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MP’s anger at court closure

Wednesday 28th July 2010 (Andrew Griffiths)

MP ANDREW Griffiths has spoken of his concerns about the potential closure of Burton County Court.

The proposed closure by the Ministry of Justice would have a detrimental impact on the people of Uttoxeter, warned the Tory MP.

Mr Griffiths told the House of Commons on Wednesday that it is unreasonable to ask people in the town to travel to alternative courts in Stafford or Derby.

He said: “It has been said nobody should have to travel for more than an hour to get justice, but under these proposals my constituents will have to go to either Derby or Stafford.
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“On public transport that takes two hours and 23 minutes; on the train it takes an hour and 40 minutes.”

Jonathan Djanogly, parliamentary under-secretary for justice, is to meet Mr Griffiths to discuss the future of the court.

He said: “There is a high density of county courts in Staffordshire and West Mercia. Burton sat for 199 days in 2009-10, and there are no members of the judiciary based permanently at the court.

“Although facilities are adequate, closure would mean that the Courts Service would not be liable for additional investment of about £450,000.”

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