Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin challenges ministers over court plans in House of Commons

Dudley MP Ian Austin has challenged Government Ministers in the House of Commons over plans to close Dudley’s criminal court.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Austin called on Justice Minister Damian Green to drop the plans which would force local people to travel to courts in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Austin also called on Ministers to come to Dudley and hear the concerns of local people and magistrates.

Recently released documents reveal that the Government's “preferred option” is for criminal cases to be heard in Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall, leaving Dudley as the largest town in the country with no criminal court.

Austin has launched a petition against the plans which has already gained hundreds of signatures.

Calling on Ministers to keep the court open, Ian Austin MP said:

“Dudley’s magistrates court is currently threatened with closure by the Ministry of Justice. Its plans would force victims and witnesses to travel to Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton at great expense in terms of money and time. Would Ministers be prepared to meet magistrates and local people from Dudley so that they can hear directly from them why Dudley’s criminal court should stay open?”

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