Local Government Finance
§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider amending court regulations in order to broaden the range of people who can speak on behalf of defendants in community charge cases.
§ Mr. John Patten
Section 22 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 permits a party to any proceedings by a magistrates court to be represented by counsel or a solicitor. In addition, the courts have a discretion to allow someone else to act on behalf of a party. We have no plans to change the law.