Court’s open day ‘snub’ raises closure concerns

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The Scottish Courts Service has dismissed claims that the future of Selkirk Sheriff Court is in doubt after it was left off a list of facilities which will open their doors to the public.

A total of 18 courts in Scotland are on the tour, which began last Saturday and ends on September 28, but neither Selkirk or Jedburgh are included.

That has heightened fears that both could be axed in favour of a justice centre being set up in Galashiels.

Already, Duns and Peebles sheriff courts are scheduled to close in January 2015, with a joint integrated justice services study under way with Scottish Borders Council.

Selkirk MSP John Lamont said: “There is no point in showing off a facility if you are planning to shut it, and by snubbing our courts it can only mean that their future is still under threat.

“There can be no doubt whatsoever about the negative effect that shutting the courts in Selkirk and Jedburgh would have on our justice system.

“The setting up of a justice centre would only further this harm and it is staggering that after the first round of cuts they would consider shutting more.”

But an SCS spokesman said Selkirk Sheriff Court chose to take part in Scott’s Selkirk rather than its Doors Open Day tour.

“It is the decision of staff at each individual court if they wish to participate,” he added, with the National Library of Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland taking part in this year’s Scott’s Selkirk on December 7.