Yorkshire courts set to close to save cash

COURT buildings across the region could be closed as part of Government measures to cut spending.
Yorkshire courts look set to closeYorkshire courts look set to close
Yorkshire courts look set to close

Courtrooms in Halifax, Rotherham, Wakefield and Scunthorpe are among 91 courts and tribunals earmarked for closure nationwide.

Courts Minister Shailesh Vara said: “We are reforming the courts and tribunal service so that it meets the needs of modern day users.

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“As we bring in digital technology for better and more efficient access to justice, fewer people will need to physically be in a court.

“This means that we will need fewer buildings, and with many already underused and in poor quality, now is a good time to review the estate.”

He said the majority of the courtrooms earmarked for closure were not used for two-thirds of the time available.

The proposals will also see the East Parade Sheffield Tribunal merged with Sheffield Combined Court and Harrogate County Court merged with the town’s magistrates court.

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Magistrates Association national chairman Richard Monkhouse said: “Our members know that court closures are coming, the Lord Chancellor and his predecessor have both said as much.

“We accept that there is scope for efficiencies in the system and that frankly some courts are underused due to a variety of reasons, not least the trend in fewer cases coming to court over recent years.

“As with previous closures, our prime concern is that access to justice and the administration of the law is not adversely effected. To that end we will be engaging with the consultation and making our views known accordingly.”