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19 Jan 2011 : Column 804Wcontinued
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many social security cases were brought to the Tribunal Service in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituency in the last 12 months; and how many such cases were not dealt with within the 14-week target time. 
Mr Djanogly: The target in the 2010-11 Tribunals Service Business Plan is for the First-tier Tribunal-Social Security and Child Support to issue a final decision for 75% of cases within 16 weeks of receipt of appeals.
The Tribunals Service does not have an administrative office in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. Appeals submitted within the. Hon. Member's constituency are heard at the Haverfordwest hearing venue. Within the last 12 months the Haverfordwest hearing cleared 598 appeals. Of this total, 356 (60%) were within target and 242 (40%) were disposed of outside the target time.
Performance below target has resulted from an unexpectedly high level of appeals, particularly against employment support allowance decisions. In response, the Tribunals Service has significantly increased its capacity and, nationally, 47% more social security and child support appeals were cleared in September 2010 compared to September 2009. Further capacity increases are in hand.
Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what response he made to representations made by solicitors practising in Lowestoft as part of the consultation on the closure of Lowestoft County Court; 
(2) if he will assess the effect on vulnerable persons in the Lowestoft area of changes in the time taken to grant (a) occupation orders and (b) non-molestation orders as a result of the closure of Lowestoft County Court. 
Mr Djanogly: The consultation response papers and impact assessments for the HMCS Area of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk can be found on the Ministry of Justice website:
While Lowestoft county court is to close and the administrative work be transferred to Norwich county court, hearings will remain at the courthouse. Retaining the building as a hearing centre also enables a part-time counter service as well as information, drop box and copying facilities to remain available for local court users. No significant impact on the time taken to grant occupation or non-molestation orders is expected.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of convictions for drug possession of controlled substances resulted in prison sentences in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009 in (i) the UK, (ii) Sussex and (iii) Brighton and Hove. 
Mr Blunt: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts and sentenced to immediate custody, for possession of, and possession with intent to supply, a controlled drug, in England and Wales, Sussex police force area, and Sussex (Central) Local Justice Area (in which Brighton and Hove magistrates court is located), for the years 2007 to 2009 can be viewed in the table as follows.
Information for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Executive and Northern Ireland Office respectively.
|Number of defendants found guilty at all courts and sentenced to immediate custody, for possession of, and possession with intent to supply, a controlled drug, England and Wales, Sussex police force area, and Sussex (Central) Local Justice Area, 2007 to2009( 1,2)|
|Area/year||Found guilty||Immediate custody||Proportion of found guilty sentenced to immediate custody (Percentage)|
|(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons 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 it 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.|
(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) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates' court for April, July and August 2008.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate has been made of the cost to the criminal justice system of dealing with (a) alcohol and (b) drug- related crimes in each of the last three years. 
Mr Blunt: The MoJ has not carried out a systematic analysis of the cost to the criminal justice system of dealing with alcohol and drug related crimes in each of the last three years. Such an analysis would require considerable resources. However, two reports: Home Office Online Report 16/06 and Impact Assessment on the alcohol code published alongside the Police and Crime Bill provide estimates of some aspects of the impact of drug and alcohol related offending.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people received legal aid in each year since 1997. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not record the number of people who receive legal aid. Instead it records the number of 'acts of assistance'. One individual may receive a number of separate acts of assistance, and one act of assistance can help more than one person.
The LSC's figures for the total number of acts of assistance for civil and criminal legal aid for each of the financial years 1997-98 to 2009-10 are shown in the following table.
|Acts of assistance (million)|
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on his proposed changes to legal aid; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: My Department has already received a number of representations on the Government's proposals for legal aid reform in advance of the closing date for the consultation on 14 February. My intention is to publish a response to the consultation in the spring, which will provide an analysis of all the representations made.
Mr Virendra Sharma:
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has for the future of legal aid for immigration applications for indefinite leave to
remain in the UK arising from domestic or other forms of gender-related violence. 
Mr Djanogly: The Government are currently consulting on all their legal aid proposals, including the removal of all non-detention immigration cases from the scope of legal aid. This would include applications for indefinite leave to remain that arise from domestic violence.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent and how many acts of assistance were rendered on legal aid through the Criminal Defence Service in respect of (a) Very High Cost Criminal, (b) complex fraud and (c) other cases in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr Djanogly: Complex fraud cases are funded under the Very High Cost (Criminal) Cases scheme. Legal aid expenditure on complex fraud and on the high cost case scheme since its inception in 2001, together with other non VHCC expenditure under the Criminal Defence Service was as follows.
|VHCC (£ million)||VHCC fraud (£ million)||Non VHCC (expenditure £ million)||Total CDS (expenditure £ million)|
|n/a = Not applicable|
The cost of complex fraud cases commenced before the full introduction of the VHCC scheme is included
under non VHCC expenditure. It is not possible to disaggregate complex fraud from other expenditure in that category.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent and how many acts of assistance were rendered on legal aid through the Housing Duty Solicitor Scheme in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr Djanogly: Expenditure and acts of assistance on legal aid through the Housing Duty Solicitor Scheme from 2005-06 to 2009-10 is shown in the following table.
|Acts of assistance||Expenditure|
Between 2001 and 2005 the Legal Services Commission funded 13 pilot housing duty schemes as part of their research into alternative methods of delivery of legal services. These pilots assisted approximately 5,000 people per year at a total cost of approximately £2.2 million for the four year period. A yearly breakdown for this period could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent and how many acts of assistance were rendered on legal aid through the Community Legal Service in respect of (a) family, (b) housing, (c) welfare benefit, (d) debt, (e) immigration, (f) mental health, (g) employment, (h) community care, (i) education, (j) action against the police, (k) clinical negligence, (l) consumer, (m) public law, (n) personal injury and (o) other cases in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr Djanogly: Community Legal Service acts of assistance by category of law are shown in Table 1. Figures split by category are only available for the last six years. Expenditure in the same categories is shown in Table 2.
|Table 1: Volumes|
|Table 2: Expenditure( 1)|
|(1) Values are net expenditure which is the total amount paid on final bills together with payments on account (POAs) in ongoing cases, less recoupment of POAs together with income from contributions and recovery of costs and damages on behalf of assisted persons. As some payments will relate to cases completed in previous years some categories appear as negative spend.|
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the charges of indictment were of each defendant in Very Highest Criminal Cases in 2010; and what his Department's expenditure on legal aid was in each such case. 
Mr Djanogly: The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost, as the Legal Services Commission would have to check the details of every individual case file.
The following table shows overall expenditure on Very High Cost (Criminal) Cases for the financial year 2009-10, split by case type:
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people received legal aid in (a) Hyndburn constituency and (b) England and Wales in each of the last five years. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not record the number of people who receive legal aid, but instead records the number of 'acts of assistance'. One individual may receive a number of separate acts of assistance, and one act of assistance can help more than one person.
Neither does the LSC record the grant of legal aid by constituency, but the tables show the volumes of legal aid granted based on legal aid providers with postcodes falling within (a) the Hyndburn constituency and (b) England and Wales.
The figures do not include legal aid received via telephone advice, Community Legal Advice Centres, the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme, telephone triage, or family mediation. These figures are unavailable at a constituency level.
|Hyndburn constituency-legal aid volumes|
|England and Wales-legal aid volumes|
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners at HM Prison Ford did not pass a risk assessment in respect of suitability for open prison conditions in the past six months. 
Mr Blunt: All prisoners who are transferred to open conditions such as at HMP Ford are risk assessed before leaving the closed estate. It is common for open prisons to send prisoners back to closed conditions, for a variety of reasons, predominantly when their behaviour is such that open conditions are no longer appropriate. These transfers back to the closed estate will not always involve or require an adverse risk assessment. In the seven months from 1 June to 31 December 2010 113 prisoners were returned to closed conditions from HMP Ford out of a total of 1,327 who have been at Ford since 1 June 2010.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many claims for compensation relating to pleural plaques had been filed on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: The extra-statutory scheme opened for applications on 2 August 2010, and as of Friday 14 January a total of 6,119 applications had been registered.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress the Prison Service has made on implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Chief Inspector of Prisons into conditions at HM Prison Ford in May 2009. 
Mr Blunt: As with all inspection reports the prison put in place an action plan to implement the recommendations set out in the report. From a total of 82 recommendations 78 were accepted in full or in part. A significant number of recommendations have been completed and others are ongoing. A further inspection was carried out between 29 November and 3 December 2010 which will produce a new set of recommendations and work to implement as many of them as possible will begin once the inspection report is received.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many new prison places he expects to come on stream at (a) Belmarsh West and (b) HM Prison Featherstone. 
Mr Blunt: The opening capacity of new prisons Belmarsh West, in the London borough of Greenwich, and Featherstone 2, in Staffordshire, will be 900 and 1,605 places respectively. Belmarsh West is due to become operational in spring 2012 and Featherstone 2 in two stages, 1,125 places in spring 2012 and the remaining 480 in summer 2012.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will estimate the average cost to the public purse of
a prisoner place for a prison population of (a) 100,000, (b) 90,000, (c) 80,000, (d) 70,000, (e) 60,000 and (f) 50,000. 
Mr Blunt: The average resource cost per prison place in 2008-09 (latest period for which figures are available) was approximately £45,000.
The average cost per prison place at different populations has not been estimated as it would depend on a large number of variables. At the different populations given, the average cost per place might change slightly due to economies or diseconomies of scale, but the cost per place would depend more on the composition of the prison estate and of the prison population. Factors related to the prison estate are the category, size and number of prisons. Particular factors related to the population are age and gender.
The average cost for 2008-09 comprises the expenditure on public and private prisons (as recorded in the NOMS Agency annual report and accounts), increased by an apportionment of relevant costs borne centrally and in the regions by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). This involves some estimation. The figures do not include the cost of prisoners held in police or court cells under Operation Safeguard, nor expenditure met by other Government Departments (eg Health and Education). The prisoner escort service costs are included. Expenditure recharged to the Youth Justice Board in respect of young people is included.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what facilities there are at HM Prison Ford to support rehabilitation of prisoners; and whether any capital expenditure on such facilities is planned in the next 12 months. 
Mr Blunt: There are no planned capital expenditure projects specifically to support the rehabilitation of offenders in the next 12 months. Ford has a resettlement department who are expanding the numbers of offenders who access unpaid and paid work activities in the community. Ford has many areas supporting rehabilitation including drug work, advice on housing, Offending Behaviour Programmes (OBPs) delivered in conjunction with Sussex probation in the community, work with indeterminate sentence prisoners, education, full internal employment of offenders, for example in the garden and plant nursery, and work-based qualifications. A full programme of physical education is also offered with qualifications available but this is currently restricted due to the damage caused in the disturbance.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many offenders at each prison are held in a cell, cubicle or room where the number of occupants exceeds its uncrowded capacity; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many offenders at each prison were held in a cell, cubicle or room where the number of occupants exceeds its uncrowded capacity on 31 March in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many offenders at each prison he expects to be held in a cell, cubicle or room where the number of occupants exceeds its uncrowded capacity in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Blunt: The average number of prisoners held in overcrowded accommodation in each prison in England and Wales during 2009-10 and the number of prisoners held in overcrowded accommodation in each prison in England and Wales on 31 March in each of the last 10 years is shown in the following tables.
These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
Occupancy levels at individual prisons will vary according to the amount of capacity available overall, the number of prisoners and the way in which the prison population is managed.
We are currently reviewing future capacity requirements in light of the substantial difference that exists between the number of available places and the prison population and in light of the Government's Green Paper 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders'.
We will consider any implications for future crowding levels in taking decisions about this.
Current headroom means that the closure of HMPs Lancaster Castle, Ashwell and Morton Hall, announced on 13 January, is not expected to impact on overall prison crowding levels.
|Average number of prisoners in England and Wales in overcrowded accommodation 2009 - 10|
|Prison establishment||Average number of prisoners in overcrowded accommodation|
The figures in the table above are an average of the number of prisoners in overcrowded accommodation on the last day of each month during 2009-10.
|Number of prisoners in overcrowded accommodation in England and Wales at 31 March from 2001 - 10|
|'-' = not operational|
(1) Blakenhurst, Brockhill and Hewell Grange merged to become Hewell in 2007-08.
(2) Hatfield merged with Moorland in 2003-04.
(3) The following prisons have been combined in this table: Bullingdon and Oxford: Eastwood Park and Pucklechurch; Huntercombe and Finnamore Woods; and Kingston and Portsmouth.
(4) Dover became an immigration removal centre in 2003-04.
(5) Edmunds Hill and Highpoint split in 2003-04.
(6) Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill split in 2003-04.
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