West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has reiterated her frustration with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and the Government following their decision to shut down further local courts, this time at Chorley Magistrates’.
MP Rosie has repeatedly fought for justice to remain local, seeing off the closure of Ormskirk Magistrates’ Court in 2006 before the Government pressed ahead with its closure in 2016 despite fierce opposition.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice Lucy Frazer QC MP wrote to Rosie informing her of the decision to press ahead with the closure of Chorley Magistrates’ Court despite MP Rosie’s particular concerns, including travel time to court from West Lancashire, and in particular Skelmersdale where transport links are found wanting.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“The decision to close Ormskirk Magistrates’ Court in 2016 was simply the wrong decision and now we see HM Courts and Tribunals continuing on their mission to close local magistrates’ courts and dilute local justice.
“We know there was a desire within the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service to make closures happen as far back as 2006 when they first tried to close Ormskirk.
“These decisions save them money and make it easier for those running the courts but is not for the benefit of, or in the interests of, the residents who should have access to local justice.
“One of the fundamental objections to this proposed closure was the poor availability of public transport to alternative courthouses. A situation that has only worsened given further government cuts to local authority budgets forcing councils to consider the future of local bus services.
“There is no question this decision is yet another hammer blow to the centuries-old principle of local justice.”