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Last chance to save Lowestoft Magistrates' Court from closure

Lowestoft solicitors Rob Barley (left) and James Hartley are preparing a case for keeping Lowestoft magistrates court open.

Lowestoft solicitors Rob Barley (left) and James Hartley are preparing a case for keeping Lowestoft magistrates court open.

© Archant 2015

All the evidence points to the same conclusion - that the proposal to shut Lowestoft Magistrates' Court to save money would greatly harm local justice.

Now, as solicitors prepare the case to defend the court from closure itself, The Journal asks those making the final judgement: have you heard us?

In a defence likely to persuade any jury, figures to speak out against the “unacceptable and absurd” closure include a chief constable, Waveney’s MP, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, the county’s High Sheriff and a local Law Society president, as well as solicitors, councillors and town magistrates.

Many people have also signed the petition as part of The Journal’s Keep Justice Local campaign, while Lowestoft solicitors Rob Barley and James Hartley put the finishing touches to a counter proposal ahead of the end of the public consultation in a few days time.

It says the east coast is big enough to deserve its own court hub - and that they believe Lowestoft would be a more cost-effective option to run than Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court.

“Local justice can be 10 miles away - it can’t be 45 miles away,” said Mr Barley.

The Journal rests its case - and asks the Ministry of Justice that Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court be kept open.

Read the full story in today’s Journal.

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