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Lowestoft County Court latest - MP's 'disappointment'

PUBLISHED: 10:47 22 January 2011

WAVENEY MP Peter Aldous has this week written to Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly to express his disappointment that Lowestoft County Court is to be closed, and seeking clarification on exactly what facilities will be retained.

The Ministry of Justice announced last month that the court was to close with administration moving to Norwich County Court from April 1.

However, family and civil hearings are to continue at Lowestoft County Court, which is now classed as a Hearing Centre.

Civil cases will be heard on Mondays and Wednesdays and family cases on Tuesdays, but additional hearings can be arranged on other days if needed.

A limited counter service will also be retained at the building but details are not yet clear.

Mr Aldous led a high-profile campaign to save the county court which serves a large rural area.

And there are concerns that the decision to close it will make it even harder for people without their own transport to attend key hearings.

He said: “It is disappointing that Lowestoft County Court is to close, although some services are to be retained, including a counter service, but the details of exactly what will be provided are not clear.

“I have written to Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly to seek clarification.”

While the county court is to close, Lowestoft Magistrates Court – which operates in the same building – will remain open.

The county court is among 93 magistrates’ courts and 49 county courts in England and Wales set to close as part of a government drive to have a more efficient justice system.

Magistrates courts in Wisbech, Thetford, Cromer and Swaffham are also closing.

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