County Court Reforms News, May 16 – Estates Reform Programme

  • 16/05/2016


As you will be aware, on 11 February 2016, ministers announced plans to reform court and tribunal services following a period of public consultation that concluded in October of last year.

Central to these reforms is the closure of HMCTS sites that no longer represent good value to the public and a redistribution of business through a smaller number of courts and tribunals.  Altrincham, Tameside, Bolton, Bury and Oldham County Courts within the Greater Manchester Cluster of Courts are the sites identified for closure with existing services being transferred to the Manchester Civil Justice Centre (CJC). We haven’t yet fixed an Operational Exit Date for Bolton, Bury & Oldham; we anticipate that all of the sites in GM will close by the end of June 2017 on a phased basis.

There are several tranches to the Court closures with Altrincham & Tameside County Courts being in the first tranche to close on 30 June 2016.

Greater Manchester Courts

Wigan and Stockport County Courts will remain open and Stockport will

accommodate the workload of Macclesfield County Court and work from the High Peak area of Buxton County Court.

Family Public Law (care) work from Macclesfield County Court will move to Liverpool Civil and Family Centre. Family Public Law from all other closing Courts together with the Private Law work will move to the Designated Family Court, located in the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.

Tribunal hearings in Bury will move to Bolton, Rochdale or Manchester, as appropriate.

You can also find more information about the closures on the MoJ website:

Business as usual

Altrincham & Tameside County Courts are still processing work and fees and continue answering phone and email queries and will continue to do so until 30 June 2016. All Court hearings currently listed will take place as normal until 30 June 2016; however Court users may start getting hearing dates taking place at the CJC if Altrincham or Tameside are unable to accommodate listing before 30 June 2016. In this instance the case will then be transferred earlier to the CJC.


All Divorce Ancillary appointments, Civil Fast Track and Small Claims from Altrincham & Tameside will now start to be listed at the CJC and from mid May 16 Possession Claims Online (PCOL) will also be listed at the CJC. Hearing notices will provide date and venue details.


Judiciary are being consulted regarding the Reforms and are working closely with the staff to implement the changes from the closures.


The future structure for bailiffs is currently under consideration; however we anticipate that the majority of the bailiffs will retain their current geographical areas to ensure consistency.

Building Works

Due to the additional Courts and staff moving into the Civil Justice Centre there will be enabling works in order to accommodate the work.

Tameside and Altrincham County Courts will hold Court User Meetings in mid May to provide an update and discuss any issues or queries customers of those courts may have; however if you have any pressing queries please free to contact local managers for further details.

We will produce another newsletter in June 16.


Patrick Ward
Acting Operations Manager
Altrincham County Court
Ashton Lane
Greater Manchester
M33 7WX
[email protected]
0161 331 5614

[email protected]

Manchester County Court and Family Court Hearing Centre at:

Jackie Healy and Julie Webster

Operations Managers Manchester Civil and Family Justice Centre 1 Bridge Street West Manchester M60 9DJ

Bailiffs:  [email protected]
Civil listing:  [email protected]
Family queries:  [email protected]

Phone numbers
Enquiries:  0161 240 5000
Bailiffs:  0161 240 5457
Civil orders:  0161 240 5300
County Court listing:  0161 240 5207
Divorce:  0161 240 5424
Enforcement:  0161 240 5322
Family queries:  0161 240 5431
Issue:  0161 240 5329