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7 Nov 2002 : Column 800Wcontinued
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) which of the (a) High Court and (b) Crown Court judges who hear rape trials are criminal law specialists; and of those who are not, by what means they have been selected as experienced to try rape cases; 
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) what training for trying cases of rape and sexual assault is given to High Court Judges (a) on appointment and (b) at a later date; and whether, in each case, this training is compulsory; (2) what training High Court Judges undergo on appointment; and whether this training is compulsory.
Ms Debra Shipley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, the Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to her Answer of 11 July (Official Report, column 1200W) on contact orders, what amendments are proposed to court rules to ensure consistency in the treatment of applications for contact where there are allegations of violence. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We have set up a Safety Working Group (including, amongst others, representatives from children's and women's organisations) to assist in consideration of what practical measures, including possible amendments to court rules and forms, are required to ensure consistency in how courts deal with applications for contact where there are allegations of domestic violence. We hope to have proposals from the Working Group in mid-December.
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Office leased building at Columbus House on the Langstone Business Park in Newport, South Wales; and if it will be used for residential purposes. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I have been asked to reply. The Home Office has not leased the building Columbus House, Langstone Business Park, Newport. It has been leased by the Court Service for use by the Immigration Appellate Authority as an immigration hearing centre.
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001||14.8|
|1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002||29.3|
It is obvious that such a high level of prison population will affect both convicted and unconvicted prisoners alike. The Prison Service closely monitors the effects of overcrowding and the conditions in which all prisoners are held are of equal concern.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the private contractors providing accommodation and support for asylum seekers that have been dropped since 1997 because of dissatisfaction with their performance. 
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Beverley Hughes: The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) became operational on 3 April 2000. Since that date NASS has not terminated any contracts with private sector contractors providing accommodation or support for asylum seekers.
Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of how the additional funds dedicated to information technology to promote closer working and streamline case management across the criminal justice system departments will (a) increase efficiency and (b) improve the system of measuring outcomes. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding has been allocated each year since 1997 to develop alternative tests to replace animal experimentation; to which Departments it has been allocated; and what plans there are to increase future funding. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The United Kingdom Government, across various Government Departments, spends in the region of #2 million each year and at an international level, we will continue to support the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) through contributions to the European Union. However, most work on the search for and development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures is neither done by Government nor with Government moneyit is conducted and funded by the research industry itself, which spends many millions of pounds on it each year.
Every year the Home Office makes available to the Animal Procedures Committee a budget for research aimed at developing or promoting the use of alternatives which replace animal use, reduce the number of animals used, or refine the procedures involved to minimise suffering (the 'Three Rs'). Details of annual budgets and completed research projects are published in the annual report of the Animal Procedures Committee, which is available from the Stationery Office. The amount made available to the Committee each year since 1997 was:
The use of alternatives is widely encouraged, and the use of animals in regulated procedures is prohibited by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in cases where a scientifically valid non-animal alternative is available. Any lack of progress in research into alternatives is more often due to the limitations of science rather than inadequate funding. However, this will be considered further in the context of the
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recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures that a Centre for the 3Rs should be set up. The Government are considering their response to the Select Committee's report.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his Answer of 16 October, Official Report, column 872W, on NHS staff, which countries will be included in the Criminal Records Bureau's advisory service to employers about the availability of criminal records checks; and which countries perform a reciprocal service. 
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects the Criminal Records Bureau to have completed its backlog of checks on (a) teachers and (b) classroom assistants in England and Wales; 
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long it is taking on average for checks on care workers to be completed by the Criminal Records Bureau at the latest available date. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many care home staff who would have required Criminal Record Bureau checks for existing staff before 1 April have had checks postponed until (a) 31 March 2003 and (b) 2004. 
Mr. Burstow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research was undertaken by (a) his Department and (b) Capita to determine the (i) likely level of demand for Criminal Records Bureau checks and (ii) Criminal Records Bureau customers' preferred means of submitting applications for checks. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will publish guidance to registered bodies about the postponement of Criminal Records Bureau checks as set out in the announcement made on 1 November. 
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Records Bureau's telephone checking service; and what proportion this constitutes of the total number of record check applications. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) teaching and (b) non-teaching staff have been subject to Criminal Records Bureau vetting; and (i) how many and (ii) what percentage of each category failed. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) appeals and (b) overturned Criminal Records Bureau checks for each local authority for (i) social workers and (ii) voluntary organisations who work with children there were in each of the last 12 months; 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) value of contract and (b) evaluation mechanism for successful delivery of contract are in the running of the CRB by Capita; and whether penalty charges are in place. 
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many outstanding Criminal Records Bureau checks there were on childminder applicants in England and Wales on 23 September. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) nurses supplied by nurses agencies and (b) staff supplied by domiciliary care agencies will no longer have to have Criminal Record Bureau checks. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what compensation his Department will offer to (a) staff, (b) private care homes, (c) voluntary organisations and (d) local authorities for the delays in Criminal Record Bureau checks; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his Answer of 16 October, Official Report, column 868W, on Criminal Records Bureau checks, how many checks on (a) social workers, (b) other social care staff and (c) voluntary health organisations working with children have been outstanding for (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) three months and (iv) longer than six months. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) teaching and (b) non-teaching staff who had received Criminal Records Bureau clearance prior to the start of the school term were subsequently checked and found to be unfit for work with children. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those subjected to checks by the Criminal Records Bureau as a result of their employment in schools have contested the factual basis of information disclosed about them as a result of such checks; what steps need to be taken by a person who contests such information; and what action he proposes to take in respect of cases where the information disclosed about individuals is found to be incorrect. 
Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long it has taken on average for checks on care workers to be completed by the Criminal Records Bureau in the last six months. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate how many persons caring for (a) children and (b) vulnerable adults will now not have Criminal Records Bureau checks; 
(3) how many existing staff requiring Criminal Records Bureau checks will have the check postponed from March 2003 to 2004; 
(4) how many Criminal Records Bureau checks have been delayed for (a) teachers and (b) classroom assistants in each of the last six months by (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three, and (iv) six months or more. 
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Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long it took on average over the last period for which figures are available to carry out Criminal Records Bureau checks on taxi drivers. 
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