HC Deb 26 March 2001 vol 365 c469W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Ceredigion constituency, the effects on Ceredigion of the Lord Chancellor's Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154985]

Jane Kennedy

The Lord Chancellor's Department is responsible for the administration of the courts and for legal services. We have taken steps to improve the management and effectiveness of the services we provide and to meet customer needs, including working closely with other agencies to provide a fair, swift and effective system of justice, to improve the availability of affordable and good quality legal services and to improve the lives of children and help build and sustain strong families.

Work is scheduled to start on a local Community Legal Service Partnership in Ceredigion from this summer. Across Ceredigion contracts have been awarded to local law firms for 2001–02 with a total value of £94,000, and these contracts include categories such as family, debt, housing and welfare benefits. Contracts with Aberystwyth and Cardigan Citizens Advice Bureaux and Shelter Cymru will also benefit local residents.

The Legal Services Commission is considering expressions of interest in the provision of bilingual telephone advice services for financially eligible clients in Ceredigion, in acknowledgement of the fact that this is a rural area with significant numbers of people unable to access easily services delivered through offices in the larger towns. An announcement on the award of a telephone contract for Ceredigion is anticipated within the next two months.