The Ministry of Justice last week announced the start of a consultation on the proposed closure of 103 courts across England and Wales. Goole and nearby Selby Magistrates are on the proposed list.
Andrew Percy MP says, “I am delighted to have been selected for my first debate in Westminster Hall. I will now have the opportunity to put some of the issues surrounding this closure directly to a Government Minister.
The Minister is obviously going to be bound by fact that we have an on-going consultation. However, I shall be seeking assurances about the nature of this consultation and I want a specific pledge that, if a strong case can be made to keep a particular court open, the Ministry will spare them.
My concern about the closure of Goole and nearby Selby is that it will leave a justice black-hole in the local area. The work of Goole Magistrates will be sent to Beverley which, apart from being about 25 miles away, is neither cheap nor convenient to get to. This could result in witnesses choosing not to bother.
The last government underinvested in our courts, actually cutting their budgets by 7.5% per year for the last three years. It is a real shame that the new Government has been left having to deal with this underinvestment.”