Vigil to mark closure of Chichester courts

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Bring a candle, and dress in black.

Those are instructions for an all-day vigil planned to mark the closure of Chichester’s courts on Friday September 30.

Members of the public are invited to stay for as long or as short a time as they wish outside the building in respectful silence as the Magistrates Court completes its final day in the city.

Despite a lengthy battle to keep the courts by councils and residents, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service has announced the city’s crown and county (combined) court is also due to close in Spring next year.

The closure would leave West Sussex as one of only two counties nationwide without a crown court and has been opposed by numerous residents, regional legal groups and the West Sussex county, Chichester district and Chichester city councils.

The vigil invite from city councillor Sarah Sharp reads: “This is an important event that must be marked and not pass unnoticed.

“Bring a candle, bring a flower and pause and spend a moment in silence outside the building.”

A public meeting to debate the court closures has been set for September 27 in the Assembly Rooms in North Street.

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