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HMS Cambridge

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out his proposals for the future of HMS Cambridge, near Plymouth. [111254]

Mr. Spellar: Following the cessation of shore-based live firing training from HMS Cambridge due to increased use of computer simulation, my Department has been undertaking a detailed study into the future of the establishment. I have not yet received advice on

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the findings of the study and have taken no decisions about the future of HMS Cambridge, but hope to be in a position to do so in the next few months. Any decision will be subject to formal consultation in the usual way.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many questions to his Department tabled for written answer on a named day during the session 1998-99 were answered (a) on the named day, (b) within one week of a named day, (c) within one month of a named day, (d) within three months of a named day and (e) after three months of a named day. [106480]

Dr. Moonie: During the Session 1998-99, 1,004 questions were tabled to my Department for written answer on a named day. Of this total, 552 were answered on the named day, 834 were answered within one week of a named day, 983 were answered within one month of a named day and 994 were answered within three months of a named day. All 1,004 were answered after three months.


Court Closures and Amalgamations

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many, and which (a) county courts and (b) magistrates courts in England and Wales have been closed since 1 February 1994, indicating the date of each closure; how many and which justices benches in England and Wales have been amalgamated since 1 February 1994, indicating the date of each amalgamation; what were the financial savings achieved by the above closures and amalgamations, identifying the effect in financial terms for the relevant police force, legal representation costs and witness expenses. [112772]

Jane Kennedy: Lists of (a) county court and (b) magistrates court closures, and (c) justices bench amalgamations are as set out.

(a) The list of county court closures and the following paragraph have been supplied by the Chief Executive of the Court Service. Fifty-five county courts in England and Wales have been closed or amalgamated since 1 February 1994. The financial savings to the Court Service are in terms of rent and accommodation charges, running costs such as staff salaries, telephone, postage, maintenance of buildings and judicial expense. There have been no savings in financial terms in respect of police forces as this is not relevant to the county courts. The Lord Chancellor does not keep statistics on what representation costs or witness expenses may have been saved through county court closures. Precise figures on all the savings accruing from county court closures since 1994 are not specifically kept by the Court Service. However, a broad conservative estimate of accommodation charges saved and general running costs would indicate a minimum saving of £6,000,000 over the six year period.

(b) Eighty-one magistrates courts have been closed in England and Wales since September 1995.

Magistrates courthouses are owned or leased by the paying authority on behalf of the magistrates courts service. They are not Crown property. The Lord Chancellor's

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Department has conducted an annual survey of magistrates courthouses since 1995, but holds no records prior to that date.

(c) Since 1 February 1994, in England and Wales, 181 justices benches (or petty sessions areas) have been amalgamated to form 78 new justices benches.

Under the provisions of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997, Magistrates Courts Committees are responsible for the provision of an efficient and effective service to court users. When determining the future of its courthouses, it is for each Committee to identify the scope of its own criteria for the number and location of magistrates courts within its area and the possible financial savings. The financial saving achieved by the closures and amalgamations is not collected centrally and could be obtained only from each Magistrates Courts Committee at a disproportionate cost.

(a) County Courts closed since April 1994

County CourtDate of closure
Devizes1 April 1994
Frome1 April 1994
Clacton5 April 1994
Sevenoaks5 April 1994
Sheerness5 April 1994
Sudbury5 April 1994
Bangor4 July 1994
Portmadog4 July 1994
Stroud4 July 1994
Stockton-on-Tees2 November 1994
Lampeter5 December 1994
Launceston5 December 1994
Liskeard5 December 1994
Ellesmere Port5 December 1994
Axminster and Chard5 December 1994
Shaftesbury5 December 1994
Amersham9 January 1995
Wisbech29 September 1995
Market Drayton27 October 1995
Brentwood29 December 1995
Bargoed29 December 1995
Barry29 December 1995
Cardigan29 December 1995
Llandrindod Wells29 December 1995
Otley2 January 1996
Alfreton16 February 1996
Ilkeston16 February 1996
Matlock16 February 1996
Sleaford16 February 1996
Spalding16 February 1996
Dover29 March 1996
Folkestone29 March 1996
Newton Abbot29 March 1996
Sittingbourne29 March 1996
St. Austell29 March 1996
Chippenham30 april 1996
Goole4 November 1996
Ammanford27 March 1997
Andover30 June 1997
Braintree1 December 1997
Bishop's Stortford1 December 1997
Alnwick15 December 1997
Blyth15 December 1997
Berwick upon Tweed15 December 1997
Bridlington24 December 1997
Rochdale7 September 1998
Holywell7 September 1998
Camborne and Redruth24 December 1998
Hemel Hempstead24 December 1998
West Bromwich24 December 1998
Loughborough31 December 1998
Corby1 March 1999
Bridgwater20 December 1999
Great Yarmouth31 January 2000
Grays Thurrock31 January 2000

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(b) Magistrates Courthouses closed since September 1995

Magistrates CourthouseClosure date
Nottingham (Guildhall)30 November 1995
Nottingham (Sand Field House)30 November 1995
Bala31 December 1995
Hunstanton31 December 1995
Pembroke31 December 1995
Tywyn31 December 1995
Whitminster31 December 1995
Bromley (South Street)28 February 1996
Mansfield (Commercial Street)28 February 1996
Hornsea31 March 1996
Howden31 March 1996
Market Weighton31 March 1996
Old Street12 July 1996
Halstead31 August 1996
Biddulph30 September 1996
Cheadle30 September 1996
Kidsgrove30 September 1996
Tonbridge31 October 1996
Amlwch31 December 1996
Bedale31 December 1996
Blaenau Festiniog31 December 1996
Easingwold31 December 1996
East Dereham31 December 1996
Ingleton31 December 1996
Leyburn31 December 1996
Llangollen31 December 1996
Thirsk31 December 1996
Pontardawe23 March 1997
Ellesmere Port31 March 1997
Hampstead31 March 1997
Marylebone (185 Marylebone Road)31 March 1997
Otley31 March 1997
Seaham31 March 1997
Bromsgrove31 May 1997
Ledbury31 May 1997
Hebburn5 June 1997
South Shields (Kepple Street)5 June 1997
Bargoed30 June 1997
Chippenham (Market Place)30 June 1997
Monmouth30 June 1997
Pontlottyn30 June 1997
Pontypool30 June 1997
Ashton under Lyne (Manchester Road)31 August 1997
Duckinsfield31 August 1997
Thorne31 August 1997
Braintree31 December 1997
Clacton on Sea31 December 1997
Saffron Walden31 December 1997
Stokesley31 December 1997
Malton6 February 1998
Appleby31 March 1998
Bishop's Stortford31 March 1998
Chertsey31 March 1998
Farnham31 March 1998
Hatfield31 March 1998
Hitchin31 March 1998
Market Rasen31 March 1998
Marlborough Street31 March 1998
Oxted31 March 1998
Lutterworth31 July 1998
Ripon1 August 1998
Barnard Castle31 December 1998
Clerkenwell31 December 1998
Corwen31 December 1998
Diss31 December 1998
Felixstowe31 December 1998
Haverhill31 December 1998
Lytham31 December 1998
Newmarket31 December 1998
Saxmundham31 December 1998
Sheerness31 December 1998
Stowmarket31 December 1998
West Malling31 December 1998
Abingdon31 March 1999
Christchurch31 March 1999
Henley on Thames31 March 1999
Morley31 March 1999
Pudsey31 March 1999
Windsor31 March 1999
Stow on the Wold30 June 1999
March31 December 1999

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(c) Amalgamated Justices Benches in England and Wales since 1 February 1994

Amalgamated Benches-Old benches forming the new benchesDate
Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire--Ampthill, Bedford, part Biggleswade1 January 2000
Luton and South Bedfordshire--Luton, Dunstable, part Leighton Buzzard
Northern Oxfordshire--Banbury, Bicester, Witney
Oxford--Oxford and Thame and Henley1 April 1999
East Berkshire--Forest, Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor
Central Buckinghamshire--Aylesbury, Buckingham, Chiltern1 April 1994
Wycombe and Beaconsfield--Wycombe and Burnham
Carlisle and District--Carlisle and Wigton
South Lakeland--South Lakes and Kendal and LonsdaleWith effect from 1 April 2000
Eden--Appleby and Penrith and Alston and part of Keswick
West Allerdale and Keswick--West Allerdale and Keswick
Stourbridge and Halesowen--Halesowen and Stourbridge1 April 1997
Ceredigion--Gogledd Ceredigion, Ceredigion Ganol and De Ceredigion
North Pembrokeshire--Gogledd Preseli and Cleddau1 January 1999
Carmarthen--Carmethen North and Carmarthen South
Dunmow and Saffron Walden--Dunmow and Saffron Walden1 January 1996
South West Essex--Brentwood, Thurrock
North West Essex--Dunmow and Saffron Walden, Epping and Ongar and Harlow1 January 2000
Mid North Essex--Chelmsford, Malden and Witham and part Braintree and Halstead
North East Essex--Colchester, Harwich and Tendring and remainder of Braintree and Halstead
North Gloucestershire--Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswold1 July 1994
Ynys Mon--North Anglesey and South Anglesey1 October 1995
North Hertfordshire--North Hertfordshire and Stevenage1 January 1995
East Hertfordshire--Bishop's Stortford, Cheshunt and Hertford and Ware1 April 1998
North Lincolnshire--Scunthorpe, Brigg and Barton, and part Epworth and Goole
Goole and Howdenshire--remainder of Epworth and Goole, Hodwenshire, part of South Hunsley1 June 1999
Beacon and Howdenshire)
South Hunsley Beacon (remainder of South Hunsley Beacon and Howdenshire)
East Central--West Central and East Central31 December 1998
Channel--Ashford and Tenterden, Dover and East Kent, Fokestone and Hythe
Mid Kent--Maidstone, part Tonbridge and Malling1 January 1999
West Kent--remainder of Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Cranbrook, Sevenoaks,
part Dartford)
Dartford and Gravesham--Dartford and Gravesham1 January 2000
Blackburn, Darwen and Ribble Valley--Blackburn, Darwen and part Ribble Valley
Burnley and Pendle--Burnley, Pendle and remainder of Ribble Valley1 April 1994
Lancaster--Lancaster and part Wyre
Preston--Preston and part Ribble Valley
Blackpool and Fylde--Blackpool and Fylde1 January 1999
Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale--Burnley and Pendle, and RossendaleWith effect from 1 April 2000
Melton, Belvoir and Rutland--Melton and Belvoir, and Rutland1 January 1999
Lincoln District--Caistor, Market Rasen and part Lincoln District1 July 1999
Wolds--part Lincoln District and existing Wolds
Arfon--Bangor and Caernarfon and Gwyrfai
Flintshire--Flint, Hawarden, Mold and part Rhuddlan1 January 1998
Rhuddlan--remainder of Rhuddlan
Colwyn--part of Berwyn, part of Colwyn, part of Dyffryn Clwyd
Denbighshire--part of Berwyn, part of Colwyn, part of Dyffryn Clwyd, Rhuddlan1 January 1999
Wrexham Maelor--Wrexham Maelor and part of Berwyn
Claro--part of original area
York--part Claro, part Easingwold, part Selby and York
Northallerton--part Easingwold and Northallerton1 January 1997
Ryedale--part Easingwold, Ryedale
Selby--remainder of Selby
Harrogate--Claro, Ripon Liberty, part of Northallerton, part of Selby
Scarborough--Scarborough, Whitby Strand and Ryedale and part of Northallerton1 August 1998
Northallerton and Richmond--Richmond and Northallerton
Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage--part Thame and Henley, part Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage
Bicester--part Woodstock, Bicester
Banbury--part Woodstock, North Oxfordshire, Chipping Norton1 July 1994
Oxford--part Thames and Henley, Oxford and part Abingdon
Thame and Henley--remainder of Thame and Henley
Witney--Witney, remainder of Woodstock
De Brycheiniog--Brecon and Ystradgynlais1 January 1999
De Maldwyn--Machynlleth and Newtown
Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood--Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood1 January 1996
North Staffordshire--Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle under Lyme and Pirehill North
Mid Staffordshire and Rugeley--Mid Staffordshire and Rugeley1 January 2000
Cannock and Seisdon--Cannock and Seisdon
Lichfield and Tamworth--Lichfield and Tamworth
North East Suffolk--Beecles, Lowestoft and Saxmundham1 January 1995
Haverhill and Sudbury--Haverhill and Sudbury1 January 1999
St. Edmundsbury and Stowmarket--St. Edmundsbury and Stowmarket
Tameside--Ashton-Under-Lyme and South Tameside1 April 1994
Neath Port Talbot--Neath, Port Talbot1 April 1996
Swansea--Swansea, Lliw Valley
Horsham--Horsham and part Steyning1 April 1996
Worthing and District--Worthing and remainder of Steyning
North West Wiltshire--North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire1 January 2000
South East Wiltshire--Kennet, Salisbury

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7 Mar 2000 : Column: 659W

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