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Cambridge Magistrates' Court will remain open

Daniel Zeichner submitted profile photograph
Daniel Zeichner submitted profile photograph

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner says he is 'delighted' by the news after the court's future was threatened.

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has today said he is “delighted“ by the Ministerial announcement that Cambridge Magistrates’ Court will remain open.

In January, the Ministry of Justice launched a series of consultations to close eight courts across England as part of a £1billion savings programme of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was one of the sites selected for proposed closure, which would have seen court provision relocated across the county to Huntingdon and Peterborough.

The Ministry of Justice today withdrew the proposal to close the court stating that “the value-for-money case for closure has not been made“.

This comes after a six-month consultation process, which was proposing for the city court to be closed as part of a wider reform programme to make efficiency savings in the service.

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, said: “I am delighted that the Government has withdrawn its proposal to close Cambridge Magistrates’ Court. Over the last few months, I have visited each court building in the city, hosted meetings with lawyers and key Government officials and repeatedly challenged Ministers in the House of Commons.”

“Working with other campaigners, the city council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, magistrates and local lawyers, Cambridge has presented a united front.

“I would like to thank all those that engaged with me and the consultation process. Together, we have made a very strong case, which has been listened to. Now we need to make sure that the court is properly staffed so it is used to its full potential, and the very long waits for listings are reduced.”

The Cambridge consultation received around 280 responses, which were considered before a final decision was made.

Councillor Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, said “This is great and deserved news for Cambridge given the growing Magistrates Court workload, the problems local people would face getting to Huntingdon or Peterborough, and the £18m spent by the Ministry of Justice refurbishing the Cambridge court so recently.

I would also like to say a big thank you also to all the residents, lawyers and magistrates who responded so forcefully to the recent Government consultation and particularly to our two MPs, Daniel Zeichner and Heidi Allen, for their pressure on the Government to change its mind.”

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