THE fate of Cupar Sheriff Court has been sealed.
Scottish ministers today rubber-stamped controversial proposals to close the court in May next year and transfer its business to Dundee.
Confirming the closure of 10 Scottish courts, Justice Sectretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Unfortunately, the fragmented and outdated court system we inherited – where many smaller courts are not fit for purpose and are under-used – is no longer sustainable. While the Scottish Court Service operates independently of the Scottish Government, it is not immune from the same financial pressures. And against the backdrop of unprecedented cuts to the Scottish budget from the Westminster Government, the SCS is seeking to save £4.5m from its revenue budget and £6.4m from its capital budget in the period 2011- 2012 to 2014-2015.
“By making its proposed court closures and other changes to the handling of court business, SCS estimate they can save £1m a year in running costs and £3m in maintenance costs, money which can be better spent on improving services and facilities at a smaller number of courts.
“Clearly, I appreciate and understand the concerns voiced by those who wish to retain their local court in their local high street. However, the volume of business carried out in the sheriff courts recommended for closure is around five per cent of the total business, which SCS is confident can be dealt with within a smaller number of better equipped courts.”
Full reaction in next week’s Fife Herald.