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Cumbrian courts facing the axe

Credit: HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Courts in Workington and Kendal are being recommended for closure in a Government consultation published today.

Courts Minister Shailesh Vara has put forward a list of 18 court and tribunal buildings across England and Wales he wants to close in a cost-cutting move which includes West Cumbria Magistrates' and Kendal Magistrates’ courts.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service say the majority of courts being consulted on are not used for at least two thirds of their available time, and one in three are not used three quarters of the time.

“We are reforming the courts and tribunal service so that it meets the needs of modern day users.

“Access to justice is not just about attending court. As we bring in digital technology for better and more efficient access to justice, fewer people will need to physically be in a court.

“This means that we will need fewer buildings, and with many already underused and in poor quality, now is a good time to review the estate.”

– Courts and Tribunals Minister, Shailesh Vara

The national and regional consultation documents and the full list of sites recommended can be found here. The consultation will last for 12 weeks and closes on 8 October 2015.

If courts in Workington and Kendal close it will leave Cumbria with just two magistrates' courts - in Carlisle and Barrow.


Council blames construction company for DG One problems

Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries' flagship leisure centre, DG One, will now cost up to £10 million to repair.

The sport and leisure complex was closed last October to inspect defects.

The council blames the faults on the company that built DG One, Kier Construction, and is continuing with legal proceedings against it to reclaim costs.

"We remain of the view that Kier are fully responsible for the defects within a building that is only 7 years old."

– Alex Haswell, Director of Community and Customer Services Dumfries and Galloway Council

But Keir Construction says it won't comment while inspections are being carried out.

"The investigation at DG One Leisure Centre is still ongoing and the findings from technical experts are yet to be concluded.

It would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."

– Spokesperson for Kier Construction

The Council says work on the leisure centre won't start until the autumn, as they will now put the repair work out to a tendering process.

Closure of Dumfries leisure centre extended

DG One is expected to remain closed for a further 13 months Credit: ITV Border

A flagship leisure centre in Dumfries and Galloway is set to remain closed for longer than expected.

The DG One facility in Dumfries, which opened seven years ago, has been shut for four months to allow major repairs.

But the work has been delayed and it's thought a further 13 months of work will be needed before the swimming pool can re-open.