People concerned about the proposed closure of Bury St Edmunds’ Magistrates’ Court are being asked to submit evident to a council of the “damage it could do to local justice”.
The plea comes from the leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council John Griffiths, who said he found it “astonishing” the Ministry of Justice would consider closing a court in such a rural area.
“For many here in West Suffolk and particularly those who rely on public transport, for example, getting to Ipswich for 10am could be an incredibly difficult challenge, not to mention getting home afterwards,” he said. “Access to local justice is hugely important and I am asking people to let us know how this proposal would affect them if they had to attend as a witness, defendant or as a legal representative.
“We will then use this evidence in our own response to the consultation, and to strengthen the offer we have already made to government that they could share buildings, facilities and technology with us elsewhere in the town if the current court building is no longer fit for purpose.”
Comments can be emailed, by September 21 to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posted to Cllr John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU.
The council is also calling on people to take part in the Ministry of Justice consultation, at consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposal-on-the-provision-of-court-and-tribunal-es/user_uploads/official-sensitive_south-east-consultation_final_050815.pdf