§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the advantages and disadvantages of having shared responsibility with the Secretary of State for the Home Department for the appointment of magistrates in the County Palatine.604W
joining the Department from (a) the regular Civil Service entrance procedure, (b) the fast stream and (c) the private sector. 
§ Mr. Kilfoyle
(holding answer 9 March 1998): Although the precise information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost, I can assure my hon. Friend that all career civil servants who join my Department, which for this purpose includes the Cabinet Office, the Office of Public Service and its executive agencies and the Central Office of Information, (which is not an agency of the Cabinet Office but which reports directly to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster) are recruited by an appropriate Civil Service entrance procedure, using fair and open competition and recruitment on merit. Numbers joining my Department from the fast stream are approximately five in each of the last five years. Of those, approximately 50 per cent. spent part of their education at either Oxford or Cambridge Universities. Relatively few new entrants to the department are school leavers and many therefore have experience of the private sector.
§ Mr. Bayley
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the numbers of civil servants based in each economic planning region in (i) 1995, (ii) 1996 and (iii) 1997; and if he will express the numbers as a proportion of the resident population in each region in each of those years. 
§ Dr. David Clark
In common with most regional official statistics, since April 1997 regional statistics about the Civil Service have been compiled on the basis of Government Office Regions. The full-time equivalent numbers of permanent civil servants in each Government Office Region at 1 April 1995, 1996 and 1997 and those numbers expressed as proportions of the resident population in each region and year are shown in the following table:
§ Dr. David Clark
I do not share responsibility for the appointment of magistrates in the County Palatine with the Secretary of State for the Home Department. I appoint magistrates in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside while the Lord Chancellor appoints magistrates in the remainder of England and Wales. The Lord Chancellor and I have a network of Advisory Committees who are responsible for recruiting and 605W interviewing candidates and recommending suitable people for appointment as magistrates. These committees work to a set of similar directions.