Thursday, July 15, 2010

Market Harborough magistrates court and the coalition

Both the Conservative MP for Harborough Edward Garnier (Solicitor General, no less) and Liberal Democrat councillors in Market Harborough are campaigning against closure of the town's magistrates court.

Are they all supporting spending cuts at a national level and opposing them locally?

There is something of that, certainly. But I think there is more to it than that.

As far the coalition has a shared ideology, it is a scepticism about big, centralised solutions. So it is legitimate to ask whether moving every trial to Leicester will save money and whether doing so will meet the need for justice to be seen to be done.

My former headmaster did famously fall asleep on the Bench at Harborough court once, but I still support local justice for local people.


dreamingspire said...

I thought that it was about towns and cities where there are multiple court buildings: rationalising them. So all power to your elbow with the MH court campaign.

Nick O said...

Market Harborough`s just the tip of the iceberg. There are campaigns against proposed Court closures in Skipton, Keighley, Market Harborough, Coalville, Melton and Rugby - and that`s just the ones I know about !

What`s striking is that many of the MPs and Councillors involved in these campaigns are Lib Dems or Conservatives - in Keighley and Skipton, three MPs and numerous Councillors have signed up to the What Price Justice campaign - all of them Conservatives !

It says a lot about media pundits that they`re so wrapped up in the world of Westminster they`ve hardly noticed the wheels coming off the cuts programme at such an early stage