John calls for Rotherham venue for benefits appeals

MP John Healey has called for Rotherham’s court building to be used to hear benefit appeals.

Rotherham is the only part of South Yorkshire without its own tribunal venue. Currently, sick and disabled people appealing against a decision about their benefit claim have to travel to Sheffield, Barnsley or Doncaster for their tribunal.

Mr Healey has written to the chief executive of the Courts and Tribunal Service, Peter Handcock, and the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling. He also asked Mr Grayling in the Commons yesterday to allow appeals hearings to take place in Rotherham.

The Wentworth & Dearne MP said in his letters: “Travelling to venues further away in unfamiliar places is likely to cause most people additional stress at what is already a very difficult time.

“The health problems that led them to make a claim for benefit in the first place can mean they suffer with physical pain and other problems that can make travelling difficult, such as depression and anxiety.

“I want an end to sick and disabled people from Rotherham having to travel to Sheffield, Barnsley or Doncaster to seek justice.”

It is thought around one in three tribunals in South Yorkshire relates to claimants from Rotherham.