“How do you plead?” …… “FREEZING!”
Court staff, solicitors and members of the public have been left shivering in recent weeks due to a heating fault at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. HMCTS have so far failed to rectify the problem which has resulted in defendants and witnesses having to give evidence in uncomfortable cold.
The heating at the Nottingham Justice Centre (which houses the Magistrates’ Courts, Family Courts and Tribunals) has been out of action for a number of weeks with Court staff resorting to purchasing small fan heaters in an attempt to warm up courtrooms – with little effect.
One solicitor told Bhatia Best that a Magistrate became so cold she had to sit wearing gloves.
One Court staff member has been told that the heating is likely to be out of action for weeks to come and although parts had been ordered in an attempt to rectify the problem, they were the wrong parts.
The problem comes at a time of further Ministry of Justice cuts and Court closures and highlights the on-going crisis within our justice system. The Guardian reported on 4.11.19 that children as young as 10 are sometimes waiting more than a year for their youth court cases to be heard after cost-cutting measures resulted in half of all magistrates courts closing between 2010 and 2018.