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Court Closures (Kingston)

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department pursuant to her oral answer of 8 April 2003, Official Report, column 121, on the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority consultation on court closures, if she will set out (a) the grounds for appeal submitted to her by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and (b) the reasons she upheld the appeal. [108914]

Each appeal is decided upon its own merits, based upon evidence received from all parties to the case. In this case, the Paying Authority argued, in summary, that the court was adequate for the purpose, was conveniently located and served a town with a large population, which attracted substantial numbers of people from outside the area. The court had a high workload, which could not be accommodated at Wimbledon, and the journey to Wimbledon would inconvenience court users.The appeal was upheld because the shortcomings at Kingston, as determined by the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority, were not so great as to be an overriding factor leading to closure when compared with those argued by the Paying Authority.