OPPONENTS of plans to close Cupar Sheriff Court have launched an eleventh-hour plea to save it from the axe.
The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee – of which north east Fife MSP Roderick Campbell is a member – met this week to consider submissions before parliamentary orders are lodged that would close the court,
But the committee has been urged to back an all-party motion to annul the orders, meaning the matter could be debated in parliament.
The motion was put forward on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats by their justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP, and both north east Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie have called on justice committee members to support it.
The committee comprises four SNP MSPs, including Roderick Campbell, as well as four Opposition MSPs and one Independent.
So in theory Mr Campbell holds the casting vote and he’s being urged to defy Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskill, who has backed recommendations by the Scottish Court Service to close 10 sheriff courts and 16 JP courts throughout Scotland. Mr Mac- Askill is due to give evidence to the Justice Committee when it next meets on June 4.
Speaking to the committee on Tuesday, Scottish Court Service Chief Executive Eric McQueen prompted further dismay when he revealed that even more courts could be closed as a result of Scottish Government plans to create ‘justice centres’.
Conservative Mid Scotland & Fife MSP Liz Smith said: “The news that Scotland could be set for even more court closures will come as a bombshell for rural communities. Given the backlash against courts closures, it’s incredible this may only be the beginning.”