Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – unearthed shocking figures last month which revealed that those whose Employment and Support Allowance appeals were heard in Coventry were likely to wait three months longer on average for the disposal of their appeal when compared with the national average in England.
Ministers have now committed to implement “a number of measures to bring down the average waiting time for an appeal hearing in Coventry”. In response to a further parliamentary questions asked by Bob, Jonathan Djanogly MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Justice) said that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) would introduce additional venue capacity and would work to identify further suitable venues. He went on to say that “work is also under way to reassess the area which is served by the Coventry venue, to examine whether certain appeals which would currently be heard at the Coventry venue can be heard in other nearby HMCTS estate”.
“It is clear that the longer than average appeal waiting times in Coventry are disadvantaging some of the most vulnerable people in our city.”
“I hope the introduction of these new measures by HMCTS will ensure that average appeal waiting times in Coventry will now at least reach parity with the national average.
“I will certainly continue to monitor the situation and seek additional action should the problems in Coventry persist”.