Local MEP James Carver has reacted angrily to the planned closures of six courts in West Midlands.
Following today’s announcement about the closure of the courts Mr Carver said the principle of magistrates’ courts is that justice should be local.
The courts in the West Midlands affected are magistrates’ courts in Burton-upon-Trent Sandwell, Shrewsbury, Solihull and Stafford along with Birmingham Youth Court.
“Closing down magistrates’ courts runs totally contrary to that principle and it will necessitate witnesses and victims having to travel much further and at greater expense to attend hearings.
“Justice should be seen to be done in the local community by local magistrates but year after year our justice system is being eroded.
“Closing down these courts is sending out completely the wrong message. It is all very well the Justice Minister saying access to justice “is not diminished” but the reality is it will be,” said Mr Carver, UKIP Euro-MP.
“Saying that 97% of people will be able to reach courts within an hour by car is stuff and nonsense. And let’s not forget that not everyone has access to a car and parking charges can be prohibitive anyway.
“Local people have expressed their disagreement with the closures, which include magistrates, county and family courts, but they are to be closed down along with 80 others up and down the country. The people spoke – and no one listened,” he added.