To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on delays to court hearings of the current closure of courts in Luton.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs has allocated £1.85 million of capital funding in order to carry out essential building maintenance and improvement work at Luton magistrates court. While work is being carried out to this courthouse it will be closed for six months starting from July 2004. No other courts will close. Neighbouring court accommodation will be used during this period at Luton Crown and county courts and Bedford county and magistrates court. Additionally, temporary accommodation is being provided at Dunstable courthouse.
My Department's officials have worked with the Justice Chief Executive for Bedfordshire Magistrates' Courts Committee and no delays to court hearings are expected.