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Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 15 February 2001, Official Report, column 289W, how many specialist working time officers there are in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: There are currently seven specialist working time officers at the HSE, who work solely on working time enforcement. As described in my previous answer, the working time officers carry out their functions as an integral part of the HSE's wider structure of regulatory teams based throughout the country.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Department for International Development concerning the establishment of a commission to investigate intellectual property rights. 
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Dr. Howells [holding answer 1 March 2001]: The establishment of the new Commission for Intellectual Property Rights was discussed in contacts between the Department for International Development and the Department of Trade and Industry and the Patent Office, as well as a number of other Departments, in the context of the preparation of the White Paper "Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor", and officials will continue to work together.
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what work his Department has carried out to identify how many of those workers earning below the minimum wage as recorded by the new earnings survey should have been in receipt of the minimum wage. 
Mr. Alan Johnson [holding answer 1 March 2001]: An estimate of the number of workers being paid below the national minimum wage can be made from central estimates based on the Office for National Statistics' new earnings and labour force surveys. However, this in itself is not an indication of the extent of non-compliance. There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account. Exactly which jobs and workers have been included in the surveys, for example, the different components of pay received and the composition of hours of work, can all affect the estimates. There is also the issue of sampling variation in the survey results, which means that any estimates should properly be provided as a range. The surveys do not tell us how many people are receiving free accommodation, are Government trainees, or are working for their family business and thus exempt. Account needs to be taken of the level of economic activity in the informal economy, which may not be picked up by the central estimates. The Low Pay Commission is monitoring and evaluating the impact of the minimum wage and is due to report its findings by July. I look forward to receiving the commission's report. My Department is also working with the Inland Revenue, which enforces the national minimum wage and administers the Working Families Tax Credit, to obtain indications of the level of minimum wage non-compliance from those sources.
Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on progress made by the Radiocommunications Agency in its audit of mobile phone base stations and masts and the assessment of emissions from them. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The Radiocommunications Agency's audit of mobile phone base stations started at the end of December 2000. The focus of the audit is schools with base stations located on their premises and these schools were asked to register with the RA to express an interest in their being included in the audit. 107 schools have registered their interest.
The first eight surveys have now been completed and the results are published on the RA website www.radio.gov.uk. All the surveys have shown emissions that will lead to exposure substantially inside the public exposure guidelines of the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The
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Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of mothers with children born in 1999-2000 were entitled to (a) statutory maternity pay and (b) maternity allowance. 
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Vale of Clwyd, the effects on the Vale of Clwyd of his Department's policies and actions since May 1997. 
The Solicitor-General: In October 1998 the Colwyn Bay and Bangor offices of Crown Prosecution Service, North Wales, in liaison with the police and courts, became a Narey Pilot site. All defendants charged with a criminal offence now make their first appearance before local magistrates courts within 96 hours. Current information indicates that around 40 per cent. of defendants now have their cases finalised at that first hearing.
On 1 June 2000 the Crown Prosecution Service, North Wales altered its structures in line with the proposals contained in the Glidewell review to establish a Criminal Justice Unit and Trials Unit in Colwyn Bay. This enabled the Crown Prosecution Service to place greater emphasis on more serious crime proceeding to the Crown court.
The Crown Prosecution Service, North Wales is also piloting statutory time limits in youth cases and has worked together with the other agencies locally to speed up youth justice, particularly persistent young offenders. Since May 1997, the Crown Prosecution Service has reduced the time taken to finalise prosecutions arising in the Vale of Clwyd area, especially cases involving youth offenders. This has resulted in the target of 71 days being achieved in two of the quarters in the current year. All these changes illustrate the Government's successful policy of speeding up the work of the criminal justice system.
North Wales is also piloting the Victim Information Bureau at Wrexham which provides detailed explanations to victims when cases are dropped or charges substantially amended. Meetings are also offered to victims in certain cases and so far, since the commencement of the pilot in April 2000, seven meetings have been held.
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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Hull, North constituency, the effects on Hull, North of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
The Solicitor-General: The Hull branch of the Crown Prosecution has worked closely with the police and courts to implement a number of changes which have reduced delay in the prosecution process. Other changes now in hand aim to improve the preparation of more serious cases for trial in the Crown court.
In October 1999, in line with national policy, the Narey proposals were implemented. Defendants now appear in Hull magistrates court within 36 to 72 hours of being charged by the police. Before this change there was often a delay of four to five weeks. To ensure that all relevant information is available for court, CPS lawyers and caseworkers attend at the police station and liaise with police staff prior to court. This means that in spite of the shorter timescales more cases can be finalised at the first hearing rather than being adjourned.
Further changes in January this year have enabled serious cases such as robbery, rape and murder to get to the Crown court much more quickly. In one recent case a defendant appeared at Hull Crown court only eight days after committing an offence of robbery and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. Last year it would have taken around 12 weeks to deal with the case. All these changes illustrate the Government's successful policy of speeding up the work of the criminal justice system.
Progress is being made on the structural changes recommended by Sir Iain Glidewell's review of the CPS. Lay staff known as designated caseworkers now deal with straightforward guilty pleas and road traffic cases in the magistrates court. In Hull they cover eight courts per week which would previously have required a lawyer. The lawyers freed from this routine work are able to spend their time on more serious matters and in June they will form a specialist Trials Unit dedicated to Crown court cases.
Ms Kelly: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Bolton, West constituency, the effects on Bolton, West of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
The Solicitor-General: In November 1999, in line with national policy, the Bolton/Wigan branch of the Crown Prosecution Service, in liaison with Greater Manchester police and Bolton magistrates court, introduced the Narey proposals. All adult defendants charged with a criminal offence now make their first appearance before Bolton magistrates court within 48 hours. The present figures suggest that more than 50 per cent. of all defendants now have their case finished far more quickly than was previously the case. In January 2001, also in line with national policy and new legislation, the Crown Prosecution
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Service and the magistrates courts started sending the most serious cases to the Crown court within one week of the first appearance in the magistrates court. Henceforth, Crown court judges will monitor the progress of these cases and they will be finalised more quickly than previously.
So far as young offenders are concerned, the Crown Prosecution Service, together with the police, the magistrates court and the local Youth Offending Team, have agreed procedures designed to bring persistent young offenders before the courts much more quickly. A recent survey of independent consultants revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service in Bolton reviewed 69 per cent. of trial files on the day of receipt, 8 per cent. within 48 hours of receipt, 8 per cent. within three days of receipt and 15 per cent. within six days of receipt. All these changes illustrate the success of the Government's policy of speeding up the work of the Criminal Justice System.
The Crown Prosecution Service has also contributed to the formulation of a local crime and disorder strategy which, after widespread consultation, identified the types of offence which cause the greatest public concern. It is now working with other criminal justice agencies to meet targets which the strategy group has set for the reduction of those offences.
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