Rothesay Sheriff Court’s final sitting will take place on Monday, November 18, it has been confirmed.
The official closure date has already been announced by the Scottish Courts Service as Saturday, November 30 - a date which raised some eyebrows, since neither the court nor its home at Argyll and Bute Council’s Eaglesham House office is open at the weekends.
And since all Scotland’s courts will be closed on the preceding Monday, November 25, for the St Andrew’s Day public holiday, the final sitting of the Rothesay court will take place a full 12 days before the official closure.
Court fines can still be paid at Eaglesham House until November 29, but any payments made in person after that date will only be accepted at a court building which is still open for business.
There will be no one day set aside in Greenock for Bute civil and criminal cases after the Rothesay court’s closure, with all the island’s business simply being accommodated alongside the existing case load from the Inverclyde area - a move which also makes it even more likely that The Buteman’s coverage of Rothesay court business will cease after November 18.
Meetings between Scottish Courts Service staff and representatives of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to discuss the detailed impact of the closure were held in Rothesay on Monday.
Widespread concern over the effect of the court’s closure on police and other public services, and on members of the public, was swept aside when the Scottish Courts Service’s proposals were endorsed by the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee in June.