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Magistrates Court Closure (Lewes)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what criteria she will apply in deciding an appeal against closure of the magistrates court in Lewes. [141604]

Jane Kennedy: My only role is in deciding appeals. There are no set criteria. Every appeal is dealt with on its merits and much depends on the grounds of the particular appeal lodged.

Common themes to many appeals are: accessibility for all court users; the facilities available, costs of necessary renovations to bring the court up to standard. The provision of courtrooms and work load, extra travelling distances, additional costs and overall efficiency.

Departmental Advertising

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list for (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000 and (e) 2000-01, (i) his Department's total spending on advertising campaigns, (ii) the cost of each individual advertising campaign and (iii) the criteria that were established to gauge the effectiveness of each campaign; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of each campaign based on these criteria. [142720]

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Mr. Lock: There have been two advertising campaigns since 1996 and a third is planned for January 2001.

In 1998-99, total spending was £333,253 on a national campaign to develop awareness of the magistracy. Effectiveness was gauged by the number of requests for further information about the magistracy: 15,000 people responded. (This figure cannot be related directly to eventual recruiting of magistrates which is on a regional basis and is also supported by ad hoc locally arranged advertising and publicity.)

In 2000-01, the total cost of advertising campaigns and associated publicity will be £4.2 million.

A total of £3.45 million will be spent on a rolling campaign of regional and local advertising and other publicity work including door-drop leaflets to raise awareness of the Community Legal Service (CLS) in those areas where CLS Partnerships have been formed.

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The campaign began when the CLS was launched on 3 April 2000 and is continuing. Effectiveness is gauged by public awareness of the CLS. Market research linked with the campaign indicated that by mid-September 2000 general public awareness had reached 23 per cent. A further £0.5 million is committed to national newspaper advertising for the CLS in February 2001.

In January and February 2001, a national newspaper advertising campaign is planned to raise awareness of mediation services in connection with family disputes. This is also linked with the CLS. The cost will be £0.25 million. The effectiveness of the campaign and evaluation of its results will be gauged by the number of requests which result for new information leaflets on family mediation.

All figures include VAT, Central Office of Information fees and all associated research, production and distribution charges.

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