At Justice Questions, Bridget asked the Justice Minister Shailesh Vara:
“Sunderland’s courts are in urgent need of rebuilding, as the Department has previously recognised, spending nearly £2 million in preparation. I am grateful for the meeting that took place with the Minister, but we have been in limbo on this since 2010. When will a decision be taken?”
The government replied:
“As the hon. Lady acknowledges, we have had a meeting, and I can assure her that of the 500 buildings the court estate encompasses, the ones to which she refers are very much at the forefront. She will appreciate, however, that we have a large estate and we keep matters under review, and we will keep her and her colleagues informed as soon as we are able to do so.”
Commenting after Justice questions, Bridget said:
“Staff, magistrates and the local community have been left in limbo since 2010 while the government decides what to do.
“Almost £2 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent so far buying up land and commissioning plans.
“The current building has lasted over 100 years but it was built to serve a different era. We now need a new court fit for the 21st century and together with my colleague Julie Elliott MP, I will continue to press the government to act.”