- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Blog, Feature, Media
At times it seems as though Powys is at the centre of the world. For one wonderful week in August it appeared that all roads ran to Meifod. For the second time this century Meifod played host to the National Eisteddfod for Wales.
However, like a shower of rain following a day of hot sun, the political grim realities do not go away. A consultation is at present taking place on the provision of courts and tribunals in Wales.
Suddenly we become aware that Powys is a large rural county and many miles often have to be travelled to access centres of health, education and legal services.
“Working together we have an opportunity to build on the strength and independence of our justice system to create a modern, efficient service.”
That is a direct quotation from the Government’s Consultation document. The late Patrick Hutber of the Sunday Telegraph used famously to say, “All improvement is deterioration.”
I am not as cynical as that. However, the alarm bells ring in my brain when I read that innocent-sounding sentence from the Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service Estates Reform.
In Wales, 11 courts are at risk of closure. In Powys, the future of Brecon Law Courts is in the balance. However, this is a consultation and not a final decree.
Just to show how the thinking goes, here is another direct quotation from the Government’s document. “Far from distancing people from justice, this consultation is about creating a system that brings it closer, makes it fairer and faster for all. In a modern, digitally enabled society, we must not insist on so many people coming to a court in person.”
The consultation runs until the 8th October. Joni Mitchell used to sing “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Some of you may wish to know that these are contact details provided by the Ministry of Justice on the web. 01612405021 [email protected].