We keep the courts estate under review to ensure it meets operational needs and our aim to improve effective delivery of the justice system across our country.
As the Police Minister, I am sure some of my colleagues in the police force will be doing exactly that. I do not think there has been a better advocate for a constituency magistrates court than my hon. Friend. Every time he opens his mouth in conversation with me or my colleagues in the Tea Room, he talks to me about Skipton magistrates court. I would do exactly the same if I was in his position.
I honestly think that when we look at the courts estate we need to make sure it is fit for purpose around the country. Where someone is based is immaterial. What we need to do is ensure we make the right decisions.
Will my right hon. Friend take a critical look at the proposal on its way to his desk that there should be a single local justice area stretching from Berwick to Sunderland, which could lead to cases being transferred for administrative convenience to courts 70 miles away at great cost to witnesses and families?
I will, naturally, look at any submission that comes across my desk. I am sure the Minister responsible will look at that very carefully when it arrives.