The fight is on to save Duns Court from closure

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Pressure is piling up on Scottish minister to veto the Scottish Court Service’s plans to close ten courts including Duns Sheriff Court.

Court workers union PCS is urging Scottish minister to block the plans and the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) is concerned about the impact the court closures would have on the town’s affected

FSB Scottish policy convenor, Andy Willox, said: “If government is serious about safeguarding our high streets and town centres, this needs to be reflected in decisions taken in every department and by every agency.

“It is worrying that the economic impact seems to have been dismissed so lightly by Scottish Government economists and the Scottish Courts Service.

Scottish minister, Paul Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for South Scotland opposed the Scottish Court Service’s proposals in his own submission to the consultation and was “disappointed” with the recommendations.

“I will now be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, with whom the decision now lies, to make my views known,” said Mr Wheelhouse.

“In relation to Duns, I hope that further discussion with Scottish Borders Council may still be possible, and will write to ask that full consideration is given to what I believe may be significant difficulties posed in terms of access to justice, arising from poor transport access between the Berwickshire area and Jedburgh. In the event the Duns decision is confirmed, I will be asking that steps are taken to help those most affected by transport.”

Borders MP Michael Moore said: “It is now up to the Scottish Government to decide whether to take these recommendations forward and I am strongly urging them not to do so for the sake of our local justice system here in the Borders.”