Councillor’s fears for locals over Haddington Sheriff Court closure

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The proposed closure of Haddington Sheriff Court has attracted concern from East Lothian Councillor Shamin Akhtar, cabinet member for children’s wellbeing and education.

She said: “I think there is real value in having a local court, sensitive to local issues and local history, where a Sheriff and lawyers acting for clients are aware of local circumstances, local conditions, local families and local concerns. This is particularly important for child welfare cases including the granting of Child Protection Orders and also adoption and permanency cases.

“I am very concerned that the closure of Haddington Sheriff Court will lead to delays in adoption and permanency cases being heard because we understand that Edinburgh Sheriff Court already has problems in meeting the timescales required in the
cases that it deals with for Edinburgh. “

The councillor added that the “local knowledge” of the officials at the sheriff court contributed to decisions about crucial child protection issues being made promptly and effectively.

“I feel that the removal of these cases to Edinburgh will result in delays and additional anguish for the children and families involved,” she claimed.

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