HC Deb 29 October 2002 vol 391 c766W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans she has to downgrade Cheltenham County Court; and if she will make a statement. [77045]

Yvette Cooper

The Court Service report, Modernising the Civil and Family Courts, published on 23 May 2002 set out a vision of a new business model for the civil and family courts. The aim is to increase the choices for people who need to use the courts; reduce social exclusion in the system of justice; and improve the use of technology in the courts to enhance service. Under the proposals Cheltenham County Court would become a part-time local hearing venue on the basis that, on average, it currently has hearings on fewer than three days per week.

We will be consulting on our proposals for the court network next year. During this period, the views of all those with an interest in the future status of Cheltenham County will be canvassed. The consultation will include Members of Parliament.