HC Deb 26 February 2004 vol 418 cc534-5W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list each magistrates court that has closed in the last two years, broken down by(a) parliamentary constituency and (b) date of closure. [155954]

Mr. Leslie

The responsibility for the number and location of magistrates courts in England and Wales falls to individual Magistrates' Courts Committees (MCCs) to determine, in consultation with their local paying authority. A paying authority that is aggrieved by a determination of an MCC has the right to appeal under section 56(3) of the Justice of the Peace Act 1997 to the Secretary of State for Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) within one month of receipt of the written notice of determination.

However, MCCs are not required by statute to inform the Department of proposed courthouse closures that are not subject to an appeal. The following table shows the closures of magistrates courts in England and Wales in 2002 and 2003 compiled from the information that is available to my Department:

Court Parliamentary constituency Date of closure
Bridgenorth Ludlow 31 January 2002
Leominster Leominster 31 January 2002
Fakenham North Suffolk 1 May 2002
Tunbridge Wells Tunbridge Wells 2 June 2002
Beaconsfield Beaconsfield 1 July 2002
Buckingham Buckingham 1 July 2002
Evesham Mid Worcestershire 30 November 2002
Thame Henley 31 January 2003
Droitwich Mid Worcestershire 21 March 2003

Court Parliamentary constituency Date of closure
Machynlleth Meirionnydd Nant Conwy 31 March 2003
Chester le Street North Durham 31 March 2003
Rugeley Cannock Chase 31 May 2003
Lampeter Ceredigion 9 June 2003
Tenby Carmarthen West and South


30 June 2003
Camberley Surrey Heath 30 June 2003
Trowbridge Westbury 30 September 2003
Whitchurch North Shropshire 03 October 2003
Long Sutton South Holland and The


31 October 2003
Caistor Gainsborough 31 December 2003
Horncastle Louth and Horncastle County 31 December 2003

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