In a letter to Michael Fabricant, Jane Kennedy MP (Minister in the Lord Chancellor’s Department) has announced that both the Lichfield Magistrates’ Court and the Lichfield based County Court will both be closed by 3rd July ending hundreds of years of legal tradition in the City.
“This will now jeopardise the future of law firms in Lichfield and the knock-on effects including possible consequent bank branch closures in the City could be horrendous” says Michael Fabricant. “This decision not only destroys the concept of ‘local justice’ putting victims, witnesses, defendants, and the police to considerable difficulty and inconvenience, it also will also damage the economic prosperity of Lichfield. Once again, we have seen Lichfield sidelined.
“At a time when the economy is strong, the Government has restricted cash to the Magistrates Courts Service in Staffordshire causing wholesale closures across the County. This Government attitude that Lichfield can be served adequately by commuting to other towns – perverse at a time when Lichfield is expanding – does not auger well for the future of hospital services in the City and in Hammerwich. Sadly, it is beginning to show a pattern of decision making which will do those living in Lichfield no good at all.
“The Minister’s remarks concerning the costs of upgrading the Courts are irrelevant as Lichfield District Council were prepared to pick up the tab and upgrade the Courts to the highest standards to enable access for the disabled and other requirements”.