Ann Coffey MP has warmly welcomed the decision to keep Stockport Magistrates and County Court open.
Ms Coffey, who campaigned hard for the retention of the court alongside Stockport’s Labour councillors, said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the news.
She was given the news in a letter from Justice Minister Shailesh Vara, who she had lobbied face to face in Westminster with Margaret Parker and Paul Brearley, the Chairman and deputy Chairman respectively of the Bench in Stockport.
Ms Coffey said:
“Justice has been done today for the people of Stockport. I am absolutely delighted that our modern courthouse has been saved. It provides many valuable services including adult and youth work, a family hearing centre, the county court and tribunals and a highly effective problem solving court.
“This is the right decision. I hope Stockport Courthouse will now go from strength to strength.
“I would like to see it used in a variety of other ways such as for pre-recording cross examinations of vulnerable child witnesses under Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act and providing facilities for people who do not have access to the internet to pay such things as parking and traffic offences fines quickly and efficiently.
“After our meeting, the minister told us it had been one of the most constructive meetings he had held on the issue of court closures. The excellent arguments that Margaret and Paul put forward, drawing on their expertise as members of the Bench in Stockport, were strong, practical and persuasive and successful!
“The minister assured us that his Department would carefully consider all our arguments. I am delighted he has done so and made the right decision.
20 January 2016
During her visit to St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Heaton Chapel, Stockport MP Ann Coffey was impressed by the involvement of the school council, whose members are elected across the school by other children in their class.
Ann was given a tour of the school by the entire school council, after which she met the children from Years 3 and 4 for a question and answer session.
Ann was also interested to hear about progress in the school’s expansion, with a new school building planned to open in September this year, offering much needed additional primary school places in the area. Ann was shown the plans for the new school building, including the playground area which the children have helped to design.
“I had a very interesting visit to St Thomas’ Primary, and was very impressed by the level of questions asked by the children. I can also see that they are excited about the prospect of their new school building, and it’s great that they are being involved in this project.”
Photo attached: Ann Coffey with the School Council and Headteacher Karen Morris at St Thomas’ CE Primary School, Wellington Road North, Stockport SK4 4QG