The recruitment freeze makes sense for a number of reasons, primarily the need to allow the changes to settle down, and also because it is by no means clear how much work will be coming through the courts in future. Committals are to be abolished, and I wouldn't be surprised to see bread-and-butter cases such as fare evasion and TV licences move to a fixed penalty régime. I have previously written about the heavy cutback in the number of courtroom days, and that will inevitably require fewer JPs to sit.
There will be a price to pay though. A year's freeze means that the whole bench will be one year older, and we already have a heavy bias towards older JPs:-
Under 40 3.8%
We need a period of consolidation for now, but this issue will have to be addressed sooner or later.