We are of course very disappointed with the result but not at all surprised since we fully expected the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) simply to ‘go through the motions’ of consultation before doing what had always been the intention – to close Spalding Magistrates’ Court.
It is of particular significance that the consultation ignores the will of the majority since over 64 per cent of the respondents (my name is missing from the list of respondents) were opposed to the closure. This does rather beg the question as to what the point of the consultation was in the first place.
I am astounded by the suggestion that the court is in a bad state of repair. That may be the case now if it has been neglected since the doors were closed in January but it certainly was not the case when the court heard its last case around one year ago. The building has had a lot of money spent on it in recent years including work to provide disabled access to Court Two and improved consultation rooms (providing better accommodation for consultation than Boston). Court Two was decorated shortly before closure!
The consultation document has glossed over the many points raised by Rachel Stevens in her response with regard to the inaccurate and misleading information supplied to the MOJ when the decision was first made to de-list cases at the court.
All in all a most unsatisfactory result for local justice.
Maples Solicitors LLP