West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper met with representatives from HM Courts and Tribunals Service to make clear her continued opposition to the proposal to close Ormskirk Magistrates Court.
MP Rosie has submitted formal objections to this proposal to the Courts Minister, Shailesh Vara MP, as well as opposing plans for the merger of local justice areas into a single justice area for Lancashire. When the proposed closure was announced in July this year Rosie made her opposition clear that such action would weaken the delivery of local justice in West Lancashire.
Following the meeting with HM Courts and Tribunals Service, MP Rosie said:
“I firmly believe that HM Courts and Tribunals Service aided and abetted by Whitehall officials at the Ministry of Justice have a long-standing determination to see Ormskirk Magistrates Court close.
“A closure which saves money, and is simpler for those running the courts but not for the benefit or in the interests of the residents who need to access local courts.
“Let’s not forget 9 years ago we successfully fought off attempts to close the Magistrates court. Now with the government slashing budgets an opportunity has presented itself to finally close Ormskirk Magistrates Courts.
“For these proposals to be reliant on investment in new technology requiring it to always work when needed as well as relying on public transport running to time, if at all, tells me this proposal is based on theory with no experience of this area, geographically or its lack of transport facilities and infrastructure.
“I have challenged the HM Courts and Tribunals Service to make the journey using public transport from the West Lancashire boundary through to Preston for an early morning appointment.
“I remain unconvinced that they will work as suggested. I am also concerned and outraged that we are completely scrapping the principle of local justice.
“We face an uphill challenge in challenging this closure but I will continue to fight in opposing these plans as neither those in Preston or London really care about what this means for West Lancashire.”