Duns Court could close in two years

The news that courts in Duns and Peebles could be closed by the start of 2015 has not gone down well with local politicians.

Speaking after the Scottish Government approved the Scottish Court Service plans at the end of last week, Jim Hume MSP said: “Kenny MacAskill doesn’t care about local courts, but it’s time for local SNP MSPs to show that they do.

“They have it in their power to save our courts.”

His view was echoed by John Lamont MSP, who said: “A huge majority of those who responded to the court service’s consultation stated opposition to these closures, but these voices have once again gone unheard. I have no doubts that this will have a negative impact on our region for many years to come.”

Berwickshire MP Michael Moore was also angered by the response from Scottish Ministers and urged Kenny MacAskill to reconsider his decision.

He commented: “I am extremely disappointed to hear that the Scottish Government have approved these plans to close the courts in Duns and Peebles.

“Ever since I first heard about these plans in 2011, I have been campaigning against them because they will force local people to travel further and longer to have their cases heard.

“Justice is best delivered as locally as possible so I am urging the Scottish Government to listen to people’s concerns and reconsider this decision.”

A draft Parliamentary Order putting in place the necessary legislation has been produced.

The court service has to consult various organisations before consenting to the draft order by May 17.