Plans to move fines workers to Rucorn site
STAFF who collect criminal fines could be moved to Halton under proposals which would mean more than 50 bases across the country collapse into just three.
The Ministry Of Justice (MOJ) has announced plans for three centres in Runcorn, Leeds and Cwmbran in Wales in a bid to make the system faster and more effective.
An MOJ spokesman said staff who collect criminal fines are currently ‘hampered’ by an ICT system which was created in 1989 and that they are at present based in more than 50 places.
The spokesman said the new operating model will improve efficiency, reduce delays and increase the amount of fines collected.
But the restructuring plans have been met with opposition by the Public And Commercial Services Union (PCS) which claims the move could lead to up to 500 job losses across England and Wales through office closures.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We are opposed to work being centralised and our members’ jobs being put at risk.
“We will, in consultation with our members, produce strong cases against office closures which we expect the employer to listen to and act upon.
“Failure to do so will give us no alternative but to actively consider all other means to stop the closures including industrial action.”
Meanwhile the country’s first Courts & Tribunals Service ( HMCTS) Centres which will help transform traditional paper-based processes to modern digital systems will be launched in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent.
The two centres will employ more than 300 people each in roles that range from processing cases, and issuing court orders and hearing notices, to answering telephone and web enquiries.
Justice minister Dominic Raab said: “These new administrative centres will make sure we deliver better services for those using the courts system, whilst delivering better bang for the taxpayers’ buck.
“The move is part of our £1bn reform programme to digitise the justice system – making it more sensitive for witnesses, more convenient for other users and better value for public money.”
Last year HMCTS dealt with more than 4.1m criminal, civil, family and tribunal cases.