John Lamont MSP fears Borders courts future after Open Door Days snub

editorial image
0
Have your say

An MSP has cast further doubt on the future of Selkirk and Jedburgh’s sheriff courts after both were left off a list of Open Doors Days to show the public how the justice system works.

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

John Lamont fears it is an indication that both will 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.

The Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP said: “The Open Doors Day that is being run by the Scottish Courts Service offers people the chance to learn more about how their justice system works, and to see the facilities in the courts themselves.

“It is a great initiative, and it is therefore concerning that none of these Open Days are occurring in Borders courts.

“The only reason I can see for this happening is that as they are threatened with closure, the Scottish Courts Service are hesitant to open them to the public.

“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 closures in Duns and Peebles are already set to cause a huge amount of damage and limit the access of many residents to our courts.

“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.

“The Scottish Courts Service now needs to provide clarity on the future of Selkirk and Jedburgh Sheriff Courts and explain why they are refusing to show them to the public.”