§ Mr. Jonathan Evans
In the last three months, my officials have received three representations against the closure of magistrates courts in Staffordshire.
§ Mr. Evans
The numbers of defendants in criminal cases completed and civil applications in respect of which a final adjudication was made, in areas under the control of justices' clerks in magistrates courts in Staffordshire, for the last five years are shown in the table.
At the end of September 1995, there were approximately 195 staff employed in the magistrates courts in Staffordshire.
Number of completed cases in Staffordshire 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Cannock 13,132 13,016 12,142 19,357 19,080 Lichfield 18,490 16,384 17,232 19,798 19,041 Newcastle-under-Lyme 13,730 13,587 11,113 12,243 13,167 Mid-Staffordshire 10,276 10,156 8,585 1— 1— Stoke on Trent 26,121 23,771 23,387 24,152 25,888 1 Mid-Staffordshire was amalgamated with Cannock on 1 January 1994.
§ Ms Walley
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) if he will list the magistrates courts within Staffordshire that will be(a) closed and (b) merged as a result of his Department's proposals to rationalise the magistrates service; 
(2) if he will list those magistrates courts in Staffordshire that have been closed over the last five years. 376W
§ Mr. Evans
Magistrates courts are provided by the local paying authority for the use of the magistrates courts committee. Closure decisions are for the MCC to determine, although the paying authority may appeal to the Lord Chancellor against a proposed closure.
Staffordshire MCC closed Eccleshall magistrates court in 1992 and Uttoxeter magistrates court in 1995.
No decision has been made by the Staffordshire MCC to close or merge any other magistrates courts.