Responding to today’s announcement of £220 million in funding over two years for vital maintenance in court buildings, Mark Beattie JP, the National Chair of the Magistrates’ Association, said:
“We are delighted that the government has made this vital funding available. It will start to address the large backlog in maintenance and repairs in our courts and represents a first step towards ensuring that our courts are efficient, accessible and fit for the future.
“In June, we published a report that revealed that two thirds of magistrates’ courts in England and Wales are not accessible and that recommended urgent investment in the court estate to remedy this. We urge the government to ensure accessibility is the driving principle behind the announced spending so that disabled victims, witnesses, defendants and practitioners can access buildings and disabled magistrates can undertake sittings without barriers caused by poorly maintained court buildings.
“We will continue to work with our partners in His Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service and the Ministry of Justice to improve the court estate and ensure access for all.”