Previous Section Index Home Page


"Making Decisions"

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what consultations she had with (a) Right to Life, (b) Alert, (c) Care, (d) the Pro-Life Alliance and (e) the Hospice Movement, when preparing the document "Making Decisions: Helping People who have Difficulty Deciding for Themselves"; and if she will make a statement. [64446]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of the preparation of this guidance, groups who had specialist expertise in certain issues were contacted to confirm that the information given on these issues was factually correct, and accurately represented the current law on decision-making on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults. It was not possible in terms of time and resources to make contact with every group in the area of mental incapacity and the organisations listed were not consulted prior to publication. The consultation paper has, however, been sent to a wide audience, including Alert, Care, the Pro-Life Alliance and organisations within the Hospice Movement. The Government will consider all responses and amend the guidance as necessary to ensure that it reflects the needs and concerns of all mentally incapacitated adults and those who care for them.

Office for the Supervision of Solicitors

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) if she will make a statement about the operation of the OSS; [63802]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The performance of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) has been in some respects disappointing. The Lord Chancellor has therefore asked the Legal Services Ombudsman to maintain increased oversight of the OSS and to report to him regularly on progress against a range of issues. He expects to receive the Ombudsman's report on the integrity of the data provided by the OSS and her advice as to future performance measures this autumn.

Immigration Appellate Authority

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many adjournments there have been in hearings dealt with by the IAA since January 2001; and of these how many have been requested by the (a) IAA, (b) Home Office, (c) appellant's representative and (d) appellant, respectively. [63459]

1 Jul 2002 : Column 174W

Ms Rosie Winterton: During the period 1 June 2001 to 31 May 2002, the IAA heard 84,254 cases; of these, 17,893 adjudicator hearings and 449 tribunal hearings were adjourned.

Figures prior to June 2001 are not available.

Information about which party requested the adjournment is not available, save and except as is implied by the statistics provided in answer PQ 63460.

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the decision was taken to relocate the Immigration Appellate Authority court in Leeds; what options are being looked at for an alternative venue; what consultations have taken place with (a) users, (b) staff, (c) representatives and (d) interpreters; what she calculates the implications of this move are for the satellite courts; and when she expects to announce her decision. [64869]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The IAA is not currently planning to shut the existing hearing centre in Leeds—they are opening an additional centre in Bradford which was identified from possible options in the Yorkshire area. This is part of the publicised expansion of the IAA to deal with 6,000 asylum cases per month from November 2002. Consultation on the new site has taken place within the IAA, and with the Home Office and Legal Services Commission. Staff and adjudicators will be given the option of moving to the new site in Bradford if they wish to do so.

As part of the expansion of the IAA the emphasis has been placed on larger hearing centres. Small satellite courts, consisting of only one or two hearing rooms, have less flexibility in relation to listing and hence lower efficiency. As a result, it is intended that the IAA will cease to use its small satellite courts as the new centres come on stream. The hearing centre at Leeds is not, however, classified as a satellite court.

Announcements in respect of new hearing centres will be made once lease and contractual negotiations have progressed sufficiently to assure completion.

Correspondence

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the average length of time is that her Department has taken to reply to hon. Members in the last 12 months. [65382]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The average length of time to reply to correspondence from hon. Members during the period 1 June 2001 to 31 May 2002 was 18.56 days. The Whitehall target for responding is 20 days.

Judges (Complaints)

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) how many complaints she has received about judges since 1 May 1997; [65380]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 26 June 2002, Official Report, column 951W. Since that reply was prepared the Lord Chancellor has sent an additional letter reprimanding a judge, bringing the total to 24.

1 Jul 2002 : Column 175W

Statutory Instruments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many statutory instruments have been (a) introduced, (b) removed and (c) amended by her Department since 1 January; and what the (i) cost and (ii) saving has been in each case. [64633]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A list of statutory instruments has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It includes those originated by the Lord Chancellor's Department and signed by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor since 1 January 2002, and also Orders in Council made during that period for which the Lord Chancellor's Department was responsible. A list of Northern Ireland statutory rules signed by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor is also included. Where any such instrument amended or revoked another instrument, the name of the amended or revoked instrument is mentioned in the table.

Policy decisions implemented by secondary legislation may or may not result in costs on the one hand, or savings on the other. It is not possible, save at disproportionate cost, if at all, to attribute specific costs or savings to specific statutory instruments.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Drugs

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the key performance indicators for drugs in prisons seek to make a differentiation between opiates and cannabis; and if he will make a statement. [61778]

Hilary Benn: The Prison Service's key performance indicator based on random mandatory drug tests does not separate drug types found. It provides a composite figure and as such is the best measure of overall drug misuse in prisons. Separate figures relating to the nine drug types tested are available and are used locally and nationally for management purposes.

New figures for 2001–02 will be available shortly and will be placed in the Library.

Custodial Sentences

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many London residents, broken down by ethnic origin and offence, were issued with a custodial sentence at magistrates courts in the last 12 months. [58906]

Hilary Benn: Information is not currently collected in the form requested.

Louis Farrakhan

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the ruling in the Court of Appeal concerning Louis Farrakhan. [54478]

Beverley Hughes: We were extremely pleased to have won this case in the Court of Appeal. This vindicates the view of my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary and his predecessors that the Home Secretary has the right to

1 Jul 2002 : Column 176W

exclude someone from the United Kingdom if it is considered that their presence is not conducive to good public order.

Ministerial Accommodation

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what publicly owned accommodation is made available to him in his official role; how many nights he has been in residence at each of these properties in the last 12 months; and what the total cost was of maintaining each of these properties in the last 12 months. [55094]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 9 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 28 February 2002, Official Report, column 1443W and my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Collins) on 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 599W and 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 91W.

The Home Office leases one property, acquired for security reasons, as the London residence of the Home Secretary of the day.

The total running costs of this property in 2001–02 were £12,122 including utilities and ground rent of £7,100.

In addition, a major programme of cyclical refurbishment—the first for some years—is now largely complete. This was needed to maintain the repair and value of the property and to deal with the impact of substantial flood and storm damage. Subject to final bills, the estimated committed expenditure in 2001–02 was £85,000. Completion of this cycle of work will put the property on a sound footing for the future; no further major refurbishment work should be required.


Next Section Index Home Page