§ 41. Mr. Fabricant
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement concerning the future of the magistrates and county courts in Lichfield. 
§ Mr. Vaz
Under section 56 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997, decisions concerning the future of a magistrates' court are for the relevant magistrates' courts committee to determine, after consultation with the paying authority or authorities. The local authorities that contribute financially to the running of the service may appeal to the Lord Chancellor against a proposed closure. Staffordshire Magistrates' Courts Committee expect to make their final determination concerning the future of Lichfield Magistrates' Court at their meeting on 28 July.
With regard to Lichfield County Court, last September the Lord Chancellor gave permission to begin a public consultation exercise on the proposal to close the court. This has now concluded. I have yet to make a decision on the closure of the county court. As the hon. Member knows, I visited Lichfield Magistrates' Court and County Court at his invitation on 23 July.