Wakefield Magistrates’ Court to close

Wakefield Magistrates Court.
Wakefield Magistrates Court.

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court will close, it has been announced.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service said the building is one of 86 courts and tribunals which will close across the country.

The decision to close the city’s court followed a consultation, which was launched in July last year.

The district’s cases will now be moved to Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

In a consultation paper, the Ministry of Justice said the facilities in Wakefield were sub-standard and out of date for staff.

It also said there was sufficient capacity at Leeds and that Wakefield offered poor standards of accommodation.

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said: “Our courts and tribunal system is in need of urgent reform.

“Maintaining our underused and dilapidated court buildings costs the taxpayer £500 million a year but some courts sit for less than half the time available.

“This is simply unsustainable. Closing these courts in poor quality buildings will raise £40 million to re-invest in the justice system, and save hard-working taxpayers £27 million per year.

“The decision to close a court is never taken lightly, but in the digital age I am confident we have measures in place to ensure access to justice is not diminished.”