Grahame defends vote to close her local courtroom

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Christine Grahame has defended her vote to close Peebles Sheriff Court and nine others in an interview with The Southern.

In a debate in Parliament in February 2012, the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP commented: “If the SCS (Scottish Court Service)tried to close Peebles sheriff court, I would say ‘Over my dead body’.”

This week she told us: “At that stage I was unaware that there was going to be presented a piece of legislation with multiple courts on it.

“Last Tuesday, the vote was not on Peebles or Haddington or Cupar courts, but on Peebles and Haddington and Cupar – a whole stream of courts.”

She added that when that proposal was first set out she was ‘determined to build up a ‘B’ plan’ – referring to the creation of a justice centre.

Ms Grahame added that a justice centre was the best she could get for her constituents.

She reiterated that she had fought for court business at Peebles to go to Selkirk instead of Edinburgh, as initially planned.

The MSP said she was hopeful that the ‘positive discussions’ between the council and Scottish Court Service would result in a justice centre being created in Galashiels before 2015, which is when Peebles Sheriff Court will close, adding that it would be ‘the first in Scotland’.

She added that the justice centre would be ‘good news’ for her constituents and ‘good for justice in the Borders’.