§ Mr. Holt
asked the Attorney General what is the average delay in the hearing 107W of criminal cases in magistrates' and sessions courts in Bolton, Manchester and Preston.
The average time between committal and trial during the last three completed sessions of the Manchester Crown Court was 4.6 weeks. Information about the time taken at the Quarter Sessions held in Manchester, Bolton and Preston is being obtained and I will circulate it in the Official Report when it is received.
Precise information about the time taken between the issue of process and the hearing in magistrates' courts in the area is not readily available and I do not consider that the work involved in obtaining it would be justified. It is estimated that the time taken at Manchester City Court is at present not more than 14 days, and in the 5 other courts in the area between 3 weeks (in minor cases) and 6 weeks (in more serious cases).