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Legal Aid Solicitors (Wales)

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what estimate he has made of the shortfall of legal aid solicitors in Wales, broken down by (a) subject and (b) county. [65498]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Legal Services Commission contracts with both quality assured solicitors' firms and not-for-profit organisations to provide legal services which meet the identified priority needs for those services. The Commission is confident that there is sufficient provision in Wales, in all categories of law and in all counties. However, it is developing and improving coverage.

For civil legal aid contracts with solicitors' firms, the Commission allocates a defined number of cases in specified categories of law. In its contracts with not-for-profit organisations, the Commission allocates a defined number of caseworker hours in specified categories of law. The allocation of cases and time throughout 2001–02 exceeded the number of cases actually started. There is no evidence at present of a shortfall of civil legal aid providers in any category of law in Wales.

The Wales Regional Legal Services Committee is preparing a report on how well the Commission's civil contracts are currently meeting legal need. The report, which will be issued this autumn, will also identify any remaining priorities for new contracts in the next financial year.

For criminal defence work, the Commission has no evidence at present of any shortfall in the number of contracted solicitors' firms undertaking criminal defence work in Wales.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many oral questions she has transferred to other departments in each of the last 18 months. [65512]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor's Department only transfers Parliamentary Questions when it is more appropriate for another Government Department to answer. The information requested is set out in the following table.

20012002
MonthNumber of questions transferred and to which DepartmentNumber of questions transferred and to which Department
January0
FebruaryThree to Home Office
March0
AprilThree to Home Office
May(31)n/a
June(31)n/aOne to Home Office
One to Prime Minister
JulyOne to FCOOne to Home Office
August(31)n/a
September(31)n/a
October(31)n/a
November0
DecemberOne to Home Office

(31) Months that the Lord Chancellor's Department had no oral question time


Civil Courts

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many court staff he estimates will be made redundant as a result of his proposals to modernise the civil courts. [65279]

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Yvette Cooper: The timetable and extent of the courts Tribunals Modernisation Programme has not been finalised so it is not yet known what the subsequent effect on staffing levels will be. Initial business planning assumptions indicate that it may be possible to minimise redundancies through the effective management of retirement and recruitment policies, natural turnover of staff and by exploring opportunities for staff in other areas such as the Immigration Appeal Appellate. Redundancy options will be explored only as a last resort, and there will be full consultation with the relevant trade unions throughout.

Rape

Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what role he intends his Department to take in the cross-departmental committee on the HMIC/CPSI thematic report on rape. [65212]

Yvette Cooper: The Director of the Crown court is representing the Department on the cross-departmental committee to take forward the comments made in the report in relation to the listing of cases with allegations of rape. He has asked that the comments about the listing of rape cases be considered in thematic review of listing which is currently being carried out by the joint Criminal Justice Inspectorates.

Census 1901 Website

Mr. Beith: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the 1901 census website will be available for access. [66048]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The PRO and QinetiQ Ltd. are working together to get the system back on line as soon as possible.

Patients (Fluids)

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether the responses received from the consultation on 'Making Decisions' were analysed to determine how many respondents were (a) in favour and (b) against the withholding of food and fluids from incapacitated patients not actually dying; and whether such an analysis will be conducted following the consultation on 'Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatments: Good Practice in Decision Making'. [67207]

Ms Rosie Winterton: 'Making Decisions' is a policy statement setting out the Government's proposals for making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults. It was issued in 1999 following on from a consultation paper: "Who Decides? Making Decisions on Behalf of Mentally Incapacitated Adults". The question posed by the hon. Member was not asked in that consultation paper. 'Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatments: Good Practice in Decision Making' has recently been produced by the General Medical Council, not by my Department.

Ministerial Visits

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many visits to EU applicant countries she and her Ministers have made since 1 January 2001. [66330]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC and former LCD Minister Lord Bach have both visited a number of EU applicant countries since 1 January 2001. The dates are provided in the following table.

MinisterCountryDate
Lord BachCzech Republic24 January 2001
Lord BachSlovak Republic8 March 2001
Baroness ScotlandSlovak Republic18–20 December 2001
Baroness ScotlandPoland23–25 January 2002
Baroness ScotlandBulgaria29–31 January 2002

Building Values

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the buildings owned by the Lord Chancellor's Department and estimate the market value of each of them. [66952]

Yvette Cooper: The National Asset Register, published in July 2001 (Cm 5221), lists assets owned by each Department and their valuation.

Ministerial Salaries

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the annual cost was of ministerial salaries in her Department in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2001–02. [60947]

Yvette Cooper: The levels of ministerial salaries are recommended by the senior salaries review body. From May 1997, in this Department there was one Cabinet Minister (the Lord Chancellor) at an annual salary of £140,665, and one parliamentary secretary at an annual salary of £23,623. From June 2001, there was one Cabinet Minister (again, the Lord Chancellor) at an annual salary of £173,875; one parliamentary secretary (House of Lords) at an annual salary of £60,961; and two parliamentary secretaries (House of Commons) at an annual salary of £26,835.

Community Service Orders

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many community service orders were extinguished without being served in each year since 1995. [65126]

Hilary Benn: I have been asked to reply.

The number of community punishment orders (formerly community service orders) which terminated before completion of the order in each year since 1995 in England and Wales was as follows:

YearNumber
199514,700
199614,400
199713,400
199812,700
199912,300
2000(32)13,500

(32) Latest year for which complete information is available


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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many community service punishments were handed down by magistrates' courts in each year since 1990; and what proportion of these sentences were served. [65125]

Hilary Benn: I have been asked to reply.

The number of persons sentenced by magistrates' courts to community punishment orders (CPOs) (formerly community service orders) and supervised by the probation service in England and Wales for each year since 1990 was as follows:

YearNumber
199026,500
199130,000
199231,600
199335,700
199438,900
199538,100
199637,200
199737,900
1998(34)39,800
1999(34)42,200
2000(34),(35)43,600

(33) Excludes (CPOs) given for breach.

(34) Includes (CPOs) for persistent petty offenders and for fine deaulters.

(35) Latest year for which complete information is available.


The proportion of community punishment orders (formerly community service orders) terminating each year since 1990 which were successfully completed was as follows:

YearPercentage
199069
199170
199272
199371
199470
199571
199671
199771
199872
199972
2000(36)71

(36) Latest year for which complete information is available.



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