The government is currently consulting on plans to close 91 courts and tribunals in England & Wales. The aim is to reduce what Justice Secretary Michael Gove has identified as "surplus capacity".
Courts under threat include 57 magistrates' courts, 19 county courts, 2 crown courts, 4 tribunal hearing centres and 9 combined courts.
In a written statement, the government alleges that the Court’s estate was "underused" and costs the taxpayer about £500m every year and that better access to justice could only be provided if "difficult decisions" were taken to reduce the cost of the estate and reinvest the savings.
This firm’s civil practice has noticed significant delays waiting for hearing dates, for orders to be drawn and for written queries to be dealt with. With the potential closure of 19 more county courts (not forgetting those that were closed under the coalition government) the delays will surely get worse contrary to the Court’s overriding objective to deal with cases in a timely manner.