HL Deb 02 December 1996 vol 576 c34WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of defendants tried in Crown courts in England and Wales have been found guilty each year since 1989.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)

The question concerns a matter which has been assigned to the Court Service under the terms of its Framework Document. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to reply.

Letter to Lord Lester of Herne Hill from the Chief Executive of the Court Service, Mr. Michael Huebner, dated 2 December 1996.

The Lord Chancellor has asked me to reply to your Question about the proportion of defendants tried in Crown courts who have been found guilty each year since 1989.

The figures requested are as follows:

The employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), which come into force today, make fundamental changes to the way we approach the employment of disabled people and will establish a new era of opportunity for them. In view of these new provisions, we have been considering whether ES still requires local advisory arrangements. Consultations showed the value of partnership working between the ES and a range of local organisations and individuals able to influence positive developments in disabled people's employment in the local labour market.

We have taken into consideration the new opportunities the DDA brings, the range of views expressed and the need to make best use of available resource. We have decided that the relevant provisions of the 1944 Act, under which CEPDs are appointed, will be repealed and that, with effect from April 1997, the ES will set up in each region a non-statutory regional disability consulting group.

These new regional consulting groups will provide a fresh, more streamlined approach to partnership working between the ES and relevant local organisations and individuals. The groups will be encouraged to contribute actively to ES's regional and local initiatives to promote improvements in the employment of disabled people.

I should like to take this opportunity to record my thanks for the important contribution made by current and past members of CEPDs and their predecessors. The new era which opens up today owes much to their willingness to work with the ES over many years to help improve the employment prospects for disabled people.