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Gloucestershire Business News

Lib Dem leader demands apology from Police and Crime Commissioner

A councillor accused of leaking proposals for a new courthouse by the county's Police and Crime commissioner says it is untrue and he wants an apology.

Last week Gloucester City Council Liberal Democrat leader Jeremy Hilton said he was opposed to plans to move courts from the city centre to Quedgeley.

The proposal was discussed at an informal meeting of Tory MPs Richard Graham and Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl and Chief Constable Rod Hansen.

Later, Mr Surl claimed Cllr Hilton had leaked the information to the media last week.

But Cllr Hilton (pictured) has hit back saying this was untrue and in fact the information was made public in a newsletter from Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, dated May 2.

Cllr Hilton said: "Martin Surl has accused me of leaking a confidential discussion that I was not part of, with regard to possible new courts.

"That is nonsense. Mr Surl must retract that statement and apologise. When I issued my press release calling for any new courts to be located in the city centre, I was responding to this email publication issued by Geoffrey Clinton-Brown.

"It was Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown that leaked the chit-chat he and Richard Graham had with him over building new courts at Quedgeley rather in central Gloucester."

Earlier, Mr Surl had warned that if a decision is not taken soon to replace Gloucestershire's only operating magistrates court in Cheltenham and the old crown court building in Gloucester (pictured), the county's court system could be moved outside of the county - possibly to Bristol.

The proposed site for the new courthouse at Waterwells, Quedgeley is near the police HQ and on land owned by the PCC.

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