Court closure would hit vulnerable, law centre warns

Written by on September 9, 2015 in Housing, News, Transport - Comments Off on Court closure would hit vulnerable, law centre warns

Brixton evictionSouth Londoners battling eviction will face even greater obstacles in their fight to keep a roof over their heads if the closure of Lambeth County Court goes ahead.

That is the warning from Stuart Hearne, manager of a law centre that offers free legal advice and professional advocacy services to vulnerable people.

He said the government proposal to close the Lambeth court and move its work to Wandsworth would force people into longer journeys and strain the resources at that court.

“Closing Lambeth County Court will seriously affect access to justice for people in the area,” he said.

“It will mean anyone who has to go to court to challenge an eviction order will have to travel further and face a court that is even more overloaded.

“It will increase journey times quite considerably and make it more difficult for people to attend hearings that can dramatically affect their lives.”

Research by the Camberwell-based Cambridge House law centre used the postcodes of court users, rather than the generalised data used by the government to justify its claim that the closure would have only a marginal effect on court users.

It showed that:

  • A journey from St Matthews Estate, Brixton, that now takes 27 minutes by bus one way to Lambeth County Court, would take 49 minutes one way to Wandsworth County Court.
  • A journey from the High Trees Estate on Tulse Hill, that now takes 40 minutes by bus one way to Lambeth County Court, would take 1 hour, 4 minutes minutes one way to Wandsworth County Court.
  • A journey from Bermondsey that now takes 44 minutes by bus one way to Lambeth County Court, would take 1 hour 36 minutes one way to Wandsworth County Court.
  • A journey from Peckham that now takes 39 minutes by bus one way to Lambeth County Court, would take 1 hour 45 minutes one way to Wandsworth County Court;
  • A journey from Rotherhithe that now takes 53 minutes by bus one way to Lambeth County Court, would take 1 hour 49 minutes one way to Wandsworth County Court;

Cambridge House

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. He works out of an office in St Matthews and before that the Bon Marché. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

Comments are closed.