HM Courts and Tribunals Service Board meeting 2 December 2021


1. Council members present

1.1 HMCTS

name Role
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

name Role
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

1.3 Apologies

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.

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