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MP urges residents to back campaign to protect Kendal court

July 23, 2015 12:30 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged local residents to join the campaign to protect the Magistrates court in Kendal from plans to close it.A petition created by local lawyers has been signed by nearly 200 people in just two days: https://www.change.org/p/the-ministry-of-justice-save-kendal-magistrates-county-court. The Westmorland Gazette has also launched a 'Keep Justice Local' campaign which Tim has backed.

The consultation documents about the latest tranche of court closures can be found here: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposal-on-the-provision-of-court-and-tribunal-es. Tim is urging local residents to join the consultation and to help make the case that the court in Kendal should stay open.

Tim has asked the Ministry of Justice to provide an impact assessment of any changes to the Kendal court but also the impact to organisations like Cumbria Police.

In 2013 Tim asked Justice Ministers for a reassurance that the Kendal court was safe and will continue to deal with criminal cases. Helen Grant MP, the then Parliamentary Secretary for State for Justice said in reply to Tim: "The courthouse in Kendal, which houses Kendal County Court and South Lakeland Magistrates Court, currently hears civil, family and criminal matters and I can confirm that there are no current plans to remove criminal matters from this courthouse."

Tim said: "In 2013 I was able to convince the government to keep the court open. I hope we can do that the same now. Access to justice is a fundamental human right and I believe must be as local as possible. If the court closes it will, potentially, have a major impact on organisations like Cumbria Police so I hope we can work together to make the case to keep the court open.

"I am also urging local people to back the campaign, sign the petition and get involved in the consultation."