Bromley court faces strike threat

Staff at Bromley County Court are being balloted this week on whether to hold what would be the first ever strike at a county court.

The 27 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are being balloted over whether to stage a five-day strike because of staff shortages and low morale.

Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu, staff representative for the union, said it had “nothing to do with money”.

“We can simply no longer provide the right service with the level of staffing we have got,” he said.

At a stormy court users meeting last week, local law firms lined up to attack the service provided by the court citing delays in the listing and taxation of cases, the reinstatement of adjourned cases and the length of time it takes for the court to answer calls. Michael Frost, a senior legal executive at Bromley law firm Charman & Gore with over 25 years experience of using the court, said the level of service was “collapsing”.

David Marsh, manager of the London Group of County Courts, admitted to the meeting that the level of service at Bromley was lower than at any of the 16 other county courts in the London Group. But he said: “I would love to have more staff but we do not have the budget for them.”