|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
What the cost has been of testing intravenous drug users for hepatitis C in the last three years for which figures are available; and what projection they have made of the cost of such testing for future years. [HL3650]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): The Housing Corporation's New Partnerships in Affordable Housing programme for 2005 was the first time non-registered social landlords were able to bid for social housing grants. In the event only a limited number of bids to the New Partnerships Programme from both registered social landlords and non-RSLs met the corporation's requirements such as fit with regional housing priorities and timeliness of delivery. However, four non-RSLs were awarded grants for 14 sites. An external evaluation will look at the process to enable lessons to be learnt and applied more widely across the corporation's investment programmes. Non-registered bodies have also bid for the corporation's main national affordable housing programme (2006/08). Their bids are currently being considered alongside those of RSLs.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Arrangements have been set up with the Registrar of Civil Appeals and through him the head of the Administrative Court Office to notify us of a suitable case at the earliest opportunity.
Whether excise warehouses that are registered with HM Revenue and Customs and mainly or exclusively hold and manage stocks for a third party are required to be licensed under the Licensing Act 2003, and, if so, in what circumstances. [HL3615]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The holding and management of stocks of alcohol are not themselves licensable activities. Provided the alcohol is not sold to another party, there will be no need for a licence.
The full range of activities carried out in any individual warehouse should be considered carefully, and legal advice sought if necessary, before any decision is made about the need for an authorisation under the Licensing Act 2003.
Lord Davies of Oldham: I refer the noble Lord to the debate on the Road Safety Bill in Hansard on 29 November (cols. 12227). The Government are satisfied that the current licensing arrangements for passenger-carrying vehicles already adequately provide for the licensing of limousines.
Whether they have proposals to change the rules to give the Standards Board for England or Standards Adjudication Panels the power to award costs to councillors who are cleared of charges against them. [HL3603]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): Following the recent publication of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's discussion paper, Standards of Conduct in English Local Government: The Future, the ODPM will be considering with the Standards Board for England, the adjudication panel and other stakeholders options for the development of the future local government conduct regime, but currently have no proposals of the kind referred to. Under existing regulations, it is open to local authorities to indemnify councillors for personal liability for actions or decisions taken by them in the course of their official duties, although where a member admits or is proven to have breached the code of conduct for members, he must reimburse any costs incurred by the authority in respect of proceedings taken against him.
2 Feb 2006 : Column WA72
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The Legal Services Commission's computer records, at 19 January 2006, show that 1,446 such certificates have been issued. 1,351 have been discharged. 95 remain live, all of which relate to conditions other than autism and bowel disease.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: It is not possible to answer the question in the format requested as the department does not record centrally volumes of court proceedings to identify MMR/MR vaccine litigation. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is responsible for publicly funded legal services in England and Wales. The LSC records the number of legal aid certificates issued, but does not record the point in time when proceedings commence under these certificates. The LSC is not aware of any damages that have been awarded so far in respect of the MMR/MR vaccine litigation.
In respect of the MMR/MR vaccine litigation, how much legal aid has been spent on (a) solicitors' fees; (b) barristers' fees; and (c) experts' fees; which firms of solicitors, barristers and experts have been involved; and how much legal aid has been spent on each group. [HL3417]
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: It is not possible to answer the question at this stage. The MMR litigation is a particularly complex area involving both generic and individual work, some of which is ongoing or has not yet been paid for.
Some legal aid certificates will be undergoing assessment by the court at the end of March 2006. If the court reaches a decision and all the outstanding bills are paid, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) will then be able to provide figures.
What advice on the merits of the MMR/MR litigation provided by barristers (a) having an interest in being paid legal aid fees in the litigation; and (b) not having such an interest, was obtained by the Legal Services Commission; and how much such advice cost. [HL3418]
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Due to the size and complexity of the case a number of senior barristers were used by the Legal Services Commission and its
2 Feb 2006 : Column WA73
predecessor the Legal Aid Board. Barristers gave advice at regular intervals through the life of the case, including a definitive opinion in August 2003 which led to the certificates being discharged. The three lead barristers on the generic work have been paid £463,782, £445,601 and £424,659 respectively. No barristers provided advice who did not have an interest in being paid legal aid fees.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|