Threatened court is busiest in Angus

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CLOSURE threatened Arbroath Sheriff Court is significantly busier than Forfar Sheriff Court, figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.

The Scottish Court Service announced last year proposals to axe the Arbroath facility and transfer all work and staff to Forfar.

A consultation period ended last month with a final decision not expected until Easter time.

However, statistics obtained by solicitor Nick Whelan have now shown that in 2011 Arbroath dealt with 975 summary cases in comparison to 450 at Forfar.

Arbroath also heard more petition cases, summary trials and civil cases than its Angus counterpart.

And in total the town court deals with 60 per cent more business than in Forfar.

The figures also show Arbroath Sheriff Court serves an area with almost double the population than the Forfar facility.

And now North East Scotland MSP Alex Johnstone believes it would cost around £1 million to retain the Forfar court and move all work there from Arbroath.

He also says the closure proposals, which would see 10 other courts across Scotland close are fatally flawed.

And legal professionals also say a closure would greatly affect local businesses, as the Arbroath facility is located right on the High Street.