Christopher Chope (Christchurch, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 360W, on probate: Winchester, which probate caller offices in the UK have fewer than 50 personal applicants per day;
(2) what the unit cost is of an applicant for a grant of representation attending an appointment with a member of staff of the Probate Service; and what the average number of interviews is which can be carried out per day.
Jonathan Djanogly (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (HM Courts Service and Legal Aid), Justice; Huntingdon, Conservative)
The caller offices of the Probate Service in England and Wales are opened on an ad hoc basis when there is a full list of appointments to justify the opening. The standard list of appointments is between 50 and 60 for the days the offices are opened. However, where journey times for staff are lengthy and/or if the caller office is not available for a full day, some offices have full lists with fewer applications. Bolton, Oldham. Warrington, Wigan, Burnley and Swansea will list around 40; and Northampton 45.
The unit cost of an applicant attending an appointment with a member of staff of the Probate Service is not available and could be calculated only at disproportionate cost. The cost would be different for each caller office throughout England and Wales due to the different costs of among other things, staff, travel and accommodation.
The average number of appointments which can be carried out per day is location dependent and is between 45 and 50.