Published: December 14, 2010
Burnham residents face 20 mile trip to nearest magistrates court

Residents in the Burnham-On-Sea area will soon have to take a 20 mile trip to Taunton - instead of a ten mile trip to Bridgwater - to visit the nearest magistrates court.

Controversial cost-cutting measures announced by the government on Tuesday afternoon (December 14th) will see Sedgemoor Magistrates Court in Bridgwater (pictured) closing next year, with all its workload moving to Taunton.

It means the nearest court to Burnham will be Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court, which is over 20 miles away.

Burnham-On-Sea councillor Neville Jones told "This is a sad day for local justice. As a former magistrate myself, I strongly feel that justice must be seen to be done at a local level in order to act as a deterrent."

"Over the past 20 years, we've seen Axbridge, Burnham and now Bridgwater Magistrates Courts closed. A central court in Taunton 20 miles away just won't fufill the central plank of justice."

The decision to close Sedgemoor Magistrates Court came from the Ministry of Justice, which said a series of court closures nationwide will save taxpayers in England and Wales £41.5m, plus a possible £38.5million from the sale of assets.


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