HC Deb 17 June 1996 vol 279 cc309-10W
Mr. Derek Foster

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to ensure that the recommendations contained in the report on the structure of the probate service of September 1994, are subject to parliamentary debate before their implementation. [33095]

Mr. Streeter

There are currently no plans for a debate on the recommendations. Comprehensive public consultation on the proposals from the report was carried out between October and March and all hon. Members whose constituencies would be affected were included in this exercise. A submission will soon be put forward for the Lord Chancellor's and my consideration. Any change to the number of probate sub-registries will be introduced by way of statutory instrument which will be laid before the House in the usual way.

Mr. Foster

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellors's Department what assessment he has made of the extent to which the recommendations of the report on the structure of the probate service comply with the aims and commitments contained in the courts charter. [33096]

Mr. Streeter

The question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executive of the Court Service is best placed to provide an answer. I have accordingly asked the chief executive to reply direct.

Letter from M. D. Huebner to Mr. Derek Foster, dated 17 June 1996: The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department has asked me to reply to your Question about the proposed changes to the structure of the Probate Service.

The quality of service which the Probate Service would be able to provide under any new structure has been the paramount consideration when assessing the proposals. Although no final decisions have yet been made, I am satisfied that the recommended structure for the Probate Service would continue to provide a high quality service and meet the standards in the Charter for Court Users.