1. Council members present
|Tim Parker||Independent Chairman|
|Victoria Cochrane||Senior Independent Non-Executive Member|
|Lakh Jemmett||Non-executive member|
|Nicky Wilden||Non-executive member and chairman of the audit and risk assurance committee|
|Kevin Sadler||Acting General Manager|
|André Baigent||Financial director|
|Paul Harris||Operations Manager|
|Gemma Hewison||Strategy and Change Director|
|Annabel Burns||Director of Judicial and Legal Services Policy Branch – Department of Justice Representative|
|Lord Justice Charles Haddon-Cave||Senior Presiding Judge (SPJ)|
|Lord Justice Keith Lindblom||Senior President of Tribunals (SPT)|
1.2 Additional presenters and attendees
|Jan Gower||Non-executive member of the HMCTS Change Portfolio Board/Critical Friend|
|Antonia Romeo||Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice|
|Mark Stuart||Acting Director of Courts and Tribunals|
|Daniel Flury||Deputy Director, Crime|
|Lisa Killham||Delivery Director for Crime – London|
|Damien McCleave||Chief of Crime – London|
|Madam Justice Cheema-Grubb||Presiding Judge – South East|
|Barry Hughes||crown prosecution service|
|Lionel Idan||crown prosecution service|
|Garry Pool||Head of Operations, Directorate of Public Sector Prisons|
|Sasha Bailey||Representative of the Criminal Bar|
|Ed Wagstaff||Deputy Director, Business Strategy|
|Head of Corporate Strategy – Court Workforce and Mags|
|Alice Ripley||Deputy Director General, Judicial Appointments Commission|
|Key Andre||Director General, Judicial Office|
|Jean Laverick||Director of digital and information|
|Sally Richard||Lead Owner Responsible, Decommissioning and Legacy Risk Mitigation (DLRM) Program|
|Program Director – DLRM Program|
|DLRM, Governance & Assurance Program|
|Breame||Deputy Director, Central Operations and Courts Scotland|
|Claire Farren||Deputy Director, Judicial Private Cabinets|
|HMCTS Board Secretary|
|Head of Corporate Governance and Secretariat to the HMCTS Board|
District Judge Tim Jenkins, Member of the Judicial Council
2. Welcome and introductions
Participants were welcomed to the meeting and apologies were offered.
3. Reports and actions
November 4, 2021 minutes were approved and action updates noted.
4. Performance and financial updates
The Board noted this increase in COVID-19 infection rates in HMCTS, although still at a lower level than the general population.
Although recently announced changes to COVID restrictions/controls have not affected HMCTS sites, HMCTS has continued to work closely with health agencies to ensure best practices are implemented. In addition, collaborative work was underway with prisons and Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS) to maximize the safe use of cells at HMCTS sites.
Significant work has been done regarding cases where time limits for police custody (CTL) are about to expire, although this remains a risk.
An overview of recovery within HMCTS was provided and substantive discussions took place regarding the Crown Court, Magistrate’s Court and Family Jurisdiction. Current performance with respect to the courts was noted and the Board acknowledged that improvements had been made in terms of probate performance.
The Board reviewed the financial report for period 7.
5. HMCTS Reform Program Update and Common Platform Update
An update was provided on key achievements and areas of focus in relation to the HMCTS reform agenda.
The Board discussed the common platform and welcomed the progress made in improving performance. The Board would continue to receive updates on the work done in the new year. An update was given regarding union engagement and ongoing consultation.
6. HMCTS Board Terms of Reference 2021-22
Following the incorporation of Board feedback, the HMCTS Board Terms of Reference 2021-22 were approved.
7. Permanent Secretary Presentation
The Council welcomed Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary of the MoJ, who outlined her priorities for the Department, and thanked the Council and the Judiciary for their leadership.
8. In-depth discussion on the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in London
Representatives of HMCTS and other stakeholders were invited to highlight key factors affecting the performance of the Crown Court in London and potential solutions and/or initiatives from their perspective and that of the organizations or groups they they represented.
The Board welcomed all the initiatives that were underway to improve performance and asked for assurance that there was a coherent plan, with accountability, to bring them all together.
9. Expenditure Review Regulations – SGTMST Capital Funding and Allocations 2022-2023
There was a discussion of the potential impacts of the Expenditure Review (SR) on HMCTS’ capital expenditure plans, with particular emphasis on property elements.
A reflection was carried out on the best way to use the funds available this year and the remaining building elements of the reform programme.
An oral update was provided on the progress and process for confirming HMCTS 2022-2023 financial allocations.
ten. Judicial workforce strategy
The Council reviewed HMCTS’ approach of working with the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary and the Judiciary to reflect statutory provisions and develop recruitment plans that reflect future needs.
There were discussions covering areas such as potential factors affecting the filling of vacancies for salaried judges and initiatives taken to increase the quality and diversity of candidates.
11. Preparations for the 2022/23 business plan
The Board provided feedback on the proposed approach for next year’s SISML business plan.
12. Decommissioning and Legacy Risk Mitigation (DLRM) Program – Strategic Business Case
Following a discussion, the Board approved the business case for the strategic outline and the proposed approach.
13. Courts and Tribunals Service Centers (CTSC) freephone numbers 0800
The Board endorsed HMCTS’s proposed approach of focusing on recall options, particularly in the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) House, rather than the general provision of a facility 0800.
14. Any other matter
Council approved the proposed approach to the lease of the new City of London Courthouse.