A SUNDERLAND MP has called for work to revamp the city’s court to be completed.
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has spent £23.5million on plans to build 10 new courts across the country, but work was put on hold due to spending cuts.
Industry magazine the Law Society Gazette reported how nine projects were deferred, with seven of those later cancelled.
The plans for the Sunderland Justice Centre have had £2million spent on it and is one of the projects awaiting a decision.
Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said: “Staff, magistrates and the community have been left in limbo since 2010 while the government decides what to do.
“Almost £2million of taxpayers’ money has been spent so far buying up land and commissioning plans.
“The current building has lasted over 100 years but it was built to serve a different era.
“We now need a new court fit for the 21st century and together with my colleague Julie Elliott MP, I will continue to press the government to act.” The MP spoke out in Parliament on Tuesday.
Justice Minister Shailesh Vara responded by saying the Sunderland Court development – earmarked for land opposite the existing court – was at the forefront of the HMCT’s plans.
A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service said the work on the court was still under review.