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Magistrates Courts

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) how many magistrates courts have closed in each year since 1980, broken down into (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas; and if she will make a statement; (84745)

(2) how many magistrates courts have closed in each year since 1980 in (a) rural areas and (b) non-rural areas; and if she will make a statement.

My Department does not hold information on the magistrates courthouse closures which occurred prior to 1995. The following table provides details of the magistrates court closures (broken down into (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas) which took place between 1995 and 2006. HM Courts Service is committed to improving the standard of facilities provided to court users and in delivering greater value for money by increasing courtroom utilization. This includes the modernization and building of new modern courthouses as well as the co-location of magistrates courts with county courts.

Number of magistrates courts closed in each year since 19951

Rural 75

Rural 50

Significant rural

Other urban

Large urban

Major urban

Total number of courts closed

1995

3

1

1

0

2

0

7

1996

8

6

2

2

0

3

21

1997

2

4

3

3

1

8

21

1998

12

4

1

3

2

3

25

1999

1

0

1

2

1

2

7

2000

8

1

0

2

0

2

13

2001

12

7

3

3

3

2

30

2002

5

0

2

0

0

0

7

2003

9

2

1

1

0

0

13

2004

1

0

0

0

0

1

2

2005

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2006

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1 The rural constituency classification (introduced by the Rural Evidence Research Centre on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2006) has been used to define whether court closures took place in rural/urban areas. The classification divides constituencies into the following six categories:

Rural 75: Over 75 per cent. of the population live in rural settlements (including 207 large market towns)

Rural 50: Over 50 per cent. of the population live in rural settlements (including 207 large market towns)

Significant rural: More than 37,000 or between 26 per cent. and 50 per cent. of the population live in rural settlements.

Other urban: Fewer than 37,000 or less than 26 per cent. of the population live in rural settlements;

Large urban: A minimum of 50,000 or 50 per cent. of the population live in a large urban area;

Major urban: A minimum of 100,000 or 50 per cent. of the population live in a major urban area (i.e. over 750,000 of the population).

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many magistrates courts there are in each London borough. (87714)

The information is as follows.

Court(s)

Borough

Barking Magistrates Court

Barking and Dagenham

Barnet Magistrates Court and Hendon Magistrates Court

Barnet

Bexley Magistrates Court

Bexley

Brent Magistrates Court

Brent

Bromley Magistrates Court

Bromley

(Served by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court)

Camden

City of London Magistrates Court

City of London

City of Westminster Magistrates Court and Marylebone Magistrates Court

City of Westminster

Croydon Magistrates Court

Croydon

Ealing Magistrates Court and Acton Magistrates Court

Ealing

Enfield Magistrates Court

Enfield

Greenwich Magistrates Court, Woolwich Magistrates Court and Belmarsh Magistrates Court

Greenwich

(Served by Thames Magistrates Court)

Hackney

West London Magistrates Court

Hammersmith and Fulham

Haringey Magistrates Court

Haringey

Harrow Magistrates Court

Harrow

Havering Magistrates Court

Havering

Uxbridge Magistrates Court

Hillingdon

Feltham Magistrates Court and Brentford Magistrates Court

Hounslow

Highbury Corner Magistrates Court

Islington

(Served by West London Magistrates Court)

Kensington and Chelsea

Kingston Magistrates Court

Kingston

Camberwell Green Magistrates Court

Lambeth

(Served by Greenwich Magistrates Court)

Lewisham

Wimbledon Magistrates Court

Merton

Stratford Magistrates Court

Newham

Redbridge Magistrates Court

Redbridge

Richmond Magistrates Court

Richmond

Tower Bridge Magistrates Court

Southwark

Sutton Magistrates Court

Sutton

Thames Magistrates Court

Tower Hamlets

Waltham Forest Magistrates Court

Waltham Forest

South Western Magistrates Court (and Balham Youth Court)

Wandsworth

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many magistrates courts in England and Wales closed in each year since 1979. (86746)

My Department does not hold information on the magistrates courthouse closures which occurred prior to 1995. The following table provides details of the magistrates court closures which took place between 1995 and 2006. HM Courts Service is committed to improving the standard of facilities provided to court users and in delivering greater value for money by increasing courtroom utilization. This includes the modernization and building of new modern courthouses as well as the co-location of magistrates courts and county courts.

Total number of courts closed

1995

7

1996

21

1997

21

1998

25

1999

7

2000

13

2001

30

2002

7

2003

13

2004

2

2005

0

2006

2