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16. Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she discussed the Health and Safety Executive's study of employees' health at the national semi-conductor plant in Greenock when she last met members of the Scottish Executive. 
Mr. Foulkes: We have regular discussions with the Scottish Ministers on a wide range of issues. On the Health and Safety Executive's study, the HSE send the Scottish Executive monthly progress reports. The HSE's approach to the study has the support of an independent panel of Scottish experts.
Mrs. Liddell: The Government have no plans to modify the current basis for determining the Scottish Expenditure Block. The Barnett Formula provides a fair deal for Scotland and has led to stable settlements under successive Governments for over 20 years.
Mr. Foulkes: The increase in the adult national minimum wage to £4.10 per hour from October 2001 will benefit at least 120,000 people across Scotland, many of them women and people who work part-time.
Mr. Foulkes: The climate change levy will raise an estimated £1 billion in its first year, all of which will be recycled back to business via a 0.3 per cent cut in employers' National Insurance contributions and £150 million of spending on energy efficiency.
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The Government expect the levy to be broadly neutral between services and manufacturing. Its impact on the manufacturing industry in Scotland will depend on a number of factors including the extent to which industry adopts more efficient energy management practices.
Mrs. Liddell: Last week we had a very positive debate at the Scottish Grand Committee on the future of the oil and gas industry in Scotland. I congratulate my hon. Friend on her valuable contribution to that debate. This Government remain determined to work with the industry so that it can maintain and build upon its international reputation and success.
32. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what research she has carried out into gender imbalances in the judiciary and their implications for the conduct of cases of (a) rape and (b) other sexual offences. 
Jane Kennedy: No research has been carried out in the terms mentioned. The Lord Chancellor has confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and therefore does not consider the gender of a judge to be relevant when judges are allocated to preside over particular types of cases, such as rape or other sexual offences.
Mr. Lock: The Community Legal Service is making good progress in the south-west. There are now CLS Partnerships in Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, north Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Bristol, Swindon, and Gloucestershire. The CLS Partnerships cover 76 per cent. of the population of the south-west, and I am confident this figure will continue to grow.
34. Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on the Lord Chancellor's policy towards two-courtroomed courthouses in rural areas. 
Jane Kennedy: The Government's policy is that magistrates courts are best managed locally by magistrates courts committees, under the provisions of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997. We encourage magistrates courts committees to liaise with the Court Service and other agencies considering sharing arrangements and ensure better utilisation of court buildings.
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Jane Kennedy: As the Government announced in "Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead" (CM5074), my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has asked for a national strategy for the recruitment of lay magistrates to be developed. A lot of good work is done by the local advisory committees who do encourage people from all walks of life to consider applying.
The Magistrates in the Community project run by the Magistrates Association and funded by my Department also does valuable work in raising the profile of justices of the peace. We need however to see whether there is more we should be doing from the centre to get the message across that we want benches to be representative of the community they serve.
Mr. Lock: On 7 March 2001, the Director General of Fair Trading published his report on competition in the market for professional services. The Government are keen to remove restrictive practices that are not in the public interest and which reduce incentives on lawyers to provide innovative and affordable services to the public. We will consult on the report, and consider responses on the Director General's analysis before taking further action.
37. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the training that judges receive on conducting cases in which witnesses have learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lock: Judicial training is the responsibility of the Judicial Studies Board, an independent body, chaired by Lord Justice Waller. Training seminars for judges include dedicated sessions or case studies (sometimes both) on disability issues, of which learning disabilities form a part. In addition, all judges are issued with written guidance on all aspects of fair treatment, called the "Equal Treatment Bench Book." A new section of the Bench Book, entitled "Disability" was published in January 2001. This section includes material on learning disabilities and a chapter on the provisions of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 relating to witnesses with learning disabilities.
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Both the Court Service and magistrates courts committees carry out regular risk assessments of the adequacy of physical security measures in court buildings and there are ongoing programmes of security improvements across the court estate. In addition, more secure docks are being installed in certain Crown and magistrates courts so as to provide higher levels of courtroom security for the more serious cases being heard.
The Lord Chancellor has asked officials to report to him on the adequacy of existing security arrangements across the court estate (particularly following the reduction of routine uniformed police presence in Crown Courts), on the options for their improvement and on the feasibility of more fundamental proposals.
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