|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Roger Berry: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what terms of reference have been set for the audit of previously submitted and paid expenses claims by hon. Members; what instructions have been given to those performing the audit; when he expects the audit to be completed; in what form the results of the audit will be published; and whether any external accountancy expertise has been recruited to assist in the audit. 
Nick Harvey: Sir Thomas Legg KCB QC has been engaged to carry out the review of four years claims for Additional Costs Allowance for all Members who have claimed the allowance. His terms of reference are currently under consideration. He will begin work shortly and carry out his review as quickly as possible. He will draw on external professional accountancy expertise as well as help from other sources. His findings will be published in a report in due course.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers in his Department have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: In the last 12 months, neither I, nor any of my Ministers, have had any meetings with representatives of the think-tank Demos and my Department has no record that representatives were present at any public engagement Ministers attended. As my hon. Friend will be aware, my brother Edward Straw is Chairman of Demos. However, I have not had any meetings with him in that capacity.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Departments and its predecessors estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment
has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice is unable to provide the financial information on energy efficiency measures in each year from 2004-09 and the assessment made of the effectiveness of that expenditure without incurring disproportionate costs.
The Sustainable Development Commission reports annually on Departments progress against SOGE targets in the Sustainable in Government Report (SDiG). In 2007-08 the Ministry of Justice was rated as having made excellent progress in energy efficiency overall.
Mr. Wills: The official responsible for the energy efficiency of the Ministry of Justice is Marco Pierleoni, director general, finance and commercial, who is also the Departments green champion. However, the Ministry of Justice is in the process of appointing a new director of strategic property who will take over this work of the estate.
Mr. Straw: Details of the financial settlement reached with the former chief executive, HM Courts Service is available in the public domain. The question was published on 25 February 2009, Official Report, column 841W. It is also detailed in the Ministry of Justices resource account 2007-08.
Sir Ron De Witt left the Department on 14 December 2007. He received a lump sum compensation payment upon the date of his departure of £405-£410,000. This included a special severance payment of £130-135,000.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many juveniles were taken to court for an appearance pending trial from police cells in the last year for which figures are available. 
Data held by the Home Office on persons detained by the police and information on court proceedings and transit from police cells to courts held by the Ministry of Justice do not separately identify instances where a juvenile is taken to court during a period of detention.
Figures for prisoners held in dormitory accommodation for one fewer person (nine in a dormitory for eight, for example) and data for prisoners in accommodation for two fewer people are not reported separately. Data for this type of overcrowding will be included in the figure for total overcrowding. The average number of prisoners overcrowded (including doubling and three to a cell for two) during 2008-09 was 20,452, representing 24.7 per cent. of the population. On average, 113 prisoners are overcrowded in conditions other than two to a cell for one and three to a cell for two.
Overcrowding where prisoners are held in cells for two fewer people may consist of four in a cell for two or five in a cell for three or nine in a dormitory for eight. The practice of holding three prisoners in a cell certified for one no longer exists; no prisoners have been held in these conditions since 1994.
Since 1997, the Government have increased prison capacity by over 24,000 places (not all of them new build). The Government increased capacity by over 3,300 places last year, aim to increase it by a further 2,000 this year and are committed to increase net capacity to 96,000 by 2014.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offences committed within one year of release by former prisoners of each prison cohort since 2000 were not (a) identified as incidents of re-offending for more than six months after the offence was committed and (b) taken into account in the calculation of published re-offending rates. 
Maria Eagle: This information is not available. The data in the Re-offending of adults publication reports on proven reoffending. An offender is said to have committed a proven reoffence if he or she receives a conviction at court for the reoffence. The reoffence must have been committed within the one year follow up period, and the conviction must follow either within that one year follow up, or in a further six months, which is to allow time for the offence to be proven at court.
Mr. Straw: Sentencing guidelines are issued to the courts by the independent Sentencing Guidelines Council, not by the Government. In December 2008, the Sentencing Guidelines Council published a definitive guideline on theft and burglary in a building other than a dwelling. This can be found at:
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what her latest estimate is of the cost of hosting the London 2012 Olympics (a) gymnastics, (b) wheelchair basketball and (c) basketball events at North Greenwich Arena 1. 
Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has responsibility for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games at existing venues. The direct costs associated with staging the events at existing venues come from LOCOGs revenues which are primarily derived from commercial sponsorship, broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandising/licensingnot from the public purse.
There will be attributable costs to the public purse, for example in respect of the security and transport functions associated with the venue. However these costs have not yet been identified separately for individual venues, but they will form part of the overall security and transport budgets.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what her latest estimate is of the cost of hosting the London 2012 Olympics (a) badminton, (b) rhythmic gymnastics and (c) volleyball events at North Greenwich Arena 2. 
Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has responsibility for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The direct costs associated with staging the events come from LOCOGs revenues which are primarily derived from commercial sponsorship, broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandising/licensingnot from the public purse.
There will be attributable costs to the public purse, for example in respect of the security and transport functions associated with the events. However these
costs have not yet been identified separately for individual events, but they will form part of the overall security and transport budgets.
The Prime Minister: Correspondence between the Church and No. 10 on senior church appointments is confidential. The process for appointing Bishops is set out in The Governance of Britain (Cm7170), copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Solicitor-General if the Attorney-General will refer the sentences passed on those responsible for the murder of Ben Kinsella to the Court of Appeal for a review of the minimum term to be served. 
The Solicitor-General: A decision to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal can be made if the sentence appears to the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General to be unduly lenient. The prosecuting authority or any member of the public can invite us to consider a sentence for referral. This case will accordingly be fully considered within 28 days of the sentence being passed, which is the time limit that applies in all cases.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Solicitor-General what compensation for loss of earnings HM Courts Service offers to witnesses in court proceedings who attend court on days when the cases in which they are due to appear are delayed or postponed. 
The rates currently in operation for ordinary witnesses provide a maximum of £33.50 for an absence from work not exceeding four hours, and £67.00 for an absence from work exceeding four hours. These payments are not subject to income tax or other statutory deductions.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Solicitor-General when the rates for (a) expenses and (b) allowances payable to witnesses appearing in court proceedings were last set; how the rates are determined; and how often the rates are (i) reviewed and (ii) amended. 
The Solicitor-General: The rates for witness expenses and allowances, which are paid in accordance with the Crown Prosecution Service (Witnesses' etc Allowances) Regulations 1988, are reviewed annually by the CPS in consultation with the Ministry of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office. They were last reviewed in July 2008 and amended from 1 September 2008 to allow for the reimbursement of any congestion charge paid by a witness in making a journey to court.
The regulations allow for the payment of the cost of transport to and from court, meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation if necessary, and loss of earnings. The travel and subsistence allowances are very similar to allowances made to civil servants, and are adjusted when civil service allowances are revised. The loss of earnings allowance is set broadly in line with the national average salary and by comparison to rates paid to jurors attending court for the purpose of public duty.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik) of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 12W, on driving tests: motorcycles, how many (a) injury and (b) non-injury incidents have occurred during the swerve and stop element of the motorcycle test since 15 May 2009. 
Paul Clark [holding answer 18 June 2009]: Between the 16 May and 12 June 2009, 5,317 Module 1 tests have been conducted and there have been reported (a) one injury and (b) five non-injury incidents during the avoidance and controlled stop manoeuvre of the motorcycle test.
Since June 2004 the Department for Transport has made 23 Harbour Revision or Empowerment Orders. The average time from the date of application
to making, not including time for production of an Environmental Statement where necessary, was three years and 11 weeks. The longest time was just under eight years, the shortest just over nine months. Our reforms to the planning process under the Planning Act 2008 and the Marine and Coastal Access Bill have been designed to reduce the time taken to determine such orders.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|