Shropshire

Ludlow, Shrewsbury and Oswestry county courts close

Shropshire county courts have closed as part of a government cost-cutting exercise.

Magistrates' courts at Market Drayton, Ludlow and Oswestry were among 93 in England and Wales to be axed earlier this year.

Ludlow and Shrewsbury county courts closed earlier, with Oswestry to follow next week. The business will be transferred to Telford.

It is expected the closures will save £300,000 a year.

'Quite expensive'

Caroline Denham, president of Shropshire Law Society, said the move would make Telford County Court even busier and pose travel problems for people in other parts of the county.

She said: "Even if you have your own car, it's quite expensive to have to go to Shrewsbury. To have to go to Telford is going to be really very difficult indeed.

"It's not just this part of the county, I think the northern part of the county is going to have a terrible time."

The Senior Presiding Judge in England and Wales, Lord Justice Goldring, opposed the closure of Shrewsbury County Court because people living in the south and west of the county would face "substantial" journey times.

He also said it would "no doubt prove difficult for the elderly and those with disabilities".

After public consultation, the Ministry of Justice has agreed to continue a limited county court service at Shrewsbury, although the building will close.

All administration will go to Telford, but some county court hearings will take place at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court.

County courts deal with civil cases such as landlord and tenant disputes, personal injury claims, divorce and custody cases.

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