Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court

8th September 2015
Today, 8th September 2015, in the House of Commons Peter Aldous MP for Waveney reinforced concerns on the proposed closure of Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court.
Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court, which is earmarked for closure in Government proposals is an important service for the people of Lowestoft and the surrounding area and following correspondence with Courts Minister Shailesh Vara MP, Peter Aldous MP has again raised the issue.
The proposals have caused concern among those living in Waveney as the proposed closures will leave just one court in Suffolk and among the challenges resulting from this are both higher travelling costs and increased journey times. Calling for a reconsideration of proposals Mr Aldous noted that Suffolk will have a one court per 1,466 square miles, compared to Norfolk (692 square miles), Cambridgeshire (655 square miles) and Essex (355 square miles).
The Courts Minister gave his assurance that he will continue dialogue with Mr Aldous over these proposals, and reinforced the Ministry of Justice’s position that the proposals are just proposals, which are subject to public consultation.
In addition, Mr Aldous has secured a half hour debate in Westminster Hall for next week entitled ‘Magistrates’ Courts in Suffolk’ where he will elaborate on his concerns.
Following these events, Mr Aldous said: “It is important that Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court remains open and I welcome the debate in Westminster as an opportunity to press the case. The argument is a strong one and I look forward to re-emphasising it next week.”
Hansard Extract:
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): The Minister already knows my views on the unacceptability of the proposed closure of Lowestoft court. Is he aware that if the proposed closures of Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds go ahead, Suffolk will be the worst English county in terms of magistrates courts per square mile, with one court covering 1,466 square miles, compared with 692 square miles in Norfolk, 355 square miles in Essex and 655 square miles in neighbouring Cambridgeshire?
Mr Vara: It is clear that people in Suffolk are more law-abiding. My hon. Friend and I have of course met and corresponded, and I am happy to continue that engagement. No firm decisions have been taken, and I commend him for the conscientious way in which he speaks up for his constituents.

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