Fight for Eastbourne’s Court Services
Following the closure of the Eastbourne County and Magistrates Court, Stephen Lloyd requested a meeting with Lucy Frazer MP, Justice Minister, regarding the ‘alternative provision’ that was promised for Eastbourne but has not been implemented.
Essentially, this ‘alternative provision’ was to be a court sitting in Eastbourne on one or two days a week to provide services to the most vulnerable people and those unable to attend Hastings or Brighton Courts. It was also proposed to make use of technology for witnesses who for example may be unable or unwilling to travel to give evidence.
The meeting was to get answers as to why this had not been implemented and to push it through. As the Hastings and Brighton Courts are bursting at the seams and access to justice is impaired, it is the hope that if there is a court in Eastbourne, that a service (albeit more limited than that previously provided) will be available for those most in need.
Stephen Lloyd was accompanied by Zoë Summers who is a Solicitor and Partner in our Eastbourne Family Team along with the President of the Eastbourne Law Society Stuart Grace and Rodney Warren.
The meeting took place at the Ministry of Justice in London’s Petty France on Tuesday 27th February 2018. The Ministry of Justice is a major government department, at the heart of the justice system, with the aims of protecting and advancing the principles of justice that works for everyone in society. It was therefore a fitting location for the meeting.
Lucy Frazer was supportive about the ‘alternative provision’ and a positive response was received. The Government has recently committed £1 billion to HM Courts & Tribunals Service’s reform programme. One of the key aspects of the investment is ensuring justice is accessible but proportionate and making use of the technology available in the modern world.
Court users who previously accessed the Eastbourne Court are now required to use the Hastings and Brighton Courts. A facility in Eastbourne for those most disadvantaged or unable to access these courts is therefore essential as well as pioneering alternative forms of technology.