Philip Dunne raises additional concerns about removal of all West Mercia remand cases to Kidderminster Magistrates Court

5th June 2018

Philip Dunne raises concerns about the impact of moving all West Mercia remand cases to Kidderminster Magistrates Court which means that Shropshire residents held on remand could have to wait an extra 24 hours in custody.

Court Modernisation

10. What assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of their programme to modernise the court system. [905587]

We are making significant progress on modernising our courts system and upgrading our justice system. We are spending £1 billion on our reform programme. For example, we have recently established the online court for civil claims. Claims of up to £10,000 can now be made via an online claim form, which is an effective and easy-to-use process.

The Minister is aware that capacity concerns were expressed about the removal of all remand cases in West Mercia from magistrates courts in Shropshire, Telford, Herefordshire and Worcestershire to Kidderminster. Although that might have created some efficiencies for the courts, it has also created considerable inefficiencies for the other vital elements of the criminal justice system. If somebody on remand misses the 7.30 am van from Telford, they might now have to wait an extra 24 hours in custody, whether they are innocent or guilty. Can that be right?

I know that my hon. Friend is concerned about this issue. I was pleased to meet him and neighbouring MPs before Easter. He has campaigned diligently on this issue on his constituents’ behalf and I look forward to meeting him later this week to discuss it. I should also let him know that officials from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have arranged a review meeting on 13 June with the principal agencies affected by the change. I know that my hon. Friend has submitted evidence for that meeting.

Hansard

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