The resident judge at Northampton Crown Court has said he is campaigning for more court rooms to clear the “huge backlog” of family and criminal cases in the town.
At a reception held at the court in Lady’s Lane on Friday night to mark the building’s 25th anniversary, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo said the judges wanted to thank all staff who have given “unstinting and loyal service” over the past 25 years.
Judge Mayo said he was campaigning for more court rooms and for more judges to cope with the “huge backlog in family and crime cases.”
He said: “The continuing economic constraints in the UK have imposed enormous pressures on HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
“Cuts in funding for representation in civil, criminal and family cases has meant that the unqualified staff here have to field an increasing number of queries from the public.
“Equally, staff numbers have shrunk dramatically whilst innovative systems of work and job titles have been imposed from above. Despite these turbulent circumstances, everyone who works here has remained cheerful and industrious.
“The evidence of this hard work is plain for all to see: Northampton remains amongst the most efficient court centres in England and Wales.”
Judge Mayo also paid tribute to his predecessors as resident judge in Northampton; Judge Francis Allen, Judge Julian Hall and Judge Charles Wide and all the staff that supported the work of the court.
He said: “Behind the scenes, we are all helped by caterers, cells staff, jury bailiffs, the witness service, security staff, cafcass and probation officers.
“Visiting judges and recorders all comment on how friendly this place is. A lot of that is down to the permanent court staff here. We are all grateful to them.”