Business as usual for court

AFTER a storm of protest from people including judges and magistrates, it has been announced that Huntingdon County Court in George Street, will continue to be open daily. As reported by The Hunts Post in November, it was feared that people on low incomes

AFTER a storm of protest from people including judges and magistrates, it has been announced that Huntingdon County Court in George Street, will continue to be open daily.

As reported by The Hunts Post in November, it was feared that people on low incomes in Huntingdonshire could risk losing their homes should plans be implemented to open the court just six days a month and move court officials to Peterborough.

Senior judges and local charities said the move could leave some people unable to begin action to resist eviction.

Having campaigned to keep the court open daily, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, told The Hunts Post yesterday (Tuesday) "This is really good news. After a campaign to keep the court open four years ago, I was surprised to find that it was under threat again, but yet again, this court has been saved.

"It would have been bizarre to have had a new court building and no county court services in it, which would have been a huge waste of taxpayers' money. It would have hurt the most vulnerable people. This court is about day-to-day business, such as trying to stop an eviction or small businesses seeking to collect their debts.

"It is an important aspect of Huntingdon's commercial and non-commercial life and it gives bulk and substance to the town."

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The decision was announced in a letter to solicitors from Pauline Cornford, area director of the court service for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Ms Cornford said: "Since I was appointed as the new director, I have spoken to a number of people who have been very concerned at the proposals and how this would increase the difficulties for a number of local people. I am delighted to say that as a result, I have been able to review the proposals and identify resources that will be deployed to Huntingdon and enable the court to be staffed each day. This means the court will continue to offer the same level of service as before."

As reported in November, Judges Robert Blomfield and Anthony Wharton expressed concern at the proposed cut-back. Judge Blomfield said needy people who could not afford to travel could be denied the protection they were entitled to have from the courts.

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