VIDEO: MP questions minister over keeping proceedings in Banbury after potential court closure

The North Oxfordshire MP is hoping to keep some judicial proceedings in Banbury if the proposed closure of the magistrates' court goes ahead.

Justice minister Lucy Frazer told Victoria Prentis they will look at using other public buildings for court hearings during oral questions in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday, June 5).

North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis

North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis

A ten-week consultation on the possible closure of Banbury's court ended on March 29, with the announcement sparking outrage from across the town.

Ms Prentis said in the chamber: "The Minister is aware of my concerns about the closure of Banbury court.

"What steps has she taken to investigate the use of other public buildings for court services?"

Parliamentary under-secretary of state for justice Ms Frazer replied: "My honourable friend has raised her potential court closure with me on a number of occasions.

"I have also read her response to the recent consultation, in which she raises a number of points, including the one she has just identified.

"We will look at using other buildings in the community."

In January, when the consultation was launched, HM Courts & Tribunals Service said Banbury’s magistrates’ and county court is ‘significantly underused’, the building is in need of repair and all work can be transferred to Oxford ‘easily’.

Nicholas Dakin MP (Lab) started the questioning by asking what assessment the Ministry of Justice has made of the effect of court closures on access to justice.

Ms Prentis has been contacted for comment.

Outrage over plans to close Banbury magistrates’ court