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Magistrates Courts: Closures

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1125-6W, on magistrates' courts at Lyndhurst, for what reason any closure of Lyndhurst magistrates' court would be temporary; what criteria would be used to decide when to re-open it following such a temporary closure; and if he will make a statement. (251267)

As part of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), HMCS Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (HMCS HIOW) has to make efficiency savings over the next three years. The proposal to close Lyndhurst temporarily and transfer its work to Southampton, a modern purpose- built magistrates court is one of a series of measures identified by local management to improve efficiency and reduce the running costs of the area during this period.

No decision has yet been made but consideration will be given to the needs of those who live and work in the New Forest area and their ability to access justice.

A decision to re-open a court following temporary closure would depend on the prevailing factors at that time. All decisions to close individual courts permanently are for Ministers.