East Derry MP Gregory Campbell has hit out at the low level of responses regarding the future of Limavady Courthouse in a recent consultation.
The consultation was launched on the 29 January and the closing date was 18 May. Mr Campbell, in an Assembly question, asked the Justice Minister to detail the respondents to the recent consultation on the future of Limavady Courthouse.
“There is uncertainty on the future of the Courthouse, but I believe the case for retaining it is a very strong one. However, I am extremely disappointed that of the seven respondents to the consultation on the future of the Courthouse, there were SIX from myself and my DUP colleagues and one from the Probation Board for Northern Ireland,” said Mr Campbell. “According to the minister’s reply, there wasn’t a single response from any other political representative or other interested body in the Limavady area.”
“Given the number of political parties representing the Limavady area in Causeway Coast and Glens Council and the NI Assembly, one would have expected some response,” said Mr Campbell. He said over the past 13 years he supported the necessity of retention since the first uncertainty arose during a consultation in 2002.
He said given the large rural area that Limavady Courthouse serves “it is essential that people have good access to the legal system if it is required”.
Mr Campbell added that closure would result in extra expenses for “some of the most vulnerable people in our society”, but hoped the courthouse will remain open.