Council begins fights back against government plans to close Wakefield Magistrates Court.

​Date: 29/07/2015

PR 5021


Wakefield Council is calling on the Government to scrap plans to close Wakefield Magistrates Court.

Under proposals drawn up by the Ministry of Justice the City's court would close and the criminal work would move to Leeds Magistrates Court.

Cllr Peter Box Leader of Wakefield Council said: "There is no doubt that Wakefield residents will be adversely affected by the closure, if it goes ahead.

"The city's court deals with a wide range of crime like assault, domestic violence, sexual offences and driving offences. Getting justice if you are a victim of crime or a witness to crime will become even more difficult if the Magistrates Court closes.

"The cost and time to travel to Leeds, particularly for those living in the south of the district, will undoubtedly prove difficult.

"Wakefield residents should have fair and reasonable access to the justice system and we, as a Council, cannot, sit back and allow this Government to close the last of the district's Magistrates courts, potentially putting justice out of the reach of some of our citizens.

"I have been speaking about this to my follow Council leaders from across West Yorkshire and I know we have their full support in our call for the government to scrap this proposal."

The Ministry of Justice has launched a public consultation on the proposals, which runs until October 8. Wakefield Council will be submitting a formal response to the plans.

The Labour Group, who are the controlling party of Wakefield Council will also be putting forward a formal motion against the government's plans at the next meeting of Full Council in September.