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VAT Reduced Rate Experiments

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Authorisation has been granted variously to Belgium, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and the UK (on behalf of the Isle of Man only) to apply the experimental reduced rate of VAT to certain labour intensive services.

Library Plan Assessments

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is adopting the procedure set out in Recommendation 10.2 of the Appraisal of Annual Library Plans 1999. His Chief Library Adviser has therefore written to all 10 authorities asking them to address the weaknesses identified in the individual feedback about their plan, and to present the redrafted version to their local committee or Cabinet member to ensure that they have a sound basis for their 2000 plans, and to report back to the department on their action.

6 Mar 2000 : Column WA129

Magistrates' Courts

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list by county the number of magistrates' courts in England 10 years ago, five years ago and today; and how many it is planned that there should be in each county after the current amalgamation and closure programme is complete.[HL1177]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The table below shows the number of courthouses in each current Magistrates' Courts Committee area in England and Wales, as reported by the MCCs in surveys conducted by my department in 1995 and 1999. Information prior to 1995 is not available. The current amalgamation programme will reduce the number of MCCs to 42 in 2001. There is no national courthouse closure programme, since the number and location of courthouses within MCC areas remain decisions for each MCC, after consultation locally. I have no role to play in the closure of magistrates' courts, unless there is an appeal against proposed closure.

Number of Magistrates' Courthourses by MCC Area

Magistrates' Courts Committee area, as at 1/4/99 Courthouses open as at 30/9/95Courthouses open as at 31/3/99
Avon55
Barking and Dagenham22
Barnet22
Barnsley11
Bedfordshire66
Bexley11
Brent11
Bromley11
Calderdale11
Cambridgeshire66
Cheshire109
City of London11
Cleveland33
Croydon11
Cumbria106
Derbyshire1313
Devon & Cornwall2525
Doncaster21
Dorset1110
Durham97
Dyfed109
Ealing22
East Sussex44
Enfield11
Essex1410
Gateshead22
Gloucestershire98
Gwent139
Hampshire1010
Haringey22
Harrow11
Havering11
Hereford & Worcester97
Hertfordshire96
Hillingdon11
Hounslow22
Humberside1310
Inner London2015
Isle of Wight11
Kent1512
Kingston upon Thames11
Lancashire1312
Leeds52
Leicestershire87
Lincolnshire1413
Manchester11
Merseyside99
Merton11
Newcastle Upon Tyne22
Newham11
Norfolk107
North & West Manchester77
North Tyneside11
North Wales1913
North Yorkshire179
Northamptonshire66
Northumberland44
Nottinghamshire63
Oldham11
Powys66
Redbridge11
Richmond upon Thames11
Rotherham11
Sheffield11
Shropshire77
Somerset66
South Tyneside21
South Wales88
Staffordshire1310
Stockport11
Suffolk105
Sunderland32
Surrey107
Sutton11
Tameside21
Thames Valley2118
Trafford11
Waltham Forest11
Warwickshire55
West Glamorgan54
West Midlands1414
West Riding88
West Sussex66
Wiltshire65
Totals516436

6 Mar 2000 : Column WA130

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What criteria should determine the number of magistrates' courts in English counties.[HL1178]

The Lord Chancellor: There are no specific criteria.

Under the Justice of the Peace Act 1997, Magistrates' Courts Committees are responsible for the provision of an effective service to court users. It is for each committee to determine its own criteria for the number and location of magistrates' courts in its area.

The Government do encourage each committee to take account of new legislation and administrative initiatives.



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