§ 64. Mr. French
To ask the Attorney-General if he has any plans to improve the administration of cases in the county court.
§ The Attorney-General
The Lord Chancellor has embarked upon a wide-ranging series of reforms which will improve the administration of cases in the county court. He has already announced his intention to increase the number of staff in the court service by around 350 during the next financial year, and subsequently by up to around a further 100 during the transitional period while the new initiatives are being introduced. In addition, a computerised summons production centre, which will improve service to plaintiffs, began operations last week. By the end of 1990, the centre expects to have issued 800,000 summonses. This initiative, when fully operational, together with the curtailment of the county court banking function which takes place in about eight weeks' time, will release staff time savings equivalent to around 350 posts. This injection of resources and release of staff time will take place during 1990–91 and will put the courts in a strong position to implement, from 1991 onwards, the proposals flowing from the civil justice review, which include greater openness between parties and speedier case progression, and the provisions of the Children Act 1989.