Skip to main content

Magistrates Courts: Leicestershire

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which magistrates courts in Leicestershire he proposes to (a) close and (b) reduce the sitting hours of in the next (i) 12 and (ii) 24 months. (288373)

I refer the hon. and learned Member to the written ministerial statement made earlier today setting out the Government's plans to consult on the closure of a number of under used magistrates courts. Many of the courts we are consulting on do not have adequate facilities for victims and witnesses or other court users. None of the courts we are consulting on are located within Leicestershire.

HMCS must keep the level of magistrates courts sitting commensurate to the amount of work—local management decisions, involving local judiciary, including magistrates, and staff will be taken regularly to ensure that that is the case. Local discussions are currently under way to determine the sitting levels for 2010-11—these discussions have not concluded and no proposals have therefore been made yet.

HMCS regularly reviews the use and utilisation of its estate. Where there is insufficient work and alternative facilities within a reasonable travelling distance we will hold consultations to seek views on whether to close a court. We will make a decision on whether to close a court after considering the responses to consultations.