Closing town’s court ‘a danger to children’

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CLOSING Haddington Sheriff Court could affect some of the most vulnerable children and families in East Lothian, a local councillor has warned.

Cllr Shamin Akhtar, whose brief includes children’s wellbeing and education department, said there was “real value” having a local court “sensitive to local issues and local history” which is “particularly important in child-welfare cases” including child protection orders and adoption. She said: “The local knowledge of the officials at Haddington Sheriff Court contributes to decisions about crucial child protection issues being made promptly and effectively.

“I feel that the removal of these cases to Edinburgh will result in delays and additional anguish for the children and families involved.”

Cllr Akhtar added that relocating the court to Edinburgh would mean East Lothian residents facing higher travel costs.