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Sunderland MPs call for court facilities fit for the 21st century

Bridget Phillipson MpSunderland MPs Bridget Phillipson and Julie Elliott have called on the Ministry of Justice to make clear whether plans to rebuild Sunderland’s courts premises will go ahead.

The Sunderland MPs have written to Courts Minister Helen Grant MP calling for an urgent meeting after a Parliamentary question tabled by Bridget Phillipson revealed the Department had not moved ahead with plans despite years of promises.



Land has already been purchased next to Sunderland’s Vaux site by the Ministry of Justice and architects have drawn up plans.

Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson said:

“Victims of crime deserve court facilities fit for the 21st century.

“I know that there are concerns around the accessibility of the current court and that it doesn’t meet the needs of victims. I know from speaking to local magistrates how keen they are that the rebuilding goes ahead."

Sunderland Central MP, Julie Elliott MP said:

“This is the right time for the rebuilding of Sunderland's court to go ahead. The proposed site is right next to the Vaux regeneration site. A new court will bring further benefits to the area and this key, strategic site.

“Bridget and I have written to the Courts Minister requesting an urgent meeting as I know residents want answers."

 

Letter to Helen Grant MP from Sunderland MPs Bridget Phillipson and Julie Elliott


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Further information:


Parliamentary Questions and Answers relating to Sunderland Court

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 9 February 2011,Official Report, column 241W, on courts: Sunderland, what progress has been made on the proposed rebuilding of court premises in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement. [148557]

Mrs Grant: HM Courts and Tribunals Service continues to keep the use of its estate under review to ensure it meets operational requirements. Any new investment proposals, such as the Sunderland scheme, would be part of wider considerations of the HMCTS estate as a whole.
Hansard, 18th March 2013: Column 555W  Source 
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the status is of the proposed rebuilding of court premises in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Djanogly: HMCS is committed to the delivery of a new Justice Centre in Sunderland. It has acquired the Farringdon Row site from Sunderland city council and completed the design to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage D.

HMCS has a portfolio of major build projects, which are at various stages of their development. In line with standard practice, these will be assessed as part of Government investment and governance procedures and considered against the outcome of the current comprehensive spending review.
Hansard, 21st July 2010 : Column 322W Source

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2010,Official Report, column 322W, on courts: Sunderland, what progress has been made on the proposed rebuilding of court premises in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Djanogly: HMCS remains committed to the delivery of a new Justice Centre in Sunderland. It has acquired the Farringdon Row site from Sunderland City Council and completed the design to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage D.
Hansard, 9th February 2011 : Column 241W Source

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answers of 21 July 2010, Official Report, column 322W and 9 February 2011, Official Report, column 241W, on courts: Sunderland, what recent progress has been made on the proposed rebuilding of court premises in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice continues to review its investment priorities in the light of the current spending review settlement. The business case for new court facilities in Sunderland is in the process of being examined to establish its priority in an updated court building programme. Officials are reviewing all deferred court projects, of which the Sunderland project is one. The review is planned to be completed by February 2012. I will write to you with the outcome of the review when it is known and by March 2012 in any event.
Hansard, 6th September 2011 : Column 380W Source

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