The Henley Standard has returned to its “Open Justice” campaign and called on the Government to consider opening a new court for South Oxfordshire. The campaign is backed by local MP and Spectator editor Boris Johnson.
The Henley MP has written to Yvette Cooper, parliamentary secretary to the Lord Chancellor’s Department, and Colin Clifford, chief executive of the Thames Valley Magistrates’ Courts service, asking for a meeting to discuss the restoration of courts in the area.
The Standard took up the campaign last August after first Henley Magistrates’ Court and then Thame Magistrates’ Court was closed and criminal cases from the area were heard as far away as Oxford. Oxford Magistrates’ Court itself was later closed for two months for repairs.
Local cases were going to any one of five courts, the closest 20 miles away, and, without updated court lists, the Standard felt its journalists were being stopped from doing their job of covering courts properly.
Johnson told the weekly that he had wanted Cooper and Clifford to record the grave anxieties of his constituents at the closure of the courts.
“This is inimical to justice,” he said.
By Jean Morgan