MP calls on government to save Sandwell Magistrates' Court

Black Country MP Tom Watson has called on the government to scrap its plan to close Sandwell Magistrates’ Court as ministers prepare to make a final announcement on its future within weeks.

Labour's deputy leader and MP for West Bromwich East has been highly critical of the plan and has previously called the proposal to close the court 'completely illogical'.

Mr Watson has also revealed that the government's previous decision to cancel a new court on Spon Lane in West Bromwich cost HM Courts & Tribunals Service £3.8 million. This consisted of £1.7 million for site clearance and professional fees and a further £2.1 million loss on disposal of the land.

Mr Watson said: "It is simply incredible that the government wasted £3.8 million on a new court for West Bromwich, which was never built. Now, they want to close the only court we have in the borough - denying victims and their families access to justice. It's an absolute disgrace."

After the 2010 General Election, the new Coalition Government announced that the new court in West Bromwich would not proceed. 

A public consultation on whether to close Sandwell Magistrates’ Court and 13 other courts in the Midlands was launched in July 2015. A final decision on its future is expected imminently. 

If the court does close it would make Sandwell the only Black Country borough without one and 21 jobs could also be lost.

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