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By Jenny Coombes , Reporter
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
ILFORD County Court will close under plans drawn up by the government.
Forty-nine county courts and 93 magistrates courts around the country have been ear-marked for the axe following a consultation.
The Ministry of Justice said the Ilford Court, which deals with civil, financial and family matters is “unable to offer modern, fit-for-purpose facilities”.
Under the plans, its workloads will be transferred to Romford and Bow.
Barking Magistrates Court will also be closed, something which unions had feared would lead to an extra burden at its Redbridge counterpart.
The PCS Union campaigned bitterly against any closures.
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes, who was also against the plans, said: “It means that people will have to travel further and it will be less community based.
“There will be questions about people’s jobs.
“Does this mean an undermining of local justice?”
Earlier this year, the Recorder reported that staff at the court described its closure as “devastating” and said their future roles were uncertain.
The presiding judge for England and Wales Lord Justice Goldring also spoke out against the cuts.
He said that his colleagues were worried that not enough planning was in place to cope with extra work.
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly told MPs the current system was “unsustainable” and said changes to the court system would mean a “better, more efficient and more modern” system of justice, with premises modernised.
Ten magistrates courts originally suggested for closure were given a reprieve in the announcement, as well as five county courts, including London City.