South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes went to the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday to deliver The People’s Verdict on the fate of Spalding Magistrates’ Court.
Some 140 people backed a campaign by the MP, working with The Lincolnshire Free Press and The Spalding Guardian, to maintain local access to justice – and save the closure-threatened court.
Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) says it has had no public complaints since the court was de-listed on December 19 – which means its work went elsewhere – so we asked for YOUR verdict on an official move for closure.
Every one of our readers who responded wants to maintain local access to justice.
Forms printed in the Free Press and signed by our readers will now land on the desk of Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling, the man who has the power to decide.
Mr Hayes said: “Throughout this I have emphasised the need to maintain local access to justice and that’s not just for people who are accused of crimes it’s about witnesses. I have felt that longer travel times would discourage witnesses and may inhibit the proper exercise of justice.”
He says it’s also unacceptable that the court, an important historical building, should be mothballed at considerable expense.
Mr Hayes said: “I have been at the forefront of the campaign, working with local solicitors, councillors and the Free Press and Spalding Guardian to make the case for local justice and I have been determined to take this to the top.”
“I would like to thank the Free Press and Spalding Guardian for the support they have given. Local newspapers are very important in providing an opportunity for local people to express their opinions.”