HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 c555W
Mr. Hope

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will publish the Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of the magistrates courts service: and if he will make a statement. [136775]

Jane Kennedy

The Lord Chancellor has today placed copies of the Chief Inspector's Annual Report in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Chief Inspector reports a noticeable improvement in overall proficiency across the service. Magistrates courts committees have faced up to hard decisions and shown determination in executing them. While further improvements are needed, such as in the management of performance through the monitoring of suitable indicators, magistrates courts committees are demonstrating an increasing willingness to think strategically.

Although most MCCs continued to show significant weaknesses in managing performance in case administration, all magistrates courts committees inspected achieved average or better than average case completion times. There were also some encouraging signs of recent improvement. The Chief Inspector also noted that there had been good inter-agency work on the planning and implementation of the new Narey procedures and Youth Court Joint Performance Improvement Plans.