CLOSURE of Chichester’s courts will make it ‘physically impossible’ for many residents to attend court, a senior councillor has argued.
Chichester District Council leader Tony Dignum has written to under-secretary of state for justice Shailesh Vara, urging him to reconsider the decision.
Highlighting the council’s ‘significant concerns’, Mr Dignum argued the planned closures would have a ‘direct and significant impact’ on the city’s legal firms and present major difficulties for those attending court.
He wrote: “Taking into account the fact that many people living outside Chichester, but within the district need to travel by bus or car to join a train, it is likely to be physically impossible for many people in the outer edges of the district to get to court for morning sessions.
“This of course will have a disproportionate impact upon the less well-off, rurally isolated and other vulnerable groups.”
Mr Dignum also claimed the decision would also cost the council between £26,000 and £58,000 in officer time and travel costs, when the council attended court for hearings such as enforcement matters.