JUSTICE: Crumbling court buildings need £7 million worth of repairs

Courts which cater for Dunbartonshire in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dumbarton.

By Bill Heaney

Crumbing court buildings across Scotland require more than £7.3 million worth of repairs, the Scottish Conservatives can reveal.

This maintenance work required to fix the likes of leaky roofs, ceilings and damp was revealed in a freedom of information response from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

The cost of the repairs equates to almost the entire £8 million capital budget of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service – so there’s no guarantee that all the ‘essential’ maintenance will go ahead.

That capital budget was £5 million less than the £13 million the SCTS had requested from the SNP Government.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The Scottish Conservatives previously revealed how the courts were told by the SNP that justice was no longer a priority – and this is manifesting itself in the dilapidated court buildings that risk being forced to close, causing delays to trials.

Jamie Greene, right, the Scottish Conservatives’ justice spokesman, slammed the SNP for short-changing our court service and warned that a failure to carry out the repair work risked the enormous backlog of court cases growing even larger.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice Jamie Greene MSP, said:“The shocking scale of repair work required to keep our courts safe and habitable should set alarm bells ringing for the SNP Government.

“The court service requested more capital funds to address this maintenance backlog – but they were ignored and short-changed to the tune of £5 million by ministers.

“We already knew that justice was not a priority for the SNP, and now we’re seeing the consequences of their neglect – potential court delays because essential maintenance to keep them open cannot be carried out due to lack of funds.

“There are tens of thousands of trials outstanding in Scotland’s courts, leaving victims of crime waiting years for justice. This number could get even larger if the state of our courts is not addressed as a matter of urgency.

“Clearing this backlog will help victims get the swifter justice they deserve, but the SNP must provide the courts funding needed to make this a reality.”

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