20th March 2013
Helen Grant MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary Ministry of Justice 102 Petty France London SWIH 9AJ
of State for Justice
Dear Helen, We're writing to request an urgent meeting with you to discuss the planned rebuilding of Sunderland's court premises. We are deeply concerned about the lack of progress and hope you can provide reassurance that rebuilding work will begin before 2015. As you are aware, since 20 II the rebuilding of Sunderland City Court has been raised in Parliamentary questions on no less than three occasions (21st July 2010) (9th February 2011) (6th September 2011). In all three answers your predecessor raised hope that rebuilding work would have been underway by now. However, contrary to your predecessor's responses, your answer to the most recent Parliamentary question on 18th March 2013 did not make any reference to a start date or whether the rebuilding work would still go-ahead. The Department for Justice confirmed it has already purchased land for the new court and commissioned architects. It would be madness not to continue with the rebuilding programme. We therefore would be very grateful to meet at the earliest opportunity to discuss the rebuilding of the court premises in greater detail. It's vital that court staff and residents in Sunderland are reassured that they will soon have a court fit for the 21 SI century.
Bridget Phillipson MP Houghton and Sunderland
Julie Elliott MP Sunderland Central