MP for Bassetlaw John Mann demanded the Government ‘tear up’ proposals to close Worksop Magistrates’ Court during a passionate debate in Parliament yesterday (Monday 7th April).
The MP, who reacted angrily to plans to start a consultation into the use of the courthouse in March, opened the debate with an overview of the history of Bassetlaw.
“Thousands of years of history, the basis of British justice- is now threatened for the first by the cutbacks of this penny-pinching Government,” Mr Mann said.
“It is the death of the last remaining court in Bassetlaw, to the cuts of a thousand cuts.”
“Local justice has been good enough for the last thousand years in Bassetlaw and will be good enough in the years to come,” he added.
The consultation proposes sending all youth, family, civil and criminal cases to Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.
The building in Worksop would only be used for sentencings, civil and family work .
Mann spoke of the diffculty residents without own transport would have when travelling to the court in Mansfield.
He said: “The Government fails to recognise the geographic size of Bassetlaw.”
“I demand that the Government tear up the proposals to close Worksop Magistrates’ Court.”
MP Shailesh Vara, the parliamentary under-secretary of state, responded on behalf of the Government by congratulating the Bassetlaw MP for securing the debate.
He went on to claim that the Government did ‘not intend’ to close the courthouse, but were looking at reducing the number of cases dealt with at the court.
Speaking after the debate, Mann said: “ I was pleased to raise this issue in Parliament. I will continue to fight what I consider to be a clear attempt to stop access to local justice.”
The consultation will run until 30th April.