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Courts: Fees and Charges

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the effect on the number of child care proceedings of the recent rise in court fees. (250161)

Our assessment is that the new court fees have had no effect on local authorities fulfilling their statutory obligations to protect children at risk. There was a reduction in the number of applications for care orders issued by local authorities following introduction of the new statutory guidance to local authorities and Public Law Outline introduced on 1 April 2008, a month before the new fees were implemented. Since the initial drop in April and May 08, volumes have been increasing. We will continue to monitor the number of applications being issued.