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How would court closure affect you?

Following the recent announcement by the Ministry of Justice about its proposal to close Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court, people are being asked to provide evidence of the damage this could do to local justice.

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Personally I find it astonishing that the Ministry of Justice would even consider closing our court, especially in such a rural area.

“For many here in West Suffolk and particularly those who rely on public transport, for example, getting to Ipswich for 10am could be an incredibly difficult challenge.

“Access to local justice is hugely important and I am asking people to let us know how this proposal would affect them if they had to attend as a witness, defendant or as a legal representative. We will then use this evidence in our own response to the consultation, and to strengthen the offer we have already made to government that they could share buildings, facilities and technology with us elsewhere in the town.”

Examples of the difficulties the court’s closure would cause can be emailed, by September 21, to: court@westsuffolk.gov.uk or posted to: Cllr John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU.

The council is also calling on people to take part in the Ministry of Justice consultation, which closes on October 8, at https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposal-on-the-provision-of-court-and-tribunal-es/user_uploads/official-sensitive_south-east-consultation_final_050815.pdf

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