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Legal Aid: Hazel Grove

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications for legal aid were (a) received from and (b) granted to residents of (i) Hazel Grove constituency and (ii) each local authority in the north-west in each of the last five years. (304691)

Applications for civil legal aid help and advice are made to individual providers. Existing data collection arrangements record the number of instances of advice provided, rather than the number of applications made.

Applications for civil legal aid representation are submitted to the Legal Services Commission (LSC). The LSC collects data on the number of civil legal aid representation applications submitted to providers located within (i) Hazel Grove constituency and (ii) each local authority in the north-west and this is broken down for each of the past five financial years (see Table 1). A proportion of these applications will come from individuals resident outside (i) Hazel Grove constituency and (ii) local authority areas in the north-west.

Data on applications for criminal legal aid are not recorded in the same way as applications for civil legal aid representation. Instead, they rely on a separate ‘online’ application process. This does not allow applications for criminal legal aid to be identified on the basis of postcode information. Therefore, it is not possible to provide details of criminal legal aid applications submitted from residents in the Hazel Grove constituency area, nor from those residents in each local authority area in the north-west.

However, following the introduction of means testing in October 2006, the Legal Services Commission can identify the number of criminal legal aid applications submitted to the neighbouring Stockport magistrates court (see Table 2). These applications will include those submitted from defendants charged with an indictable only offence and facing trial before Manchester Minshull street Crown court. A proportion of these applications will have come from individuals resident in the Hazel Grove constituency area.

Table 2 also provides the total number of applications submitted to all 42 magistrates courts covered by the north-west region of Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS). An analysis of these data by individual court could be provided only at disproportionate cost. As with the data for Stockport magistrates court, the applications will include a proportion from individuals who are resident outside the north-west region.

Table 1: Civil legal aid applications for representation, and legal aid certificates granted—Hazel Grove and north-west local authority areas—last five financial years

Applications

Certificates

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Hazel Grove constituency

84

84

108

113

118

64

68

70

78

85

North-west local authority areas

Allerdale

215

185

196

216

153

160

137

149

154

109

Barrow-in-Furness

353

348

354

282

221

287

285

279

225

157

Blackburn with Darwen

1,100

1,090

1,105

1,034

1,131

891

915

928

829

935

Blackpool

1,099

1,237

1,178

1,049

1,102

863

986

949

825

908

Bolton

1,295

1,171

1,194

1,191

1,163

1,008

926

978

979

988

Burnley

619

665

725

637

568

458

507

566

506

455

Bury

514

528

528

499

551

379

412

401

380

421

Carlisle

530

534

465

428

397

419

418

380

367

315

Chester

512

404

409

380

480

384

327

305

296

367

Chorley

304

321

268

227

306

225

263

209

174

239

Congleton

114

160

170

142

129

81

120

128

115

106

Copeland

196

241

237

231

195

161

184

190

186

142

Crewe and Nantwich

304

334

293

267

264

240

263

244

227

228

Eden

91

78

95

84

72

73

56

70

71

48

Ellesmere Port and Neston

150

167

189

156

182

118

132

146

131

138

Fylde

189

198

170

137

118

136

150

132

99

93

Halton

505

476

460

447

539

386

371

367

368

441

Hyndburn

559

575

470

380

360

457

440

358

276

292

Knowsley

360

365

366

353

300

247

302

281

276

244

Lancaster

570

578

557

504

447

437

471

436

407

337

Liverpool

2,388

2,366

2,576

2,279

2,538

1,869

1,852

2,053

1,921

2,066

Macclesfield

219

187

213

175

225

164

155

179

141

189

Manchester

3,057

2,677

2,591

2,361

2,454

2,470

2,178

2,102

1,913

1,977

Oldham

937

882

967

874

910

731

714

804

720

755

Pendle

318

228

243

192

221

220

172

175

145

165

Preston

1,062

1,039

865

809

859

899

856

735

657

681

Ribble Valley

26

30

18

19

29

18

28

16

14

17

Rochdale

718

785

822

763

812

567

672

692

624

687

Rossendale

158

134

143

104

128

122

112

107

70

99

Salford

1,403

1,348

1,301

1,054

1,015

1,188

1,151

1,134

900

848

Sefton

1,203

1,129

1,083

997

1,002

931

856

818

783

803

South Lakeland

189

215

224

234

247

150

174

181

177

208

South Ribble

68

58

51

31

52

55

40

34

28

34

St. Helens

929

938

891

920

1,118

759

760

738

752

926

Stockport

1,123

1,153

1,270

1,164

1,179

866

912

994

871

896

Tameside

930

850

904

731

734

745

722

780

602

575

Trafford

577

534

462

531

729

486

430

382

401

561

Vale Royal

328

393

388

367

504

234

282

288

278

400

Warrington

527

511

465

404

450

400

398

330

328

337

West Lancashire

262

244

243

212

237

215

205

205

176

204

Wigan

1,012

1,145

1,320

1,343

1,371

767

836

937

896

958

Wirral

1,649

1,822

1,831

1,682

1,885

1,354

1,531

1,493

1,445

1,625

Wyre

306

321

314

281

264

216

239

244

209

192

Table 2: Legal aid applications submitted and granted by (a) Stockport magistrates court and (b) all magistrates courts in the HMCS north-west region

October 2006 to March 2007

April 2007 to March 2008

April 2008 to March 2009

April2009to October 2009

Stockport MC

Applications submitted

1,421

2,704

2,960

1,594

Applications granted

1,241

2,505

2,832

1,535

All north-west MCs

Applications submitted

48,196

98,791

101,996

58,311

Applications granted

42,833

92,694

96,406

55,325