by martingosscolchesterppc on 28 July, 2019
County Court closure threat to local justice
The closure of Colchester County Court has put local people who need to pursue civil and family law cases at a huge disadvantage – and without adequate Legal Aid for those facing evictions it is likely that serious miscarriage of justice will happen.
That is the stark warning from Colchester Councillor Martin Goss who is also the town’s Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Candidate.
All civil and family law cases are now handled at Chelmsford where, according to one experienced senior solicitor, the court office is in turmoil and struggling with a huge backlog of cases.
Councillor Goss said that the solicitor had told him: “I spoke to the County Office about a case I have got at Chelmsford. They told me it was in turmoil and to avoid it all costs. They were understaffed and working to a backlog before they had to take on Colchester’s workload. Now they simply can’t cope.”
Colchester County Court was shut by the Conservative Government two years ago as part of a national programme of reducing the number of County Courts, following on from earlier closures of Magistrates’ Courts.
Councillor Goss said that to be told by an experienced solicitor that the County Court office in Chelmsford is in “turmoil”, as a direct result of the closure of the County Court in Colchester, was deeply worrying because it meant that Colchester residents were no longer getting a competent administration of justice.
He added: “I fear there are dangers of a miscarriage of justice, a direct result of the savage cuts by the Tory Government which went through without proper recognition of how this would affect people – with the people of Colchester being amongst those who have been let down by this Government.
“With Colchester no longer having a lawyer providing Legal Aid for those seeking help with housing – such as being evicted, and homeless families – this clearly puts more pressures on the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and charities such as Shelter and the Youth Enquiry Service (YES).”
28th July 2019
NOTE TO EDITOR:
Martin is available for further comment at either his mobile number 07912 396335 or this email address.
Martin has lived in Colchester since he was four and moved here in 1978.
He attended Prettygate Infants and Junior School before attending Philip Morant School. He also attended Colchester Institute for his further and Higher Education before completing his degree part-time whilst working.
Martin works in IT as a Senior Leader within the Insurance sector and has worked in Colchester so has first hand
experience of being truly local.
He lives in Mile End with his wife Rachel and has family in Prettygate and Stanway.
Martin has been a Borough Councillor in Mile End for eleven years and is the Cabinet Member for Waste on Colchester Borough Council. He is also a frequent rail commuter and very active campaigner on a wide range of issues.Leave a comment