All purpose Justice Centre

Scottish Courts Service are considering closing all sheriff courts in the Borders and replacing them with a justice centre in Galashiels.

According to the courts service’s chief executive, Eric McQueen, the plans will be discussed at a meeting next week.

Borders MP Michael Moore, Berwickshire MSP John Lamont and South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume are all concerned about these latest moves, coming just days after the Scottish Government approved the next stage in the process of closing Duns and Peebles Sheriff Courts.

“These comments were surprising given that I have been in correspondence with both the Justice Minister and the Scottish Courts Service about any plans they might have to close local courts and not once have they mentioned a proposal to open a new justice centre for the whole of the Borders,” said Mr Moore.

“I know that local solicitors and many of my constituents will be concerned to hear this. It would amount to a very significant change.”

Jim Hume added:“Just a few weeks ago the Justice Secretary said that there were no detailed plans to create a purpose built justice centre for the Borders.

John Lamont MSP said: “This is a thoroughly disappointing statement from the Scottish Courts Service, and shows that despite having already shut half of the courts in the Borders they are still looking to close more.

“This news will come as a bombshell to the many local residents who were already deeply concerned about the impact these proposals could have.”