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Office for the Supervision of Solicitors

Baroness Hooper asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor: The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) is directly accountable to the Chief Executive of the Law Society. In 1999, the OSS resolved a total of 21,647 complaints. This figure rose by 7,326 in 2000, when a total of 28,973 cases were closed. Information received from the OSS about the time taken to resolve cases is set out below, and shows an improvement in each category from 1999 to 2000.

1999
Compensation Fund Complaints12.22 months
Remuneration Certificate Complaints15.64 months
Conduct Complaints 9.05 months
Service Complaints11.08 months
2000
Compensation Fund Complaints12.08 months
Remuneration Certificate Complaints 5.85 months
Conduct Complaints 7.06 months
Service Complaints9.31 months

Police Numbers

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The numbers of serving police officers per 100,000 population are given in the table.

Year(1) Population Police strengthPolice per 100,000 pop.
194542,636,000 as at June 4564,965 as at 30 September(2)152
195544,274,000 as at June 5466,531 as at 31 March150
196547,762,800 as at June 6581,971 as at 31 March172
197549,218,700 as at June 75102,738 as at 31 March209
198549,767,000 as at June 84120,116 as at 31 March241
199551,820,222 as at June 95127,222 as at 31 March245
200052,689,891 as at June 99124,170 as at 31 March236
200052,689,891 as at June 99124,614 as at 30 September236

(1) Population figures are from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as used in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's annual reports until 1985. For 1995 and 2000, information provided directly from ONS.

(2) Police numbers for 1945 are taken from the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary, as Home Office records for police numbers commence in 1947.


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Terrorism Act 2000: Objectives of Proscribed Organisations

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which are the terrorist organisations recommended for inclusion in Schedule 2 (Proscribed Organisations) to the Terrorism Act 2000 whose objectives could have been achieved by lawful and democratic means if they had succeeded in attracting sufficient support; and[HL1101]

    Which are the terrorist organisations recommended for inclusion in Schedule 2 (Proscribed Organisations) to the Terrorism Act 2000 whose objectives cannot be achieved by lawful and democratic means because they demand changes unachievable within the present state structure; and[HL1102]

    Which are the terrorist organisations recommended for inclusion in Schedule 2 (Proscribed Organisations) to the Terrorism Act 2000 whose objectives cannot be achieved by lawful and democratic means because they are not free to compete by those means on equal terms.[HL1103]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I refer the noble Earl to the note I sent to all parliamentary colleagues, following the Home Secretary's announcement on 28 February that the draft order had been laid listing the organisations intended for addition to Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000. This draft order was debated in the other place on 13 March, and will shortly be the subject of debate in your Lordships' House.

Previous Conviction Information: Overseas Inquiries

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the case of R v Bow Street Magistrates' Court ex parte Mackeson 1982 75 Cr App R 24 is still to be invoked as a reason for declining to give a person making a request information about messages sent to foreign police authorities about convictions against him, or against a person using his name.[HL1135]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: If the noble Lord has a specific case in mind in which this judgment has been involved, perhaps he would give me details. The United Kingdom National Central Bureau (NCB) for Interpol, based in the National Criminal Intelligence Service, is responsible for co-ordinating all requests from overseas law enforcement agencies for

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information on an individual's previous convictions. Subject to receiving proof of identity of the individual seeking disclosure of such information, the NCB will confirm what information about his/her convictions was provided in response to a request from overseas. However, the NCB would not provide information about messages sent relating to another individual with the same name as the enquirer. Although they share the same name, they do not share right of access to information held about each other's previous convictions. All information held on previous convictions is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Wales: Manufacturing Job Statistics

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many manufacturing jobs have been lost in Wales since May 1997.[HL545]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The latest ONS statistics (September 2000) show that total employee jobs in manufacturing in Wales stood at 202,000 compared to a figure of 210,000 in the June 1997 ONS statistics. ONS statistics are compiled quarterly and therefore June 1997 is the closest available month to that requested.

Wales: Farm Income Decline

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the decline in average farm incomes in Wales since May 1997.[HL546]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Since 1 July 1999 this has been a matter for the National Assembly for Wales. The latest farm income figures were published on 4 December 2000 and are available from the Economic Advice Division of the National Assembly for Wales. They showed that average Net Farm Income (NFI) for all full-time farms in Wales was estimated to be £5,700 in 1999-2000. NFI is a measure of the economic return to these with an entreprenurial interest in the farm. It incorporates allowances for depreciation and for rent (on a notional basis if the farmer is an owner-occupier). Cash income for 1999-2000 was estimated to be £20,500. The index of NFI at current prices for all full-time farms in Wales shows a decline of 57 per cent between 1997-98 and 1999-2000. The equivalent decline for cash income is 6 per cent.

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Caravan and Mobile Home Sites: Local Reference Rent

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have about local reference rents, determined under the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Order 1997, for payments in respect of the site on which a caravan or mobile home stands; and whether they will publish a table giving H and L for these rents within the meaning of Schedule 1, paragraph 4(1), for each area for which the information is available.[HL870]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): Information on local reference rents in respect of sites on which caravans or mobile homes stand is not centrally available.

Development Land

Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the 40 per cent brownfield/60 per cent greenfield housing programme constitutes a sustainable strategy for large post-industrial cities.[HL1156]

Lord Whitty: The Government are committed to minimising the amount of greenfield land taken for development. The target in England is that, by 2008, 60 per cent of additional housing should be provided on previously-developed land and through conversion of existing buildings. Paragraph 23 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing, advises English regions and planning authorities each to set their own land recycling targets which contribute to achieving the national target, and which reflect the extent to which housing development can be accommodated within urban areas.

Recycling targets for other parts of the United Kingdom are a matter for the devolved administration concerned.

Local Authorities: Alternative Arrangements Guidance

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to make regulations on alternative arrangements for local authorities under Section 32 of the Local Government Act 2000.[HL1251]

Lord Whitty: We have today laid before Parliament a draft of the Local Authorities (Alternative Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2001.

It is now for the House to consider this draft. To assist the House, I have placed in the Library and the Printed Papers Office copies of a draft of the guidance on alternative arrangements which we propose to issue to English local authorities if the draft regulations are approved by the House and the other place.

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