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Farron Slams Court Decision

April 25, 2016 10:16 AM

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.South Lakes MP Tim Farron has described the government's decision to reject a proposal to save Kendal Court as "callous and short-sighted".

In February, Conservative Ministers had decided to press ahead with plans to close the court, despite the government's own consultation revealing almost unanimous local opposition to the plans.

In response to this decision, Tim signed a joint letter alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes, the Chair of South Cumbria Magistrates Jenny Farmer, and Lord Cavendish of Furness. The 8-page letter urged the government to reconsider its decision, and contained a detailed proposal for Kendal Court which would have seen the court facilities retained in Kendal, with part of the premises let out for other purposes.

However, the government's response said that it would not reconsider the decision.

There are still questions to be answered about what will happen to the Cumbria Central Payments Unit, which is based in the same office.

Tim said: "This is a callous and short-sighted decision by the government. We had hoped that upon receiving this balanced and reasonable proposal, signed by figures from across the political spectrum, the government might reconsider this decision. Unfortunately, the government's dismissive response shows that it is driven simply by an ideological desire to slash spending, even if that comes at the expense of local access to justice.

"As I have repeatedly made clear, the plans to close the court will not only damage local access to justice, they will also lead to additional costs as both residents and police waste time, effort and resources travelling across the county to alternative facilities."