Proposals to close Oldham Magistrates Court and Oldham County Court have been firmly opposed by Oldham Council.
In a written submission to the consultation on the future of the courts by HM Courts and Tribunal Service and the Ministry of Justice, the leaders of all the political parties who make up the council – Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservative and UKIP – have refused to support the proposals.
The council believes if the courts closed there would be a “profound effect” on the borough, including an impact on the local economy, residents’ access to justice would be affected and that there would be an increased strain on other courts.
A motion, approved at Full Council on September 9 to instruct Chief Executive Carolyn Wilkins to write to Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Justice, to ask him to reconsider the decision to close the Oldham courts, highlighted that the cuts have already had an impact on the region’s ability to deliver justice for its residents.
The Ministry of Justice is proposing to close 14 buildings in the North West – with two from Oldham.
The government department is recommending the workload of Oldham Magistrates Court and Oldham County Court is transferred to Tameside Magistrates Court and Manchester County Court respectively.
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