Wakefield Magistratres’ Court earmarked for closure

Wakefield Magistrates Court 23 June 2006
Wakefield Magistrates Court 23 June 2006

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court could close as part of proposals drawn up by the government.

The city’s court is included on a list 91 courts and tribunals in England and Wales earmarked for closure which the Ministry of Justice has released today.

A public consultation on the proposals will run until October 8.

In a consultation paper, the Ministry of Justice said: “It is proposed that Wakefield Magistrates’ Court closes and the criminal work moves to Leeds Magistrates’ Court where there is ample accommodation for staff and hearings.

“There are 21 courtrooms at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, with only ten to 12 being used on a daily basis at present. There will be no enabling works required to accommodate the workload from Wakefield.

“The facilities at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court are sub-standard and out of date for staff, judiciary and all court users.

“The building is not compliant with the Equality Act 2010 due to its listed status and the courtroom accommodation, in particular, is in need of modernisation.

“The building has five courtrooms and is currently well used, however there is sufficient capacity at Leeds and Wakefield Magistrates’ Court offers poor standards of accommodation.”

The consultation covers the proposed closure of 57 magistrates’ courts, 19 county courts, two crown courts, four tribunal hearing centres and nine combined courts.