Call for answers on sheriff courts

Michael Moore MP
Michael Moore MP
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LOCAL Lib Dem politicians Michael Moore MP and Jim Hume MSP have expressed their fears about the future of Jedburgh and Selkirk sheriff courts in a letter to the Scottish justice secretary.

The pair have called for Kenny MacAskill to give answers following a recent meeting of Scottish Court Service officials and the council to discuss a justice centre.

They have also asked Mr ­MacAskill to oppose any further court closures.

During a meeting of the justice committee to look at the court closures plans, the chief executive of the Scottish Court Service, Eric McQueen, revealed that a justice centre would likely be the only court for the Borders.

Mr Moore said: “I was deeply disappointed when the justice committee in the Scottish Parliament chose to ignore local concerns and vote in favour of closing the courts in Duns and Peebles.

“To learn that the courts in Selkirk and Jedburgh might also be under threat is an extremely concerning development, and would do further damage to the delivery of local justice in the Borders.

“I am therefore urging the Scottish Government to listen to local people and oppose any additional closures.”

Mr Hume added: “The justice secretary needs to protect the delivery of local justice in our rural communities and must provide assurances at an early stage that he will oppose any future closure recommendations from the Scottish Court Service.”

A justice centre has been championed by the SNP’s Christine Grahame, who sees it as the best outcome for her Tweeddale constituents after the closure of Peebles’ court in 2015.