08:00 Monday 30 December 2013

£3.6k a month to run empty county court

Written byROB SMYTH

MORE than £3,500 of public money is being spent to maintain the former Burton County Court building – despite it closing its doors for the final time nine months ago.

New figures, released following discussion in the Houses of parliament, revealed that the Station Street site is costing taxpayers £3,683 a month to run.

MP Andrew Griffiths (pictured) told the Mail that people in the town deserved to stop having their money ‘wasted’ and called for a plan of the action for the building’s future to be drawn up.

He said: “It was a sad loss to the town when the county court closed its doors for the final time.

“The move seems even more ridiculous now that we learn that taxpayers money is being wasted on something that could obviously be being put to use.

“What everyone now needs to know is the exit strategy for the building – is it still being sold off? And even if it is, in the meantime, as we are paying for it, could we not be using it for some kind of community project or scheme.”

The former county court building closed for the final time in March, one of many across the country closed as part of Ministry of Justice cutbacks.

As a result, people now have to travel to Derby to have their cases heard.

The freehold on the Grade II listed building at 165 Station Street was put up for sale in May.

In September, it was announced that the building would be offered to start-up businesses for free as part of a Government’s scheme but there has been no movement since.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said efforts were being made to sell the site.

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