: effective punishment, rehabilitation and sentencing of offenders", for public consultation. These proposals included the reform of sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs).
We intend that, as now, offenders who have completed their minimum term will undergo a risk assessment before being considered for release, and the Parole Board will consider whether each individual case is suitable for release on licence. We are, however, proposing to make amendments to the risk test used by the Parole Board, so that before continuing detention the Parole
Board will need to satisfy themselves that the offender presents a risk which cannot be managed in the community. These proposals have been published on the Ministry of Justice website at:
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were serving a custodial sentence of (a) five years or fewer, (b) four years or fewer, (c) three years or fewer, (d) two years or fewer and (e) one year or less for each category of offence in the latest period for which figures are available.  [Official Report, 21 March 2011, Vol. 525, c. 17MC.]
|Custodial prison population as of 30 September 2010 by sentence length and offence category|
|Offence category||Less than five years||Less than four years||Less than three years||Less than two years||Less than one year|
Mr Blunt: In the financial year 2010-11 the Ministry of Justice allocated a total of £71.4 million for drug and alcohol treatment services in prisons and young offender institutions across England and Wales. In addition to this Department of Health fund clinical services in prison primarily through the integrated drug treatment system.
The recent spending review confirmed that health services will now be responsible for funding and commissioning drug and alcohol treatment in all prisons in England. Ministry of Justice will work closely with Department of Health to drive efficiencies in drug and alcohol treatment in prisons and the community in order to achieve better results for those in contact with the criminal justice system. The recently published "Cross-Government Drugs Strategy and the Ministry of Justice green paper Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders" sets out some of our proposals for achieving this.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what funding his Department allocated to the provision of support in the criminal justice system for victims of rape in each year since 2005; and what such funding he plans to provide in each year of the spending review period. 
Since 2005 the following amounts have been allocated by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform
(which was subsumed under the Ministry of Justice in June 2010) to fund support for victims of sexual violence:
Over financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06 a total of £4 million from recovered proceeds of crime was allocated to improving support services for victims of sexual crime. This was split between improving both statutory (developing and extending the network of SARCs) and voluntary-sector provision for victims of sexual crime.
Since 2006-07 £1.25 million has been allocated annually through the Victims' Fund towards the continued development of voluntary-sector support services. Since 2007-08 this has been funded through the victim surcharge, a £15 levy on all fines imposed in the criminal courts. In 2010-11 £1.25 million of surcharge revenue was combined with a £1 million contribution from the Government Equalities Office to form a single fund of £2.25 million for the sexual violence voluntary sector.
The Government are committed to improving support for victims of rape by providing long-term, stable funding to existing rape crisis centres and establishing new centres where there are gaps in provision. An announcement on how we will implement the commitment will be made in the new year.
Mr Blunt: The National Offender Management Service does not routinely collect information in relation to organisations supported by Community Payback. A survey of Community Payback was conducted in March 2010. During that month in excess of 200,000 hours of work were provided for voluntary sector organisations, with 1,543 work projects being operated which benefited the voluntary sector.
Mr Blunt: The size of Community Payback work groups was not collected for the period requested. The NOMS Specification and Benchmarking programme suggested an average group size of seven offenders-though this will vary depending on the nature of the work.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 16 November 2010, Official Report, columns 668-70W, on sentencing, how many offences there were in each category by (a) gender and (b) ethnicity. 
Mr Blunt: Tables 1 to 5 show figures for sentences given for indictable offences to offenders with 16 or more previous convictions or cautions, who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence, by category of offence and gender. Tables 6 to 10 show figures for sentences given for indictable offences to offenders with 16 or more previous convictions or cautions, who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence, by category of offence and ethnicity. These figures are derived from table 6.2 of 'Sentencing Statistics: England and Wales 2009' which was published on 21 October 2010.
The figures have been drawn from the police's administrative IT system, the police national computer (PNC), which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the police. The ethnicity information recorded on the PNC reflects the police officer's view of the offender's ethnicity.
|Table 1: Number of offenders with 16 to 25 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and gender, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 2: Number of offenders with 26 to 50 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and gender, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 3: Number of offenders with 51 to 75 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and gender, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 4: Number of offenders with 76 to 100 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and gender, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 5: Number of offenders with 101 or more previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and gender, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
These figures do not include those with an unknown gender.
|Table 6: Number of offenders with 16 to 25 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and ethnicity, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 7: Number of offenders with 26 to 50 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and ethnicity, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
|Table 8: Number of offenders with 51 to 75 previous convictions or cautions who did not receive an immediate custodial sentence for an indictable offence by offence category and ethnicity, 2007-09|
|England and Wales|
|Number of offenders|
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