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Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: The Government does not issue such guidance.

The only guidance of this kind is issued by the Central Council of Magistrates' Courts Committees. Last month, the Central Council published its revised edition of the 'Good Practice Guide on Courthouse Closure', which both Ministers and Her Majesty's Magistrates' Courts Service Inspectorate endorse.

Copies of this guidance have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Under Section 56(3) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997, any paying authority (local authority that contributes financially) that is aggrieved by the determination of a Magistrates' Courts Committee to close a courthouse has the right to appeal to the Lord Chancellor within one month of receipt of written notification of the determination.

A list of appeals made since June 1997 when the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 came into force, is set out in the table.

14 Feb 2001 : Column WA50

Name MCCName of CourthouseDecision MadeDate of Decision
StaffordshireKidsgrove, Biddulph & CheadleDismissedJuly 1997
North WalesBleanau Ffestiniog and LlangollenDismissedJuly 1997
West GlamorganPontedaweDismissedOctober 1997
Hereford & WorcesterEvesham, Bromsgrove, LedburyDismissed; Evesham retainedOctober 1997
GwentBargoed, Chepstow, Monmouth, Pontlottyn, PontypoolDismissed; Chepstow retainedDecember 1997
North YorkshireMalton (Norton), StokesleyDismissedDecember 1997
HertfordshireHitchin, Hatfield, Bishop's StortfordDismissedMarch 1998
EssexBraintree, Clacton, Saffron WaldenDismissedJune 1998
North YorkshireRiponDismissedJune 1998
North WalesCorwenDismissedAugust 1998
SuffolkFelixstowe, Stowmarket, Haverhill, Saxmundham, NewmarketDismissedAugust 1998
LeedsMorley, Pudsey, WetherbyDismissed; Wetherby retainedOctober 1998
DerbyshireAshbourne, Bakewell, Matlock, Swadlincote & New court at Chesterfield (7 courtrooms) New court at Derby (11 courtrooms)DismissedNovember 1998
Berkshire & OxfordshireAbingdon, Henley, WindsorDismissedDecember 1998
CambridgeshireMarchDismissedDecember 1998
North WalesHolyhead, Mold, Prestatyn (Offices)DismissedFebruary 1999
Devon & Cornwall (shadow)location of court office: Derriford, DevonAllowedFebruary 1999
BedfordshireAmpthill; Biggleswade; Dunstable, Leighton BuzzardDismissedApril 1999
GloucestershireStow-on-the-WoldDismissedMay 1999
West RidingKeighleyDismissedFebruary 2000
CumbriaAppleby, Keswick, Wigton, WindermereDismissed26.2.00
StaffordshireLichfield, Wombourne (Seisdon)Dismissed Allowed3.4.00
WiltshireWootton BassettDismissed04.07.00
North & West Greater MancheserMiddleton, LeighDismissed20.12.00
CheshirePatten HallWithdrawn

14 Feb 2001 : Column WA51

Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy: Methods of Identification

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 November (WA 84), whether they will name the chairman and external members of the steering group.[HL157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): In my reply to your previous Question about membership of the group on 22 November 2000 (WA 84), I explained that the external members included representatives from a wide range of professional bodies.

The group is chaired by Mr Bruce Clark, a senior official from the Department of Health. The individual external members of the group, together

14 Feb 2001 : Column WA52

with the professional associations on whose behalf they are participating, include:

    Dr G Adshead--Royal College of Psychiatry

    Ms I Charles-Edwards--English National Board of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting

    Mr J Fox--Association of Chief Police Officers

    Ms S Hensman--Royal College of Nursing

    Ms D Kinnair--Community Practitioner and Health Visitors Association

    Ms S Smallman--United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting

    Dr D Sowden--Royal College of General Practitioners

    Mr A Webb--Association of Directors of Social Services

These representatives are assisting the department in drafting guidance on induced or fabricated illness in children, which will be issued for public consultation shortly.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they understand to be the religious and political affiliations of the current members of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.[HL254]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): It is not government practice to disclose personal details of individuals.

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