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Colchester Courthouse

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

The Courts Service has now purchased a site in Colchester for the new courthouse. The next step is to appoint a firm to construct the building. [Hon. Members: “Hooray!”] Before hon. Members cheer, I must tell them that that is subject to funding discussions with Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The time taken between the decision to build a new courthouse in Colchester and the present day is longer than the duration of the second world war. Does the Minister regard that as a success or a failure, with regard to the concept of the private finance initiative?

Obviously, we would have liked the hon. Gentleman’s local courthouse to have been renewed earlier. When he last made the comparison between the duration of the second world war and the time taken to build the new Colchester courthouse, the land had not yet been purchased. On that basis, at least, we are making progress. We will let him know when the construction company has been appointed, and I am sure that he will ask a question about that.

Order. The hon. Lady’s constituency is much too far from the area under discussion for me to call her.