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Magistrates Courts: Closures

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 20 October 2009, Official Report, column 1373W, on magistrates courts: closures, how many magistrates’ courts opened in each type of area in each year since 1997. (295942)

The following tables provide details of the magistrates courts opened (broken down into each type of area) since 1997. This substantial investment in replacing courthouses that have passed their working life demonstrates the Ministry of Justice’s commitment to the courts and the communities that they serve. At the heart of this investment are the needs of court users.

Number of magistrates courts opened in each year since 19971

Rural 75

Rural 50

Significant rural

Other urban

Large urban

Major urban

Total number of courts opened

1997

0

1

0

0

0

3

4

1998

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1999

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2000

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2001

0

3

1

2

2

0

8

2002

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2003

31

0

0

2

0

0

3

2004

0

0

1

0

0

1

2

2005

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2006

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

2007

0

0

0

0

1

2

3

2008

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

Rural 802

Rural 50

Significant rural

Other urban

Large urban

Major urban

Total number of courts opened

2009

31

1

0

0

0

0

2

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:

Major Urban: districts with either 100,000 people or 50 per cent. of their population in urban areas with a population of more than 750,000.

Large Urban: districts with either 50,000 people or 50 per cent. of their population in one of 17 urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 750,000.

Other Urban: districts with fewer than 37,000 people or less than 26 per cent. of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.

Significant Rural: districts with more than 37,000 people or more than 26 per cent. of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.

Rural-50: districts with at least 50 per cent. but less than 80 per cent. of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.

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

2 The rural constituency classification (introduced by the Rural Evidence Research Centre on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) changed in April 2009 and one rural classification has changed from rural 75 to rural 80. Rural-80: districts with at least 80 per cent. of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.

3 For Wales a Rural Authority is defined as any having a population density of below the Wales average of 140 persons per sq km.