Is the fight to save Chichester’s courts over?

A man taking part in the recent public protest outside Chichester Crown Court. Photo by Derek Martin.
A man taking part in the recent public protest outside Chichester Crown Court. Photo by Derek Martin.
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The door appears to have slammed shut on hopes of saving Chichester’s courts.

During a debate in parliament, Shailesh Vara, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, rebuffed Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie’s accusation that ‘no economic case has been provided’ for closing the city’s crown, county and magistrates’ courts.

Speaking in parliament on Thursday, March 24, Mr Tyrie said: “Frankly, however, the closures, particularly for Chichester, are not a policy, but a negation of a policy.

“Everyone understands the need for financial stringency, but no economic rationale for these closures has been provided, despite repeated requests. “Until such a rationale is provided, people will continue to be deeply concerned about the closures. “Chichester’s court use is above the national average, and the travel times analysis is seriously flawed.

“Is the Minister now prepared at least to reconsider the closures, for which no economic case at all has been provided?

Mr Shailesh Vara responded that he ‘dreaded entering the tea room’ for fear of bumping into Mr Tyrie. He said: “I think he will agree that I have tried to give him the best information I can, but on the final conclusion he wants, we will have to agree to disagree.”

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