News and Comments

The TRUNK September 2021

01 October 2021

New branch resource: An Introduction to the MA

The MA has produced 'An Introduction to the MA' video, with national chair Bev Higgs explaining to new magistrates the work that the MA does, and why it's a good idea for them to join. This will be sent to chairs and secretaries of branches, for them to use if they wish when they speak at new magistrate training sessions. It's part of our efforts to encourage new magistrates to join the association - the more that do, the stronger our collective voice will be.

For more information, please contact Membership.

New website feature: MA launch bench and branch chairs forum

We've launched a new online forum, specifically for bench and branch chairs to discuss issues of mutual interest, ask questions, and share information. This is a new initiative, and the aim is that bench and branch chairs can get quick responses and find things out quickly - as well as interact with MA trustees, chairs of policy committees and diversity and inclusion networks. The forum is moderated by volunteers and we hope will be a useful space.

Fore more information, please contact Membership

Website: new Remember me feature when members log in 

Frustrated that every time you try to log in to the MA website you have to put in your password afresh? We've heard you - and taken action. Next time you log in to the website, you'll see a small ‘Remember Me’ tick-box has been added to the login page. Tick this, and you'll remain logged in for 30 days (unless you log out) even if you close your browser.

Surrey MA: interactive webinars

Surrey MA hosted the first in their series of ‘Let’s Talk About …’ interactive webinars. The discussions focussed on Unconscious Bias and took place on 22 September 2021. It was led by Michael Hassell, JP, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion advisor at Surrey University. The webinar was well attended and included MA members from outside the Surrey MA area. Discussions included the sort of characteristics which might elicit bias or assumptions, where unconscious bias might have an impact within our roles as magistrates and sharing of experiences within the courtroom and retiring room. After a Q and A session, Michael ended with some top tips to deal with unconscious bias.

Surrey MA are looking forward to the next in their series and will extend an invitation to all MA members via The Trunk when the subject and date have been confirmed.

For more information, please contact Eira Meller

Lincolnshire MA: learn and lunch with Sarah Williams

Lincolnshire MA has organised an awareness event on 20 November 2021. Sarah Williams, Senior Probation Officer for Lincolnshire, will be providing an overview of the targeted community sentencing interventions provided by the Probation Service and there will be a Q&A session afterwards.

Saturday 20th November

9:30 am for a 10:00 am start.

The Bentley Hotel, Newark Road, South Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9NH

Lunch will be provided at 12:30pm and hopefully this will allow members to catch up with one another – a lot has happened over the last 18 months; and Lincolnshire MA are very conscious that quite a number of members have retired from the bench during this time, so it would be a great opportunity to meet up again.

To book your place and lunch (detailing any dietary needs), please contact Mark Waller (Secretary) at 

Staffordshire MA: Conference and AGM

Staffordshire MA will hold it’s AGM and Conference on the 20 November 2021. The event will be held at the fabulous Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton. The main topic is Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking supported by a programme on Domestic Abuse.

Be reassured that the venue is large enough to allow you to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the wearing of masks is also encouraged and there will also be hand sanitiser available. Breakfast and lunch will be provided in individually packaged boxes.

Travel and subsistence is again covered by HMCTS and should the event have to be cancelled due to further covid related restrictions the £10 fee to cover food costs will be refunded to everyone.

There is ample parking at the venue and it is also an easy five minute walk from Wolverhampton train station. For more information about The Grand Theatre, have a look on their website.

For more information, please contact Jonathan Dannatt

Birmingham MA: the magistracy has a presence at Pride 

Two of the Birmingham MA committee, Cat Sheil and Andrew Collyer manned a stall at the Birmingham Pride event, to show that the magistracy is open to all. This was enabled by the Richard Guy OBE JP Bursary, which was most recently awarded to Birmingham MA. The Richard Guy OBE JP Bursary has been created to support MA Branches and members who undertake the promotion of the MA and the magistracy to diverse or underrepresented communities, furthering outreach and public knowledge of the magistracy and criminal justice. 

For more information, please contact Margaret Windsor

National Leadership Magistrate: expressions of interest now open 

Expressions of interest are now open for the role of National Leadership Magistrate. One vacancy is available, with the successful candidate taking up the position on 1 January 2022. The closing date for expressions of interest is 4 October 2021.

You must have held a leadership role within the magistracy in the three years preceding the recruitment campaign – one of the following: National Leadership Magistrate, Regional Leadership Magistrate, Bench Chair, Deputy Bench Chair, TAAAC Chair, Family Panel Chair and Advisory Committee Chair or Deputy Chair. This role must have been held for at least 12 months. 

Please click here for the role description, applicant information and application form.

Join North East and East London AGM by Nasrin Master JP

If you are reading this, you are part of an age old tradition of people using their knowledge, skills and experiences dispensing justice within our local communities. It is this tradition we wish to support and enhance. The pandemic has reminded me of the value of life, the value of community and the value of friendship. Join us on 16 November 2021 at 7pm and shape our future.

For more information, please contact Nasrin Master

Coventry & Warwickshire MA: centenary celebration

Coventry & Warwickshire MA  celebrated 100 years of the Magistrates Association and 100 years of women magistrates. This took place on 20 September 2021 at Leamington Courts, the event was a huge success and will be remembered for years to come by all who attended, as the MA at its very best. Promoting the very best values of the MA was at heart of the event and the 100 years celebrations could not have been more impressive.

Shropshire MA: more information sharing events

Shropshire MA has organised a series of more information sharing events, including topics such as working with victims of sexual abuse and children in the care system in the UK. These will all be held via Teams and start at 7pm.

Event Title

Event Date/Time





Jessica Carter


PURPLE LEAF and West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support.




Bert O’Donoghue & Jonathan Whalley

Children in the care system in the UK


08/12/21 @7:00

Sarah Tredaway

Sarah is the Area Manager (Staffs, Warks and West Mercia)

For more information, please contact Nicola Hughes

Cheshire MA: AGM and members’ meeting

Cheshire MA members are invited to come together virtually for its upcoming AGM and members’ meeting. The meeting will take place over Zoom on 6 November 2021.

All Cheshire and Merseyside magistrates are invited to attend. There will be an interesting mix of speakers including presentations on County Lines Drug Dealing and Domestic Violence. 

For more information, please contact Alan Eyres.


1st Prize – Helen Edwards (Mid & South Glamorgan)
2nd Prize – Ian Brailey (Bristol & North Avon)
3rd Prize –  Joan McConn (South West London)



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