Thursday, 8 October 2015

More axemanship on court locations ~ the demise of "local" justice

Kenneth Clarke (a former Secretary of State for Justice) once commented that courts did not need to reflect "how far it was reasonable for a man to ride a horse".  Numerous court locations have been closed and further court closures will take place over the next year or so.  In December 2011 I wrote about earlier cuts.  Please read it since it is as relevant now as it was then.

The closures - imposed under the mantras of "efficiency" and "economy" - affect the whole of England and Wales with the effect that the magistrates' court system will be concentrated on fewer but, usually, larger courts.  One result will be that those involved in cases may well be subjected to lengthy journeys, often with poor and reducing public transport, and the undoubted stress felt by witnesses will be increased. Locally administered justice is dying rapidly.

Civil justice will also be administered at fewer locations since the Ministry of Justice proposal contains a list of "integrations."  Of note is the reduction in the number of locations where the Family Court sits.  This will present particular difficulties for those involved with the courts on all sorts of family matters such as the arrangements for children (contact, residence etc).

The latest round was announced in a Ministry of Justice Proposal issued on 16th July 2015.  TODAY (8th October) is the last date for responses.

Consultation Paper 16th July 2015

Here is the list of proposed closures and amalgamations.



London
Bow County Court
Feltham Magistrates’ Court
Greenwich Magistrates’ Court
Hammersmith County Court (formerly West London County Court)
Lambeth County Court
Pocock Street Tribunal Hearing Centre
Richmond-upon-Thames Magistrates Court
Tottenham Magistrates’ Court
Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court
Woolwich County Court

Midlands
Birmingham Youth Court
Burton-upon-Trent Magistrates’ Court
Buxton Magistrates’ and County Court
Corby Magistrates’ Court
Grantham Magistrates’ Court
Hinckley Magistrates’ Court
Kettering County Court
Kettering Magistrates’ Court
Sandwell Magistrates’ Court
Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court
Skegness Magistrates’ Court
Solihull Magistrates’ Court
Stafford Magistrates’ Court
Worksop Magistrates’  Court 

North East
Consett Magistrates’ Court
Halifax County Court and Family Court
Halifax (Calderdale) Magistrates’ and Family Court
Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court and County Court
Morpeth County Court
Rotherham Magistrates’ Court , County Court and Family Court
Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court
Wakefield Magistrates’ Court

North West
Accrington County Court
Accrington Magistrates’ Court
Bolton County Court and Family Court
Bury Magistrates’ Court and County Court
Kendal Magistrates’ Court and County Court
Macclesfield County Court
Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court
Oldham County Court
Oldham Magistrates’ Court
Ormskirk Magistrates’ Court and Family Court
Runcorn (Halton) Magistrates’ Court
St Helens Magistrates’ Court and County Court
Stockport Magistrates’ Court and County Court
Tameside County Court
Trafford Magistrates’ Court and Altrincham County Court
Warrington County Court 
West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court and County Court

South East
Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court
Basildon Social Security and Child Support Tribunal (Acorn House)
Bedford and Mid Beds Magistrates’ Court and Family Court and Bedford County Court
and Family Court
Bicester Magistrates’ Court and Family Court
Bury St. Edmunds Magistrates’ Court and Family Court and Bury St. Edmunds Crown
Court
Chichester Combined Court (Crown and County)
Chichester Magistrates’ Court
Colchester County Court and Family Court
Colchester County Court Offices
Dartford Magistrates’ Court
Dover Magistrates’ Court
Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court , County Court and Family Court
Harlow Magistrates’ Court
Kings Lynn County Court and Family Court
Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court , County Court and Family Court
Redhill Magistrates’Court and Family Court
Reigate County Court and Family Court
St Albans County Court
Tunbridge Wells County Court and Family Court
Watford Magistrates’ Court and Family Court
West Berkshire (Newbury) Magistrates’ Court 

South West
Barnstaple Crown Court
Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court
Cheltenham Rivershill House Tribunal
Chippenham Magistrates’ Court, Civil Court and Family Court
Dorchester Crown Court
Fareham Magistrates’ Court
Gloucester Magistrates’ Court
North Avon (Yate) Magistrates’ Court or Bath Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court
Stroud Magistrates’ Court
Torquay Magistrates’ Court 

Wales
Brecon Law Courts
Bridgend Law Courts
Carmarthen Civil, Family, Tribunal and Probate Hearing Centre
Carmarthen Law Courts (The Guildhall)
Dolgellau Crown and Magistrates’ Court
Holyhead Magistrates’ Court
Llangefni Civil and Family Court
Neath and Port Talbot Civil and Family Court
Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court
Prestatyn Magistrates’Court
Wrexham Tribunal (Rhyd Broughton) 

In addition to proposed closures in this consultation the following integrations will be
taking place.

Midlands
Chesterfield County Court to be integrated within Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court (Chesterfield Justice Centre)
Chesterfield Tribunal (St Mary’s Court) to be integrated within Chesterfield Magistrates’
Court (Chesterfield Justice Centre)
Hereford County Court and Family Court to be integrated within Hereford Magistrates’ Court
Telford County Court and Family Court to be integrated within Telford Magistrates’ Court 

North East
Doncaster County Court to be integrated within Doncaster Magistrates’ Court
Doncaster Tribunal (Portland Place) to be integrated within Doncaster Crown Court
Durham Elvet House Tribunal to be integrated within other tribunal sites within the County
Durham estate, including Durham County and Family Court
East Parade Sheffield Tribunal to be integrated within Sheffield Combined Court
Harrogate County Court to be integrated within Harrogate Magistrates’ Court
Middlesbrough Tribunal Hearing Centre to be integrated within Teesside Magistrates’
Court
Quayside House Newcastle Tribunal to be integrated within North Shields (Kings Court)
Tribunal
Wilberforce Court (Hull Employment Tribunal Centre) to be integrated within Hull Magistrates’ Court and Hull Combined Court

North West
Bolton Magistrates’ Court to be integrated within Bolton Combined Court
Lancaster County Court to be integrated within Lancaster Magistrates’ Court
Warrington Magistrates’ Court to be integrated within Warrington Combined Court 

South East
Aylesbury Crown Court to be integrated within Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Hearing Centre
Bury St Edmunds Employment Tribunal (Government Buildings) to be integrated within Bury St Edmunds County Court
Cambridge Social Security and Child Support Tribunal (Eastbrook House)
Cambridge  Tribunal to be integrated within Cambridge Civil Justice centre and Cambridge
Magistrates’ Court
Cambridge Residential Property Tribunal Service to be integrated within Cambridge Civil
Justice Centre
Norwich Employment  Tribunal (Eliot House) integrated within Norwich Magistrates’ Court
Southend County Court and Family Court to be integrated within Southend Crown and Magistrates’ Court

South West
Aldershot and Farnham County Court to be integrated within Aldershot Magistrates’ Court
Arcade Chambers (Aldershot Tribunal) to be integrated within Aldershot Magistrates’ Court
Plymouth St Catherine’s House (Plymouth Tribunal) to be integrated within Plymouth
Combined and Plymouth Magistrates’ Court
Southampton Western Range and Barrack Block to be integrated within Southampton
Magistrates’ Court
Taunton Blackdown House (Taunton Tribunal) to be integrated within Taunton Deane
Magistrates’ Court
The Crescent Centre (Bristol Tribunal) to be integrated within Bristol Civil Justice Centre
Weymouth and Dorchester Combined Court offices to be integrated within Weymouth Magistrates Court
Yeovil County Court to be integrated within South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates Court (Yeovil) 

Wales
Caernarfon Civil and Family Court to be integrated within Caernarfon Criminal Justice  Centre
Swansea Crown Court (Guildhall) to be integrated within Swansea Crown Court (St Helens)

No comments:

Post a comment