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> Court Closure, Coalition plan to go ahead with closure despite advice of top judge...
Richard Garvie
post Oct 28 2010, 08:32 AM
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It has become clear since the CSR that the Coalition are planning to go ahead with planned closures despite the advice of Lord Justice Oldring, who has said that Newbury courts should remain open. As a last ditch attempt to save the courts, I have invited the Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan MP to Newbury to visit some of the areas in the constituency that will be badly hit by the closure. I'd like to hear from those of you who would like to come along and give your views to the minister, email me on richard.garvie@googlemail.com.
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blackdog
post Oct 28 2010, 08:57 AM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 28 2010, 09:32 AM) *
It has become clear since the CSR that the Coalition are planning to go ahead with planned closures despite the advice of Lord Justice Oldring, who has said that Newbury courts should remain open. As a last ditch attempt to save the courts, I have invited the Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan MP to Newbury to visit some of the areas in the constituency that will be badly hit by the closure. I'd like to hear from those of you who would like to come along and give your views to the minister, email me on richard.garvie@googlemail.com.

Wouldn't it be better to invite the Justice Minister rather than his Shadow?
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Richard Garvie
post Oct 28 2010, 09:15 AM
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I did send an email, but was told to email my local MP who didn't reply!!! So much for fighting this like a "terrier with a rat". If our MP won't talk to me about it, I will have to try and get senior MP's from my party to fight it for us. I gather some of the local bench are now a little upset that Richard Benyon seems to be taking credit for their response to the consultation now too!!! The fact is, he needs to be seen to be doing something to fight this, and in my eyes he has only filled out the consultation form and given a strongly worded story to the press.

If he was fighting this, he would have brought people here to show them the problems people in areas like Lambourn, East Ilsley and Hermitage will face getting to Court. He would have spoken to the Justice Minister about his concerns. He claims to be good friends with the PM, has he not raised the issue with him? The fact is, Richard has said things on a number of subjects before (such as equal gay rights) and then voted in a complately different way in the house. If he has to vote on the bill in the house which includes proposals for closing our courts, where will his loyalty be? He always votes the same way as Cameron, look at his voting record. Will he vote with the PM this time round, or will he actually stay true to his word and vote against the bill?
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TallDarkAndHands...
post Oct 28 2010, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 28 2010, 10:15 AM) *
I did send an email, but was told to email my local MP who didn't reply!!! So much for fighting this like a "terrier with a rat". If our MP won't talk to me about it, I will have to try and get senior MP's from my party to fight it for us. I gather some of the local bench are now a little upset that Richard Benyon seems to be taking credit for their response to the consultation now too!!! The fact is, he needs to be seen to be doing something to fight this, and in my eyes he has only filled out the consultation form and given a strongly worded story to the press.

If he was fighting this, he would have brought people here to show them the problems people in areas like Lambourn, East Ilsley and Hermitage will face getting to Court. He would have spoken to the Justice Minister about his concerns. He claims to be good friends with the PM, has he not raised the issue with him? The fact is, Richard has said things on a number of subjects before (such as equal gay rights) and then voted in a complately different way in the house. If he has to vote on the bill in the house which includes proposals for closing our courts, where will his loyalty be? He always votes the same way as Cameron, look at his voting record. Will he vote with the PM this time round, or will he actually stay true to his word and vote against the bill?


How naive are you? Do MP's follow the party line? ummmm Let me think what happened tp MP's who dared challenge Bliar/Browne/Mandelson by voting against them. Whats that a party whip?? Oh you have just lost it.....

Do I care if a few Criminals have to travel to Reading to face prosecution? Not a jot. Hopefully the inconvenience will put them out for a day.
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Roost
post Oct 28 2010, 02:41 PM
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That's fine and I agree about the criminals BUT

What about the witnesses, victims and local volunteer staff???!

Apparently it's already difficult enough getting witnesses and victims to court in the first place without telling them that they'll have to go to Reading. And if they do, will they be entitled to claim back 'reasonable expenses'? If so then the closure could end up being more expensive than keeping it open!! Or maybe this would be financed by the sale of the land for housing.....

Mr Garvie, I would set a challenge to the shadow justice minister, or indeed any minister interested enough to listen. That would be along the lines of getting public transport from, say Inkpen or Hampstead Norreys to Reading in time for a court appearance in the morning. Let them see first hand the time-consuming logistical and financial difficulties that would be faced by the residents of West Berkshire.

Government by the people for the people. Sure I heard that somewhere..........


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Richard Garvie
post Oct 28 2010, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (TallDarkAndHandsome @ Oct 28 2010, 02:49 PM) *
Do I care if a few Criminals have to travel to Reading to face prosecution? Not a jot. Hopefully the inconvenience will put them out for a day.


As above, what about the victim, witnesses, police officers, solicitors and such like? The cost of the golden tickets (travel warrants) that get these people to court? The Coalition want to close it because it will save £150k in running costs, but they haven't considered all of the new expense involved. Just look at Lord Justice Oldrings report before you shoot me down. The thing is, if Richard Benyon was representing the views of the people in West Berkshire (which he is there to do remember), I wouldn't need to invite shadow ministers or anyone to West Berkshire. As for whips, George Osborne has voted the same way as Cameron less times than Richard Benyon. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Ge...play=allfriends http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Ri...play=allfriends

If Hannah Cooper had been elected at the last election, I'm sure she would be voting to save our court regardless of what Miliband / Brown or anyone else had said.
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GMR
post Oct 28 2010, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 28 2010, 09:32 AM) *
It has become clear since the CSR that the Coalition are planning to go ahead with planned closures despite the advice of Lord Justice Oldring, who has said that Newbury courts should remain open. As a last ditch attempt to save the courts, I have invited the Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan MP to Newbury to visit some of the areas in the constituency that will be badly hit by the closure. I'd like to hear from those of you who would like to come along and give your views to the minister, email me on richard.garvie@googlemail.com.


To be honest this isn't really a surprise, it has been planned a long time ago.
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Iommi
post Oct 28 2010, 04:57 PM
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Richard Garvie; is there an easy place to lodge a protest; like an email or something?
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HeatherW
post Oct 28 2010, 07:24 PM
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I can understand the cuts we will have to endure over the next couple of years but I do think it is wrong to remove our one and only court. This will create a backlog and Newbury might be pushed to one side, in favour of the bigger cities.
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Jayjay
post Oct 28 2010, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE (Roost @ Oct 28 2010, 03:41 PM) *
That's fine and I agree about the criminals BUT

What about the witnesses, victims and local volunteer staff???!

Apparently it's already difficult enough getting witnesses and victims to court in the first place without telling them that they'll have to go to Reading. And if they do, will they be entitled to claim back 'reasonable expenses'? If so then the closure could end up being more expensive than keeping it open!! Or maybe this would be financed by the sale of the land for housing.....


You are allowed to claim public transport or mileage, but not parking. The charges for parking in central Reading, where the courts will now be heard, is horrendous.
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HeatherW
post Oct 28 2010, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE (Jayjay @ Oct 28 2010, 09:27 PM) *
You are allowed to claim public transport or mileage, but not parking. The charges for parking in central Reading, where the courts will now be heard, is horrendous.


In other words it is a rip off. You would think that if they expect you to travel further out they would help towards the fare. Granted, if you are well off then that is ok. But a lot of poorer people (who go as witnesses) have to find the money themselves.
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Richard Garvie
post Oct 29 2010, 02:40 PM
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Worst affected by this will be victims of crime, who will have to travel to give evidence. Bobbies will be off the beat longer, solicitor companies will abandon West Berkshire and the cost of getting offenders to and from court will rise dramatically. The Coalition have made the decision based on the potential £150k saving for the court being closed. But they haven't taken into accound the additional costs or the impact it will have on other areas such as victims and the police resources. They would also have to fork out to expand Reading Court, three courts there already have no access to the cells.

I've challenged Richard Benyon to a public debate on the matter, but I won't hold my breathe. The fact is, when the bill comes up in the house which way to you think he will go? I can hardly see him going against his buddy DC, so looks like we will have to rely on others to vote against the bill and hope it fails. This is why I'm inviting senior Labour MP's to get first hand experience of the problems we face so that they can bang the drum for West Berkshire in the house.

Iommi - The consultation has now closed, but please write to Richard Benyon or the NWN asking him to take up the challenge of a debate.
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Guest_Newbury Expat_*
post Oct 29 2010, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 29 2010, 07:40 AM) *
Worst affected by this will be victims of crime, who will have to travel to give evidence. Bobbies will be off the beat longer, solicitor companies will abandon West Berkshire and the cost of getting offenders to and from court will rise dramatically. The Coalition have made the decision based on the potential £150k saving for the court being closed. But they haven't taken into accound the additional costs or the impact it will have on other areas such as victims and the police resources. They would also have to fork out to expand Reading Court, three courts there already have no access to the cells.

I've challenged Richard Benyon to a public debate on the matter, but I won't hold my breathe. The fact is, when the bill comes up in the house which way to you think he will go? I can hardly see him going against his buddy DC, so looks like we will have to rely on others to vote against the bill and hope it fails. This is why I'm inviting senior Labour MP's to get first hand experience of the problems we face so that they can bang the drum for West Berkshire in the house.

Iommi - The consultation has now closed, but please write to Richard Benyon or the NWN asking him to take up the challenge of a debate.


Is Hannah Cooper no longer the standing candidate for Labour in the area? Would she not be better placed to have public debate? If not then someone should tell the webmaster of the Newbury Labour Party website (which interestingly purports to be a collective, but has a link called "Contact Me" - an army of one perhaps).

Is it really an effective use of an MP's time to hold forth with public debate on any issue that airs itself with anyone who demands it? Debates are typically a chance for people who like to hear the sound of their own voices, with no other aim than self-promotion to make themselves appear relevant, during which no action is taken.

I would hope for the sake of those who live in the constituency that if any response is made it is via an efficient e-mail or phone call and not a waste of time public debate.

I think it's commendable that you take an interest in local matters but you do seem to be lacking a little bit of realism with your recent posts Richard. Pour your energies into achievable goals (such as the skate park) and people will appreciate it more.

In the meantime, I am going to demand that Obama debates with me over the need for more British pubs in Southern California tongue.gif
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 29 2010, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 28 2010, 04:18 PM) *
If Hannah Cooper had been elected at the last election, I'm sure she would be voting to save our court regardless of what Miliband / Brown or anyone else had said.

Forgetting for the moment the utter impossibility of Newbury returning a labour MP, it's worth asking why Hannah Cooper, or for that matter anyone else from Labour other than yourself Richard, hasn't got something to say for themselves. You complain about a poor response from Richard Benyon, but for all his duties as a cabinet minister I've found him to be very responsive. Hannah Cooper on the other hand didn't respond to my e-mail. Fair play to you for engaging publicly like this - and goodness knows it's rare for any of our snivelling politicos to hob nob with the hoi polloi - but this is all just an election stunt isn't it.


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Iommi
post Oct 30 2010, 09:19 AM
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I think the Richard that we should be concerned with is the one in parliament. It was Richard Benyon that said he would fight terrier like to save this local facility. Well I would imagine eyes are watching on this issue, and Richard Benyon seems to have gone all quiet on this.

In criminal and political circles, I understand the word is 'tame' to describe a politician like Richard Benyon.
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 30 2010, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Oct 30 2010, 10:19 AM) *
I think the Richard that we should be concerned with is the one in parliament. It was Richard Benyon that said he would fight terrier like to save this local facility. Well I would imagine eyes are watching on this issue, and Richard Benyon seems to have gone all quiet on this.

Is this actually about the court closure, or is it just another bit of politicking. For sure, if RB said he'd "fight like a terrier" to save the court (and I missed it if he did) then it's reasonablle to expect him to be seen doing just that. But I'm totally fed up with politicians riding issues for their own political advantage when they care nothing for the cause or the people involved, and RG has so very suddenly become so very passionate about so very many issues that I'm losing faith.


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Iommi
post Oct 30 2010, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Oct 30 2010, 07:11 PM) *
For sure, if RB said he'd "fight like a terrier" to save the court (and I missed it if he did) then it's reasonablle to expect him to be seen doing just that.

Not verbatim, but close enough.

Mr Benyon wrote on his internet blog last June: “I have said it before and I will say it again. The plan in Whitehall is for courts like West Berkshire’s to close and for the centralising of all magistrates’ courts in somewhere like Reading.
“This will diminish our local community and seriously disadvantage victims of crime who will need travel far to an unfamiliar place in order to give evidence.”

He added at the time: “The endless tinkering with Government departments means I have to take this up with the justice department and the Home Office. Both will try to fob me off by passing the buck to the other but I am like a terrier with a rat on this one. I will persist.”


http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/News/Article...articleID=13743
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Richard Garvie
post Oct 30 2010, 06:58 PM
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The debate would be between all interested parties, so Labour, Richard Benyon, Lib Dems, Greens, UKIP??? I've instigated it because of his response in the paper calling my concerns (and those of other residents) "utterly rediculous". He can say that sitting in Westminster, but I doubt he would say it in a public debate with a large audience. Whilst we are debating the court closure, let's also debate the CSR. He says he will support the hike in tuition fees, he says he will back the unfair changes to child benefits, he says he will support sure start (but will he actually?)... the list goes on. He says one thing and does another. He was very vocal before the court consultation began, but what has he done since? He seems to want to take credit for the magistrates responding to the consultation, because I doubt they would have replied if he had not gone to the meeting that he was invited too!!!

The Labour website is about to be revamped and has not had the focus it deserves since the election so may be a bit out of date. This is due to a revamp which is underway, and therefore will be very limited until it is relaunched.

Simon - It's not a stunt. I've published my contact details many times, and have spoken to numerous people since. My job is Community Organiser and Campaigns Manager, therefore it is my job to engage with people. I may not be selected to stand yet, so to say I'm only trying to boost my own votes is a little wide of the mark, but yes I am trying to put together a campaign that reflects the local area. The website and manifesto launch will be the final pieces of the jigsaw, and they are both quite far down the road in terms of development. The fact that I have to ask senior Labour ministers to fight this for us is a discrace, Richard Benyon is our MP and he should be fighting it in the house. But all we get is silence.... That's why I think there should be a debate.

As for a reasonable use of an MP's time, he doesn't speak to constituents on the phone, he doesn't personally reply to emails and when his staff do, they conflict with what he votes for in the house. I think it's perfectly acceptable for our local MP to take a couple of hours one night to debate the court closure and CSR with other parties and residents. If he was representing the views of the constituency, there wouldn't be an issue. He obviously needs to hear what people think to help him remember why he is in parliament.
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post Oct 30 2010, 08:33 PM
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The closure of 'lesser' Courts started years ago - Hungerford, Lambourn, Bradfield & Sonning - and has continued certainly since 1997 with the withdrawal of admin services etc to 'the Centre' (Reading). Hard for a 6 month old Government to reverse something that has been rolling for at least 13 years. Maybe, if it is such an awful thing, whoever had control previously would've reversed the process...... Personally I reckon the 'local justice' system, having evolved for hundreds of years, was more effective than the new version we are having imposed within a generation.
As for contact with Mr Benyon, while I don't contact him that often I have always found his responses prompt and appropriate, and he has always researched and delivered a sound reply. I have no expectation whatsoever that he will reply in person to every contact (but I know he does to some). Considering the dross he must receive I am sure his time is better spent than hand-crafting a reply to everyone, regardless. I doubt even Milliband Minor answers every correspondence in person
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Jayjay
post Oct 30 2010, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Oct 30 2010, 09:33 PM) *
As for contact with Mr Benyon, while I don't contact him that often I have always found his responses prompt and appropriate, and he has always researched and delivered a sound reply. I have no expectation whatsoever that he will reply in person to every contact (but I know he does to some). Considering the dross he must receive I am sure his time is better spent than hand-crafting a reply to everyone, regardless. I doubt even Milliband Minor answers every correspondence in person


Must agree with this. I have always got a full written reply from Richard Benyon. To get an appointment with his surgery, you do have a lengthy wait though.
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