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Women Prisoners

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women prisoners were detained (a) on remand and (b) following sentence on the 1st of each month since May 1997. [11640]

Beverley Hughes: The number of females in prisons in England and Wales in each month since 30 April 1997 is shown in the table. Figures are available only for the last day of the month.

Number of females detained on remand and under sentence since 1 April 1997 by month(14),(15)

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
December 5892,1586812,3646142,4476042,515

(14) All figures are as the last day of the month

(15) Figures exclude civil prisoners

Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act

Mr. Rammell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish guidance on the housing and care of ferrets and gerbils in breeding and supplying establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and if he will make a statement. [13591]

Angela Eagle: I have today laid before Parliament a draft supplement to the code of practice for the housing and care of animals in designated breeding and supplying establishments. The draft sets standards for the housing and care of ferrets and gerbils in designated breeding and supply establishments, and is a consequence of the species concerned being added to the list in schedule 2 to the 1986 Act (animals which can only be obtained from designated sources). The draft has been produced and laid under section 21 of the Act and is subject to the negative resolution procedure. Copies have been placed in the Library.


Land Registry

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, what percentage of the total land area of Great Britain is not registered; and when he expects all land to be registered. [12553]

Mr. Wills: Information relating to the amount of land that is either registered or unregistered in Great Britain is not collected centrally. In England and Wales, land

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registration is compulsory on sale and on most other transactions affecting unregistered land. Over 18 million titles are already registered out of an estimated 23 million. The Land Registration Bill currently before Parliament is expected to lead to a substantial increase in voluntary applications for first registration and in registration of leasehold interests. The Law Commission and HM Land Registry have recommended that ways in which all remaining land with unregistered title in England and Wales might be brought on to the register should be re-examined five years after the Bill is implemented. The Government are currently considering that recommendation.

Islamic Marriages

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, if she will make it her policy to make Islamic marriages undertaken by UK citizens abroad registerable in the UK upon the return home of either party to the marriage. [12400]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The recognition in the UK of a marriage which has taken place overseas can be determined only by a court. I understand, however, that generally such marriages would be recognised here as valid provided that they complied with the law of the country where they took place and the couple had the legal capacity to marry each other.

There is currently no provision in law for marriages which take place outside the UK to be registered in this country. But, under the Foreign Marriage Order 1970, certificates of marriage may be lodged with the Registrar General on receipt from the local consular office of non-Commonwealth countries. However, if the couple are already validly married to each other, there would be no need for the marriage to be registered again in this country.

Census Information

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what arrangements are being made for the general public to view 1901 Census information. [12379]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The general public will be able to view the 1901 census in two ways. First, online over the internet at This innovation will greatly increase ease of access and is expected to

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attract a wider range of users. Secondly, as with earlier census records, it will be available on microfiche at local record offices and libraries and a full set of fiche for England and Wales will be available at the Public Record Office at Kew.

District Judges

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many district judges (magistrates courts) sit in England and Wales, broken down by county; and what plans he has to increase this number. [12386]

Mr. Wills: The table shows where stipendiary magistrates (now district judges (magistrates courts)) are based, county by county. London includes the senior district judge and her deputy. A competition is under way to fill the following vacancies included in the figures—two in London, one in Greater Manchester, one in Middlesex, one in Nottinghamshire, one in South Yorkshire and one in West Yorkshire. The Government are considering Lord Justice Auld's recommendations which may have an impact on the number of these appointments required.

District judges (magistrates courts) district bench by county

Greater Manchester5
South Wales3
South Yorkshire5
West Midlands10
West Yorkshire5