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Departmental Expenditure

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the total expenditure was on (a) advertising, (b) polling, (c) focus groups, (d) design consultants, (e) caterers, (f) production of departmental publications and (g) photographs/ photographers by his Department for each year since 1995 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms; what was (A) the annual percentage increase in spending on each category and (B) spending on each category as a percentage of the total departmental running costs; and if he will make a statement. [6914]

Mr. Wills: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Contract Staff

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers were employed (i) full time, (ii) part time and (iii) on a contract basis by his Department in each year since 1992. [6913]

Mr. Wills: The numbers of special advisers and press officers employed by the Lord Chancellor's Department since 1992 are as follows:

Press officers include the head of the information directorate. No press officers have been employed on a part-time or contract basis.

Refurbishment Projects

Ms Walley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by his Department in (i) the current and (ii) the next financial year; and what the costs will be of each project. [6589]

Mr. Wills: There are no new build or refurbishment projects for the HQ estate in the current year (excluding general fit out and maintenance work). There is however, one project due to start in the next financial year, this will be to refurbish Clive House in London. The contract is due to be let in May 2002, with works to be undertaken between November 2002 and November 2003. The budget for this refurbishment is £24 million, including works, fees and VAT, although this is being funded by the landlord under a private developer scheme.

Within the Court Service and associated offices, building and refurbishment schemes planned for the current financial year are in table 1.

The programme for 2002–03 has yet to be determined but schemes that will be carried forward from this financial year are listed.

Financial support is also provided to local authorities who have procured Private Finance Initiative contracts for the delivery of new and refurbished magistrates courthouses. During the current year, six new courthouses (arising from two contracts signed in 1999–2000) have already, or will be, opened at Beverley (new build); Kidderminster (refurbishment); Worcester (new build). During 2002–03 the extensive refurbishment of Redditch Magistrates Court will be completed. The total capital investment by the private sector in these facilities is £48 million.

The Department also provides funding to local authorities in the form of capital grant to undertake maintenance and necessary refurbishment works within magistrates courts. This funding is allocated to local authorities, so the Department does not undertake the works, nor are they directly benefited. The funds allocated in the current year for refurbishments in magistrates courts in England and Wales are in table 2.

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The capital allocations for 2002–03 have yet to be determined, however there is a further £427,000 allocated to support the schemes approved in 2001–02.

Table 1

Building schemes
Probate Records Office PFI scheme6,770
Sheffield Combined Court Centre PFI scheme73,200
East Anglia PFI scheme377,839
Bristol Combined Court Centre231,000
Exeter Combined Court Centre PFI scheme369,000
Manchester Civil Justice Centre100,000
London County Court rationalisation100,000
Blackpool County Court50,000
Chester County Court165,000
Field House (Immigration Appellate Authority)1,500,000
Brighton County Court470,000
Refurbishment schemes
Nottingham Crown and County Court500,000
Worcester Crown Court (external Security Works)100,000
Manchester Crown Square500,000
Liverpool Combined Court Centre500,000
Royal Courts of Justice750,000
Snaresbrook Crown Court renovation1,500,000
Portsmouth Combined Court700,000
Warrington Combined Court400,000
Birmingham County Court (add. Courtrooms)250,000
Leeds Combined Court Centre (new entrance)191,075
Leeds Combined Court Centre (add. Courtrooms)300,045
Basildon Combined Court (roof repair)250,000
Kingston Crown Court (main concourse alterations)40,000
Preston Combined Court Centre140,000
York Probate Sub Registry120,000
Ipswich District Probate Registry250,000
Leicester Probate (relocation)80,000

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Departmental Contracts

Ms Walley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the top 10 companies to which the Lord Chancellor's Department contracted out their construction and refurbishment work in the last 12 months. [6412]

Mr. Wills: There have been no contracts let for new construction or refurbishment within the HQ estate in the past 12 months. However, the 10 top companies used by the Court Service and associated offices are as follows:

    1. William Sapcote and Sons Ltd.

    2. David McLean Contractors Ltd.

    3. Parkeray Ltd.

    4. Walter Llewellyn and Sons Ltd.

    5. Mowlem South Wales

    6. Turner and Townsend Project Management Ltd.

    7. Bailey Maintenance Services

    8. Joinery, Construction Maintenance Ltd.

    9. Interface Contracts Ltd.

    10. EC Harris.

Disputes Resolution

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how her Department will report to Parliament on progress with the Government's commitment to use alternative dispute resolutions where possible in resolving their own disputes. [7709]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor intends to make an announcement at the beginning of the next financial year, and has asked Departments to collect the following information: the number of disputes that have been notified during the 12 month period from April 2001 to March 2002; the number of those disputes where alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was used or attempted; the number of disputes where litigation was started; and the number of disputes where an offer of ADR was rejected.

Access to Justice Act

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what progress has been achieved under the provisions of the Access to Justice Act 1999 in persuading suppliers of legal services to try mediation in appropriate cases in place of litigation. [7708]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Legal Services Commission continues to support mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for both family and non-family disputes. The number of mediations has

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been increasing steadily, and there were 9,076 family mediations in the period April 2000 to March 2001. The Funding Code's decision-making guidance encourages the use of ADR, especially where it avoids lengthy, contested proceedings in court.

The Legal Services Commission has worked with Mediation UK and other bodies to develop a quality standard for both family and community mediation services. The Mediation Quality Mark standard has been published for consultation. The closing date for responses is 2 November 2001.

There is also a leaflet on ADR in the recently issued series of Community Legal Service information leaflets.

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