HC Deb 06 December 1989 vol 163 c256W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve magistrates courts clerk shortages; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

In the course of 1989, we have authorised the creation of 82 additional court clerk trainee posts; and we have made provision in public expenditure for a further increase next financial year. I have also approved for grant purposes the pay agreement from 1 July 1989 reached in the joint negotiating committee for magistrates courts staff which recognises the recruitment and retention requirements for court clerks. We are additionally seeking to raise the recruitment profile of the service by publishing two new careers booklets and by funding stands at two major careers fairs in collaboration with the Association of Magistrates Courts, whose work in co-ordinating the efforts of magistrates courts committees to recruit court clerks we fully endorse.