Brides, fire alarms and some court business too – This month’s CCUA Chairman’s Review

The month of May has been a most memorable month mainly because of my daughter’s wedding.

We were most lucky as the weather was superb and the guests enjoyed the pig roast, barn dance and the beer.  Of course, Claire looked beautiful and it was a very proud day for me and my wife.

The month started off with my speaking at a seminar organised by the Westminster Legal Policy Forum on the subject of the changes under the Transforming Justice paper. The forum has several MPs as patrons and I have taken the opportunity to write to them advising them of the Association and its’ objectives; I have received a response from one of them and am intending to have a meeting with him in July.

The forum is interested in the issues raised by the recent paper on bailiff regulation and is hoping to arrange a seminar on the subject at the beginning of next year.

Following the meeting I then attended the Ministry of Justice to discuss the proposals for case numbering. Having registered at reception the fire alarm then sounded and together with the 1000+ staff I moved to St James Park to await the call to return to the office.  After about 20 minutes and no news it was decided that the meeting could continue at the local hostelry and so we concluded the discussion over drinks.

The meeting was arranged ahead of the County Court Bulk Centre user group meeting in June. We were advised 12 months ago that case numbers were running out and the purpose of the meeting was to review their proposals. Unfortunately it appeared that their suggestions were not user friendly. The matter was to be discussed at the user group meeting in June, where as expected the response from members to the proposals was not overwhelming and a series of regional meetings are to be arranged in July to consider the implications.

The following day I was back at the Ministry for an update on any future plans. Sadly it appears that the government is committed to increase the small claims limit and the Association is intending to make our views known as to the impact this will have.

I am afraid this is another example of the views of the court users being disregarded.

Another issue that is causing concern is the requirement for all enforcement officers to provide a 7 day notice of intention to attend. The response from members is that this will reduce the effectiveness of the process. It is not as though a Defendant does not receive sufficient notice, be it letter of claim, claim form and judgment. Again the Association is intending to express its members’ views at the highest level.

Finally at the end of the month I was a guest at the Institute of Legal Executives Presidents luncheon in London. The Association continues to seek to strengthen its’ ties with professional bodies and a meeting has recently been held with Peter Wallwork from the Credit Services Association to consider what issues we can jointly act on.

So another busy month and for those of you considering whether the Civil Court Users Association might be a useful organisation to become a member of, well I hope I’ve provided you here with a flavour of the level of effort we put in the help secure a better court service for our members.

Best wishes


Brian Havercroft
Chairman – CCUA

Membership of the CCUA is by approval. For more information on how to apply please follow this link