Court to close by May 2014

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ARBROATH Sheriff Court is set to close in May 2014, the Scottish Court Service has announced.

The closure still needs to be approved by parliament but the service say all business will be able to be transferred to Forfar Sheriff Court.

It was announced last September that the Arbroath facility was under threat along with 11 others across Scotland.

It is thought that its close proximity to the Forfar court meant a transfer could take place, despite Arbroath hearing cases not only from the town but Montrose, Carnoustie and Monifieth too.

A consultation period then opened and after the deadline in December, the proposal still stood.

And on Tuesday it was announced the court will be closed subject to parliamentary approval.

Local legal workers have raised concerns about the workload at the town’s court and if Forfar would be able to cope with the vastly increased cases.

However, chief executive of the Scottish Court Service Eric McQueen said: “The volume of business transacted in the sheriff courts recommended for closure is around 5 per cent of the overall court business. 

“Many of the responses to the consultation pointed to the extent of additional travel and inconvenience and we acknowledge this will be the case for some court users, while clarifying that the actual number of members of the public that this would affect is very small. 

 “Similarly concerns were raised about the capacity for other courts to accommodate transferred business and we are confident that more than enough capacity exists to deal with current and future volumes of business.”