Vanessa Fox, chair of the South Yorkshire branch of Resolution, is calling on the Government to reverse its plans to close the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court in Rotherham.
The Ministry of Justice is shutting 86 courts across the country, claiming them to be “underused”. The Government says that by reducing “surplus capacity” it can invest more money into improving facilities in other courts.
But local members of family law organisation Resolution – an organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce and separation and the peaceful settlement of other family problems – claim the Government’s analysis is not thorough enough to justify the closure of courts in Rotherham that provide a vital service.
Vanessa Fox, a partner at hlw Keeble Hawson, claims that the court closure will have a huge impact on local families’ ability to access the justice system.
The Resolution chair said: “This is devastating news for local families. Parents and children need to be able to access the justice system – this decision will make that more difficult.
“Closing Rotherham Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court may make sense on a Government spreadsheet, but here in South Yorkshire the reality is that it will have a big impact on local people who require family courts at a deeply emotional and difficult time in their life.
“The additional stress of travelling to a court in an unfamiliar town some distance away will subject people to a further unnecessary burden. That is why I’m calling on the Government to reverse their decision.”