In brief: Gateshead courts need update, says report

Staff in magistrates' courts in the Gateshead area are working in poor, cramped conditions, according to a Magistrates' Courts Service Inspectorate report. It warns that spending priorities need to be identified in a bid to improve the facilities offered to staff, professional users and the public. But the inspectors who monitored the court's performance late last year added that staff needed to reduce lengthy waiting times for all court users and improve the poor performance on fines collection.