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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

91 Court Closures

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The government proposals to close 91 courts and tribunals, this will not only affect GMB members but front of house staff, security, custody staff and escort drivers etc.

GMB members at GEO Amey are very concerned for their jobs, some with young families as they listen and read about the closures in newspapers and on TV.

GMB are in the process of visiting these courts to talk to members about the affect these changes will have, as far as we’re concerned no consultations have yet taken place or arrangement put in place.

GMB is calling on Michael Gove to rethink, this will not only put people out of work, but will also increase travelling time and cost for any relocations available.

If Michael Gove thinks that these courts are not being used fully, why does it take 10 years for a trial to take place when two workers are killed at a manufacturing company because of a crane collapsed? The full hearing will not take place till September 2016 due to shortage of capacity in the courts.  (See Notes to Editors)

Stuart Harrison, GMB Organiser said: Even by Michael Goves standards the proposed cuts to the justice system of 91 court closures is drastic to say the least, Security staff who are employed both in the courts and also providing services will be affected by the cuts potentially leading to job losses. This again shows that the Tory government are prepared to even compromise our safety. The proposal will reduce courts by 16% with 5 regional courts affected at the same time the Tory Government allow MPs to have a 10% pay rise there is no way that it can be perceived as Justice.

Contact: Stuart Harrison, GMB Organiser 07957 266840 or Samantha Jones, Media Administrator 0121 550 4888 or 07939 874272

Notes to editors:

Courts earmarked for closure in the West Midlands are:

Birmingham Youth Court

Sandwell Magistrates' Court

Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court

Solihull Magistrates' Court

Stafford Magistrates' Court

Two killed at construction site as crane collapsed press release:

GMB Join Protesters As Case Against Company And Director Over 2006 Battersea Fatal Crane Collapse Is Heard In Southwark Crown Court On 27 May 2015

It is an outrage that there will be a 10 years delay for trial to take place for the company and the director for two deaths due to a crane collapse says GMB

GMB will join other protesters outside the court as the case against a crane hire company and its director over the deaths of an employee and member of the public when a tower crane collapsed at a construction site in Battersea over 8 years ago is being heard in Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday 27 May 2015 at 11am. The full hearing will not take place till September 2016 due to shortage of capacity in the courts.

The first appearance was at Westminster Magistrates Court at 2pm on Wednesday 25th February where Falcon Crane Hire Ltd and Douglas Genge were charged with Health &Safety at Work Act (HSWA) breaches after HSE identified alleged failings with maintenance and overloading of the crane in question.

Jonathon Cloke, 37, fell to his death from inside the cab of the crane when it overloaded and snapped at a Barratt Homes site in September 2006. A section of the crane then struck and killed Michael Alexa, 23, as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street outside the development.

John McClean, GMB National Health and Safety Officer, said “ GMB is joining this protest since the full hearing will not take place till September 2016 due to shortage of capacity in the courts.

It is an outrage that there will be a 10 years delay for trial to take place for the company and the director for these deaths due to a crane collapse.

The case now moves to the Crown Court. GMB will discuss with the local trade unions and the families whether to stage a protest outside the Court on March 11th.

Faulty crane maintenance caused these deaths. The Notification of Conventional Tower Crane Regulations 2010, introduced after a Battersea led campaign to prevent further crane deaths, which set out the duty to notify the use of conventional tower cranes on construction sites to HSE, have since been revoked as “red tape”. See notes to editors for copy of HSE press release of April 2010 on the Tower Crane Regulations.

Employer pressure led to these regulations being revoked and the associated Register closed down so from April 2013 there is no longer a duty to notify tower cranes on construction sites to HSE.

The long interval between the deaths and the court case and the revoking of regulations on crane collapses “as red tape” provide a clear example of how little human life is valued.”

End

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