PLANS to reduce the number of criminal court sessions at North Devon Magistrates' Court should not cause redundancies for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service staff, said a senior union official.
The official, who is representing court staff, said he hopes there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the planned changes to the courts at Barnstaple.
Michael Derbyshire is group vice president of the Ministry of Justice group of the PCS union, which represents all grades of staff working in courts, including court clerks, ushers and legal advisers.
He said redundancies could be avoided if the court took on extra work from the Tribunals Service section of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
He said: "We believe we have an agreement with management that there will be no compulsory redundancies and we hope management will stick to that pledge.
"We are aware of the situation in Barnstaple which is due to a drop off in work. But there is also the potential for tribunal work to go into Barnstaple. I'm confident that our staff there are capable of taking on this new work. We believe all jobs at Barnstaple should be secure."
The move could mean that people in North Devon would be able to attend employment or medical tribunals in Barnstaple instead of having to travel to Exeter.
POLL: Do you support plans to reduce the number of courts in Barnstaple? Vote in our poll which can be found on the right-hand side of this page, or by clicking here.