New age CCUA to deal with current issues

With holiday for a greater part of the month there is not so much to report on my travels on behalf of the Association. However…

At beginning of the month the quarterly liaison meeting was held with the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS and discussion took place on a number of subjects.

Several issues have been raised over the performance of the new CCMCC at Salford and it is pleasing to note that whilst delays and problems occur the management and staff do their best to rectify the problems.

If there is a criticism it is that insufficient time was allowed to train staff fully but once the initial problems are ironed out then the service should begin to improve.

Questions were asked about the Payment by Account process (PBA) and it would appear that there is a need for a further trial to take place. We emphasised the support for the project following the presentation at last year’s Annual Conference.

HMCTS are also reviewing the application to obtain information (Oral Exam) process, there may be changes but the Association will be kept advised.

These meetings are very useful as a sounding board on issues members raise and also to understand what may be in the pipeline.

The following week was the half yearly meeting of the County Court Bulk Centre user group for which the Association acts as the secretariat. The main concerns here are the new case numbering process and changes to bulk input.

There was so much concern about the proposals on behalf of those present that the CCUA have agreed to hold three regional meetings for users to hear the plans from HMCTS and for them to appreciate the problems this may cause. The proposed changes will have major implications to all users and the time limits are very tight. At the time of producing this report we are still awaiting a timeline and a high level specification which will allow users to understand the impact the proposals are to have.

Finally I attended the Association Northern Regional meeting which was well attended and where we heard about the court based mediation scheme. Certainly it appears to be very successful and bearing in mind it is free then it is worth considering.

Unfortunately the South East region meeting was the same day and I was sorry to be unable to attend; also because of holidays I missed the Central Region meeting at the HMCTS call centre which I understand went very well.

And as we continue to engage with ‘New media’, it is very pleasing to see that there is considerable discussion on the Association’s Linked-in group pages on several subjects and we will, where possible, take up member’s problems with HMCTS. We have always said that you may consider you have a problem but when it is aired it can be that many people have the same problem. It may turn out to be a major issue that needs resolving and we will do our best to sort it out.

So, time now to go and check our tweets and LinkedIn messages – how new age am I?

Warm regards

Brian Havercroft
Chairman – CCUA

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