- 6 updates
Tweeddale MP David Mundell has expressed his disappointment and anger that SNP MSPs have pushed through plans that will close Peebles Sheriff Court.
Tweeddale member Christine Grahame, the Justice committee convener, was one of the MSP's who backed the closure plans.
A local MSP has defended a decision to close a number of sheriff courts in Scotland, including Peebles and Duns, saying she "could not argue" against the arguments put forward by Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Gill to support their closure.
SNP MSP Christine Grahame says the closures do not mean users of the justice system in the Borders will receive a poorer service.
Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has condemned the decision by SNP members of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee not to close Peebles and Duns Sheriff Courts.
Mr Hume received 400 signatures in one week on his petition against the closures.
Mr Hume said:
“Today was the last chance to save Peebles and Duns courts, but SNP members on the committee have ignored the massive public opposition to these fundamental changes to our justice system.”
MSPs have voted to close ten Sheriff Courts across Scotland including Peebles, Duns and Kirkcudbright.
A number of Justice of the Peace courts will also close, including Annan.
MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee will vote today on plans to close local courts across Scotland.
The sheriff courts in Peebles, Duns and Kirkudbright are all under threat after Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill backed Scottish Court Service recommendations.
Opposition leaders have written an open letter to the Justice Committee, asking its members to support a motion to annul the proposals and 'stand up for local services, jobs, businesses and proper access to justice'.
The SNP holds a majority on the Justice Committee, with five MSPs to four from opposition parties.