§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list, by country, those localities where magistrates courts have been closed in each of the last five years and those localities where magistrates courts have been proposed or agreed for closure in 1998. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The information requested is not collected centrally and could be collected only at a disproportionate cost.
Magistrates courts are provided by the local paying authority for the use of the magistrates courts committee (MCC). Closure decisions are for the MCC to determine, although the paying authority may appeal to the Lord Chancellor against a proposed closure.
The administration of the magistrates courts is based on units known as MCCs, not counties. Whilst MCCs have tended to be based on the old county boundaries, the effect of local government reorganisation and the amalgamation of MCCs means this is now changing.