Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Legal Aid on 30th June 1986.
Mr. Terry Fields Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many outstanding applications for finance for legal aid are on file at the Department of Health and Social Security legal aid assessment offices at Preston, Lancashire; what is the average period of time taken to process such claims; if he has plans to increase staff at the office: and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Major There are 54,845 outstanding applications for finance for legal aid on file at the Department's legal aid assessment office at Preston, Lancashire. Information on the time taken to process such claims is not available in the form requested by the hon. Member, however, 59 per cent. of applications are cleared within six weeks of registration at the office. Staffing levels were increased from 292 to 313 in April 1986. There are no plans for any further increase, but a staffing survey is planned for August 1986.