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May I welcome you to the Chair, Mr Speaker, not just as a neighbouring constituency MP, but as a man who is making Chorley very famous? Normally, it is famous for the Frederick’s ice cream parlour, but with you becoming the Speaker Chorley is now even more well known.
The fire sale of our courts and deep cuts to our justice system have created a perfect storm as courts are left sitting empty even while sitting days are cut. The Government’s own statistics show that on average serious cases in the Crown court are taking 133 days longer to move from the offence to completion than in 2010, leaving victims waiting months and months more for their day in court. That is not good enough. Will the Minister commit to providing proper investment in courts and court staff and promise to end the reckless closure programme?