Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today criticised plans from the Ministry of Justice to close Medway’s Family Court. The plans, currently out for consultation, would lead to family court services being moved to Maidstone.
Whilst consultation has seen HM Courts and Tribunals service investigate the possibility of moving to alternative sites in Medway, thus far a suitable alternative is yet to be identified.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said, ”The past ten years of Conservative austerity has led to real problems with access to justice, with the substantial loss of legal aid to support those who cannot afford access to justice, and the loss of local court services.
“Now, in Medway, this proposal could see services for some of our most vulnerable families and their children lost to our local area. It is not justifiable, in the interests of saving money, to allow our residents to suffer from a poorer, less accessible, service at a point in their lives where they need confidence in the court service most.
“We will be responding to the consultation in the strongest possible terms to keep family justice for Medway residents in Medway.’
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of Medway Labour and Cooperative Group, said, “This is bad news for Medway and Medway families. Too often, lately, Medway is threatened with the loss of key services to other parts of the county. Medway Labour and Cooperative Group will stand up for our residents and will be fighting hard for the court service to remain in our community.”
If residents wish to contribute to the consultation, they can do so up until
the 11th August here: