Skegness Magistrates’ Court earmarked for closure

Skegness Magistrates’ Court is being recommended for closure in a government consultation launched today (Thursday).

Court crest
Court crest

It is one of 14 courts in the Midlands region deemed to be underused in the report published by Courts Minister Shailesh Vara.

The majority of courts on the closure list are not used for at least two thirds of their available time, and one in three are not used three quarters of the time.

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

“Access to justice is not just about attending court. 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.”

A HM Courts and Tribunals Service statement said alternative ways to access to justice would be maintained including using technology such as video conferencing to give evidence, and other local civic and public buildings, including town halls, for hearings.

The buildings being consulted on represent 16 per cent of hearing rooms in England and Wales, which are, on average, used for a third of their available time, equivalent to fewer than two out of five days a week.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service Chief Executive, Natalie Ceeney said: “Our estate is a significant asset. We currently have a number of surplus buildings and this consultation puts forward proposals on their future.

“As we modernise our service so that fewer people will need to attend a court in person, spending money on unsuitable or rarely used buildings is not good value for money for taxpayers.

“I encourage anyone with an interest to respond to the proposals.”

The consultation will last for 12 weeks and close on October 8.

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