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Cambridge MP unearths fact that no Ministers have visited courts they propose to close

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, this week found out that there have been no ministerial visits this year to any of the eight courts which the Ministry of Justice have proposed to close.

He submitted a written parliamentary question:  "To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which courts in the UK have been visited by Ministers of his Department since the beginning of the 2018".

Lucy Frazer answered the question:

The list of Ministers and which courts they have visited is given in the table below. Lord Keen has not visited any courts.

David Gauke

1 February 2018

Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court

David Gauke

13 February 2018

Oxford Combined Court

David Gauke

19 February 2018

Arnhem House, Leicester

Rory Stewart OBE

1 February 2018

Woolwich Crown Court

Dr Phillip Lee

26 January 2018

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court

Lucy Frazer QC

1 February 2018

Bromley Magistrates’ Court and Woolwich Crown Court

Lucy Frazer QC

8 March 2018

Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court

The courts that could be closed are: Cambridge, Maidenhead, Banbury, Northallerton, Fleetwood, Chorley, Wandsworth and Blackfriars.

Mr Zeichner comments: "It is very telling that not one minister has visited any of the courts which they are proposing to close, including Cambridge. It’s outrageous, and shows a complete lack of respect for the communities which will be affected by these plans. I have personally invited Ministers, on a number of occasions. What are they so frightened of – that they may hear the truth about the impact?"

The Ministry of Justice’s proposals suggest moving cases from Cambridge to courts in Huntingdon and Peterborough, which could mean up to a three-hour round trip, along with added travel expenses, for Cambridge residents using the courts. 

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