‘Sad day for local justice’ say solicitors as Grantham court closure announced
Grantham solicitors have voiced their anger and sadness at the Government’s announcement today that Grantham Magistrates Court is to close this year.
Solicitors at Grantham practice Bird and Co say it is the wrong decision and will have a huge adverse affect, not only on staff, but also users of the court who will have to travel to Lincoln for cases.
Solicitor Stuart Wild, speaking on behalf of Bird and Co, told the Journal: “We believe that the Government have made a wrong decision regarding Grantham. Whilst there was a poor response to our on-line petition and there is little sympathy for the clients we represent, the knock-on effect to witnesses, family members will be huge.
“We envisage a greater increase in the number of prosecutions which will fail due to the non-attendance of witnesses and complainants who can ill afford to travel to their nearest Court in Lincoln.
“It is a very sad day for local justice in Lincolnshire where only two courts will remain to serve the County; one in Boston and one in Lincoln. This County used to be served by in excess of a dozen courts in the 1990s.”
Grantham court is due to close by the end of June. Skegness will also close by the end of September.
But Mr Wild said there was a ray of hope in the government’s consulation paper as he says it refers to the possible use of civic buildings for future cases.
Mr Wild said: “I suspect that once the freehold has been sold off on Harlaxton Road, Grantham Magistrates Court will resurrect itself in a Council building, possibly on St Peter’s Hill.”
In its response to the consultation on Grantham court the Government says: “If the workload should increase then HM Courts and Tribunals Service will consider options such as using suitable rooms in civic buildings.”