|Hammersmith County Court. Google Maps.|
The closure is being fought by our local MP, Andy Slaughter, and has also been criticised by the The Law Society. Anyone who needs access to the Law Courts will now have to travel to Wandsworth County Court instead.
This closure forms part of a pattern of reduced local services - such as the closure of the public counter at our local police station on the Uxbridge Road. Governments like to talk about decentralisation, and increasing local control, but somehow the drive towards ever-greater centralisation always seems to continue.
Of course, for most of us, not having a local county court won't be a big problem - who uses the courts anyway? But for anyone whose life gets snarled up in the legal system, having to travel to Wandsworth will be an added burden. Local services are good for communities.
No doubt some bean counter at the Ministry of Justice has produced a report saying that fewer, and bigger, courts, will lead to cost savings. But, as anyone who has been through a "restructuring" at the office knows, it's funny how this never seems to work out in practice.