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13 Jun 2008 : Column WS65

Written Statements

Friday 13 June 2008

Correction to Commons Written Answer

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I regret to inform the House that the Answer I gave on 19 May to a Parliamentary Question, (Official Report, Commons; col. 33W), about numbers of MCA staff taking industrial action during the recent strikes, was incorrect. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has checked the figures and the Answer should read:

The number of staff, by Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, who have taken strike action in each strike affecting the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in the past five years, is shown as follows:

Strike Date
6 March11 April24 April

Portland

13

12

11

Solent

17

11

16

Dover

12

10

11

Thames

11

11

12

Yarmouth

9

8

9

Humber

8

7

12

Forth

10

6

6

Aberdeen

9

5

6

Shetland

0

0

0

Stornoway

6

6

2

Clyde

11

9

5

Belfast

11

11

2

Liverpool

13

15

11

Holyhead

14

11

9

Milford Haven

9

8

7

Swansea

14

12

15

Falmouth

12

11

10

Brixham

9

10

11

London

2

2

2

Total

190

165

157

Debt: Claim Management

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am publishing a response to the consultation paper The Debt Claim Process:Helping People in Debt to Engage with the Problem. This was a formal consultation exercise undertaken by Her Majesty’s Courts Service to report the findings of a pre-action protocol pilot and to seek views on other proposals for increasing debtor engagement and streamlining court processes. The paper discussed the following options:



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do nothing—simply retain the current requirements; introduction and operation of the PAN—this would require all creditors to issue a pre-action notice generated by the court. Where there was no response to this the creditor would be free to start proceedings;strengthening of the current Civil Procedure Rules requirements—this option discussed whether the existing requirements should be extended to include: provision of information about negotiating with the creditor; how payment could be made; sources of free independent advice and assistance; and time to obtain advice;introduction of a debtor protocol—introducing a requirement that debtors must respond to claims or face possible cost sanctions; andthe introduction of a claims payments order—this would allow creditors to move directly to the enforceable order stage when a debtor failed to respond after mandatory pre-action steps had been followed. This measure was designed to target the “won’t pay” group more directly.

The response rate to the consultation was low (around 8 per cent), possibly due to the number of times these topics had previously been aired. However, it was clear that there was little support from any of the sectors for the introduction of the PAN, a debtor protocol, or the CPO. There was, however, a general support for strengthening the existing requirements covering pre-action behaviour in the CPR. This will now be considered by the Civil Justice Council (CJC).

Copies of the response paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and are also available on the internet at www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp2207.htm.

Mental Capacity Act 2005: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I have today laid before Parliament the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice along with the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.

The deprivation of liberty safeguards were inserted into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007. They protect against the arbitrary detention of people who lack the capacity to consent to the arrangements made for their care or treatment and who need to be deprived of their liberty, in their own best interests and for their own safety, in either hospitals or care homes. They will rectify the breach of Article 5 of the ECHR identified by the ECtHR in HL v UK 2004 (the Bournewood case).

Section 42 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, requires the Lord Chancellor to issue a code of practice to provide information and guidance on how the safeguards will work in practice. A draft version of the code was

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published for full public consultation in 2007. Some 110 individuals and organisations responded and many of the suggestions and comments received have been incorporated into the final version.

The Act requires a range of people to have regard to the code, for example anyone acting in a professional or paid role in relation to someone who lacks capacity, but it particularly focuses on those who have a duty of care to a person who lacks the capacity to consent to the care or treatment that is being provided, where that care or treatment may include the need to deprive the person of their liberty.

The code is intended to provide valuable information and guidance to all those covered by the Act and has been written to meet the needs of this wide and varied audience.

Prisons: Drugs

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My right honourable friend the Minister of State (David Hanson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 17 March by way of a Written Ministerial Statement (Official Report, Commons; col. 49WS),

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together with my right honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo) and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Ivan Lewis), I announced: additional Department of Health funding for prison clinical drug treatment; a national Prison Drug Treatment Review Group, to be chaired by Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel; and publication of the executive summary of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, Review of Prison Based Drug Treatment Funding, December 2007.

Following considerable interest in the report, I am today with my right honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo) and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Ivan Lewis) announcing publication in full of the PwC report. The report provides a more detailed analysis of the PwC conclusions. Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel will now consider the PwC recommendations, agree a single set of priorities and compile national guidance around the streamlining of the commissioning, delivery funding and performance management of drug treatment for offenders.

Copies of the PwC report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.


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