Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 31 October 2016

GOVERNMENTS DO BUSINESS; AN OXYMORON

Governments, whatever their protestations, seem only interested in the short term. Gordon Brown`s sale of much of the country`s gold reserves at the turn of the millenium when gold was at its lowest level for twenty years is perhaps the most infamous  such decision of recent years.  The selling of supposedly underused magistrates` courts` buildings at rock bottom prices, many in prime locations in town centres, is another example although usually known only to locals in the property business.  Bow Street Magistrates` Court was not just another court.  It was perhaps, after the Old Bailey, the most famous court in the entire world. In 2005 it was sold to an Irish property developer for €25 million.  Until recently it has remained empty.  After passing through the hands of Austrian hoteliers Rudolf and Christian Ploberger it has now been acquired by a Qatar company which plans to finally convert the old monument into another luxury hotel in Central London; a hotel one might say to be fit for a prince.  The price paid was £125 million

The costs of so called private finance initiative initiated by the Blair Brown combo during their years of covering the cracks in our society politically,  financially, morally and spiritually are being paid for at the present time and for many years into the future.  The sale of the courts` estate is likely to prove very *profitable for most of the buyers

Quite simply governments have shown themselves to be hopeless at the business of business.  Heaven help us when the real negotiations begin in Brussels and I`m a lifelong brexiteer.




*

FOI - 91736
           
           July 2014



Freedom of Information Request

You asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):

     “(1) Which court buildings closed since May 2010 have been disposed of
(a)  on the open market and (b) through an alternative route;

(2)Which court buildings announced for closure since May 2010 have been 
      (a) disposed of and (b) not disposed of;

(3) Of those courts announced to be closing since May 2010 that have been disposed of; and how much has been generated in capital receipts from their disposal.”

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm that the department holds information that you have asked for, and I am pleased to provide this to you in the annex to this letter. Table 1 provides information on court buildings disposed of since May 2010 on the open market and through alternative routes and the receipts generated. Table 2 provides information on court buildings announced for closure since May 2010 that have not yet been disposed of.





 Annex

Table 1: Court buildings closed since May 2010 that have been disposed of, their disposal method and the receipt generated

Property Name
Disposal Method
Receipt
Aberaeron Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£225,000
Aberdare Magistrates' and County Court
Open Market
£275,000
Abertillery Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£81,000
Acton Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£1,171,650
Alnwick Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£20,000
Ammanford Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£90,000
Ashford Magistrates' and County Court
Open Market
£375,000
Balham Youth Court
Open Market
£2,000,000
Barking and Dagenham Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£505,000
Barry Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£250,000
Barnsley Crown Court
Open Market
£170,000
Batley & Dewsbury  Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£300,000
Blandford Forum Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£175,000
Blaydon Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£145,000
Brentford Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£650,000
Bristol Magistrates Court
Open Market
£1,800,000
Camborne Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£137,500
Cardigan Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£48,909
Carmarthen CC
Open Market
£275,000
Coalville Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£245,000
Consett County Court
Open Market
£125,000
Cromer Magistrates Court
Open Market
£325,000
Daventry Magistrates Court
Open Market
£140,000
Denbigh Magistrates Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Denbigh Town Council
£165,000
Dewsbury County Court
Open Market
£278,000
Didcot Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£400,000
Ely Magistrates' Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Ely Council
£1
Gosforth Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£378,000
Guisborough Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£275,000
Halesowen Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£315,000
Haringey Magistrates
Open Market
£10,100,000
Harrow Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£1,125,000
Harwich MC
Open Market
£352,500
Hemel Hempstead Magistrates' Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Dacorum Borough Council
£650,000
Hexham Magistrates' Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Hexham Abbey
£102,500
Ilford County Court
Open Market
£1,313,013
Ilkeston Magistrates' Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Derby College
£610,000
Ipswich Crown Curt
Open Market
£360,000
Keighley Crown Court
Open Market
£130,000
Knowsley Magistrates Court
Open Market
£250,000
Launceston Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£87,500
Liskeard Magistrates Court
Open Market
£380,000
Llandrindrod Wells Magistrates Court
Open Market
£34,400
Llwynypia Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£471,010
Market Harborough Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£291,500
Melton Mowbray MC/CC

£147,000
Neath Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£450,000
Newark Magistrates' and County Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Newark College
£405,000
Newport Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£59,000
Newport Magistrates' Court (Gold Tops)
Open Market
£380,000
Northwich Magistrates' and County Court
Open Market
£260,000
Penrith Magistrates' and County Court
Open Market
£175,000
Penzance County Court
Open Market
£230,000
Pontypool Crown Court
Open Market
£200,000
Port Talbot
Open Market
£225,000
Pwllheli Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£131,101
Rawtenstall Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£135,000
Redditch Crown Court
Open Market
£345,000
Retford Magistrates Court
Open Market
£151,000
Rugby Magistrates' and County Court
Open Market
£285,000
Salford Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£544,000
Sandbach (HMCS Offices)
Open Market
£200,000
Southport Magistrates Court
Open Market
£304,000
Sittingbourne Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£430,000
Sudbury Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£112,000
Sutton Coldfield Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£440,000
Sutton Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£2,247,000
Swaffham Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£150,000
Tamworth Magistrates' and County Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Staffordshire County Council
£437,500
Tower Bridge Magistrates Court
Open Market
£8,525,000
Thetford Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£232,500
Wareham MC
Open Market
£290,000
West Bromwich Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£165,000
Whitehaven Magistrates Court
Open Market
£200,000
Wisbech Magistrates Court
Open Market
£150,000
Witney Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£330,000
Woking Magistrates' Court
Special Purchaser Sale to Surrey County Council
£1,050,000
Woolwich Magistrates' Court
Open Market
£335,000
Grays Magistrates' Court
Lease Surrender
n/a
Llangefni Magistrates' Court
Lease Surrender
n/a
Total

£47,317,584

Note: A "special Purchaser Sale" is where the eventual buyer was identified at a very early stage in the pre-marketing process as a 'special purchaser'. 


Table 2: Court buildings announced for closure since May 2010 that have not yet been disposed of

Property Name
Current Position
Bournemouth Magistrates Court
Not yet on the market
Bishop Auckland Magistrates & County Court
Under Offer
Bracknell Magistrates Court
Not yet on the market
Bridgeport Magistrates' Court
Under Offer
Bridgwater Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Burton-upon-Trent County Court
On the Market
Cirencester Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Coleford Magistrates’ Court
Not yet on the market
Dorking Magistrates' Court 
Contract Exchanged
Epping Magistrates’ Court
Under Offer
Flint Magistrates' Court
Not yet on the market
Frome Magistrates' Court
Contract Exchanged
Goole Magistrates' Court
On the Market
Haywards Heath Magistrates' Court
Contract Exchanged
Honiton Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Houghton Le Spring Magistrates' Court
Under Offer
Houghton Le Spring The Ville
On the Market
Keighley Magistrates' Court
On the Market
Lewes Magistrates’ Court
Contract Exchanged
Lyndhurst Magistrates’ Court
Not yet on the market
Market Drayton Magistrates' Court
On the Market
Oswestry Magistrates' Court & County Court
Not yet on the market
Pontefract Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Rochdale Magistrates’ Court
Contract Exchanged
Sherbourne Magistrates' Court
On the Market
Selby Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Totnes Magistrates’ Court
On the Market
Towcester Magistrates' Court
Not yet on the Market
Wantage Magistrates Court
Contract Exchanged
Wimborne Magistrates' Court
Under Offer
Witham Magistrates Court
Under Offer
Weston Super Mare Magistrates Court
Not yet on the market