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MP’s fury as time finally runs out for county court

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

Comments (7)

BURTON County Court is to close within months, the Mail can reveal.

Time has finally run out for the Station Street courthouse which was spared the axe two years ago.

News that the court will close in March has been met with fury by Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths, who was central to saving the court in 2010.

It was one of 49 earmarked for closure two years ago, but after being given a stay of execution, it was hoped the court would remain open for at least three years, with a consultation period and discussions over its long-term future promised.

But it has now come to light that the court will close in just three months’ time, with it still currently undecided where cases from Burton and South Derbyshire will be held, with the court saying the jurisdiction is to be split ‘between several courts’.

The news came as a shock to Burton’s enraged MP, who said the closure ‘could not be allowed to happen’.

Mr Griffiths insisted he would be making contact with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, but any attempts to stave off the closure appear to be unlikely with the court confirming it is to shut its doors for the final time on March 22, 2013.

Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “I am astounded to learn a date for the closure has been certified without any public notification or consultation.

“Back in 2010 we were assured that the court would stay open for a further three or four years. We need a county court in Burton. No analysis has been published, no discussion has taken place, this decision seems to have been taken without anyone’s involvement.

“I immediately picked up the phone and demanded a meeting with the minister to find out how this could be allowed to happen.”

Sarah Brown, from the South Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureau, which was involved in the original campaign to save the court said the closure would hit people in the region hard.

She said: “It’s going to be a massive blow to our clients. With a lot of bankruptcy cases, people have to go to their nearest court, so the implications are going to be massive in terms of travel costs and they may put it off or not go through with the process altogether.

“We’re trying to talk to the court to get the best possible strategic plan in place and are trying to influence as much as we can, but I don’t know how much impact it will have.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  December 12 2012, 5:41PM

    I can understand Mr. Griffiths shock. He has now learnt the lesson as all new MPs must. No-one in Government cares about your opinion.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 4:33PM

    Im not to sure why Andrew Griffiths is so shocked. He has fully supported all the Governments cuts in the rest of the justice system, why is he so deesperate to save the county court. Mr Griffiths should concentrate his efforts on fighting the governements 20% cut in police funding, that is reducing the number of police officers on the streets, instead of fighting to save the county court. I would like to know how many letters he has had regarding the county court compared with Police cuts.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 3:07PM

    Absolutely outrageous decision ! Two of the places named are almost impossible to get to unless you have a car - Stafford and Nuneaton. Is everything in Burton being run down and closed and transferred out of town ? Is one thing after another ! The population of Burton and south Derbyshire is nearly a quarter of a milion, surely more than enough to support a county Court. Asking everyone to travel, including solicitors is wasting everyones time and will add to the costs. This must be stopped !! We lost the battle for mental health care, if we lose this as well it will show there is a hidden agenda !

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 3:04PM

    Yet again another service which is vital to Burton is lost. Where are people supposed to go? The worst thing is the wayt they seem to have tried to push this through without telling anyone about it, as if we weren't going to notice. It's like the farce over the Margaret Stanhope Centre all over again. The people are always the last ones to hear about these things.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 12:18PM

    I read this article with a puzzled look. We have a conservative MP who is Angry with a Conservative local Council, Conservative County Council and Conservative Government. So what is the point of a Conservative MP why not have one who looks after Burton not party as it does not seem to be working for Burton ?.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 9:26AM

    A furious Andrew Griffiths finds out he's a Tory MP, and he and his party in Westminster are responsible for this week's Cuts in Burton. If his fury is genuine will he resign the Tory whip today? Letting down the Town.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 8:56AM

    I am sorry to learn that the county court will be closing, vulnerable families will have to travel miles to get justice. What will they do with the building.