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Joint Letter Makes Case For Kendal Court

March 9, 2016 4:55 PM

Richard Rhodes PCC and Tim Farron MPSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has signed a joint letter addressed to the Justice Secretary, to challenge the recent decision to close Kendal Court. The letter sets out proposals for making savings whilst saving the court from closure.

The letter has been co-signed by Tim Farron, MP; Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner; Mrs Jenny Farmer, MBE, JP, Chair South Cumbria Magistrates; and Lord Cavendish of Furness, DL, FRSA.

Tim has long opposed the move to close Kendal Court, but on the 11th February the government announced that it would press ahead with the decision to close the court, despite near-unanimous local opposition throughout the consultation process.

The letter sets out a proposal, drawn up by PCC Richard Rhodes, which would see part of the current Court building in Kendal let out for other purposes, whilst retaining the court facilities. The letter also sets out concerns about the government's consultation process, and insists that the closure of the court would not only harm access to justice, but lead to increased costs due to the time and money spent travelling to courts further away, particularly for the police.

The letter urges the government to reconsider its decision to close Kendal Court.

Tim said: "Local people overwhelmingly opposed the government's proposals to close Kendal Courts, yet the government chose to press ahead with the plans. The closure of Kendal Courts would not only restrict access to justice, but also mean that residents and police alike would waste time, effort and resources travelling across the county to alternative facilities.

"This new proposal has now been drawn up, which recognises the need to make savings whilst retaining local access to justice. The government must show that it is willing to consider local solutions by accepting this proposal."

Mr Rhodes PCC said: "I am aware of the fact that there are significant concerns in the local community about the apparent decision to close the Magistrates Court at Kendal. It would appear that the original submissions have been declined but after a number of conversations I decided it would be appropriate to write directly to the Lord Chancellor with the support of some other influential figures in the local community who shared my concerns".