No real reason for court closure

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The most senior of the surviving Arbroath Court solicitors says he believes the proposed closure of the town facility is for no apparent real reason.

George Mathieson spoke out about the plans to close the court and move all work to Forfar after a packed public meeting on the issue that was held in the Old and Abbey Church hall on Friday evening.

And he believes it will be a sad day if the decision is made to completely axe the town facility.

He told the Herald: “As the most senior of the surviving Arbroath Court solicitors, I attended Friday’s public meeting with a strong foreboding as to the impending closure of the Arbroath Sheriff Court. I left the meeting knowing that my feeling had been correct.

“Arbroath solicitor Nick Whelan spoke of the many justifiable reasons for no change being made from financial, social and court practice aspects arising with the move to Forfar.

“The closure is indeed a sad day for Arbroath and the dispensing of justice in our area and all for no apparent real reason or need.”

The local meeting was ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee’s meeting on Tuesday, who discussed the plans, which could see other Sheriff Courts close.

And chief executive of the Scottish Court Service Eric McQueen insisted the plan will not add significant burdens to other courts, such as Forfar, saying: “There is no way in the world that we would be bringing forward plans where we thought the court was just going to spiral in terms of its performance.”