Chichester MP labels courts’ closure as ‘bad news’

Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie has criticised plans to close the city's courts
Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie has criticised plans to close the city's courts

CHICHESTER MP Andrew Tyrie labelled proposals to close Chichester’s courts as ‘bad news for my constituents’.

The government proposals announced today (July 16) would see 91 courts and tribunals closed around the country, including Chichester Magistrates’ Court, Chichester County Court and Chichester Crown Court.

“These proposals are bad news for my constituents, who would have to travel long distances on very congested roads to get to court. I hope that the government can be persuaded to reconsider,” said Mr Tyrie.

“What’s more, the case for these closures has not been made in the documentation released today. Nowhere has a sound financial case been provided.”

A public consultation has been launched lasting for 12 weeks.

The move has been taken as a cost-cutting measure for government, with the savings expected to be reinvested in the court service.

Natalie Ceeney, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service chief executive, said: “Our estate is a significant asset. We currently have a number of surplus buildings and this consultation puts forward proposals on their future.

“As we modernise our service so that fewer people will need to attend a court in person, spending money on unsuitable or rarely used buildings is not good value for money for taxpayers.

“I encourage anyone with an interest to respond to the proposals”.

If Chichester Magistrates’ Court was to be closed, the nearest alternatives would be Crawley, Horsham or Worthing.

The nearest crown court centre in Sussex would be at Hove.

To take part in the consultation, go to: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposal-on-the-provision-of-court-and-tribunal-estate-in-england-and-wales.

Do you think the proposals are a good idea?

Email your views to news@chiobserver.co.uk

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