Wales

Court closure plans to go ahead following consultation

The figure of Lady Justice

Ten out of 11 courts which were under threat of closure will be shut, the Ministry Of Justice has confirmed.

Courts in Brecon, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Pontypridd and Wrexham are to close completely.

Dolgellau, Holyhead and Llangefni will shut when alternative venues are found.

Carmarthen's civil, family, tribunal and probate hearing centre is being retained, while cases at the town's law courts will be sent elsewhere, which is also the case in Prestatyn.

The UK government consultation on plans to close 91 courts and tribunals in England and Wales ended last October.

It believes 97% people could drive to court within an hour, but a map produced by the Law Society suggests it would take longer for those who rely on public transport.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards, who has led the campaign to retain court services in the town, said Thursday's announcement was a partial victory.

"Today's news is bitter sweet in that we will see the closure of that iconic Guildhall courthouse but our efforts, including those of the legal profession, local magistrates and the public at large have succeeded in retaining legal proceedings in the town," said the Plaid Cymru MP.

"This is a significant achievement when we consider the historical and cultural importance of Carmarthen as the judicial capital of west Wales."

But the Labour MP for Anglesey Albert Owen has criticised the decision to close two sites in his constituency.

"This is a devastating blow to the community of Anglesey - I am disappointed in the government's plans to close the courts in Llangefni and Holyhead and in the manner with which they opted to announce this decision.

"The government simply has not listened and is closing local services by stealth."

Closing

  • Brecon Law Courts
  • Bridgend Law Courts
  • Carmarthen Law Courts (The Guildhall)
  • Dolgellau Crown and Magistrates' Court
  • Holyhead Magistrates' Court
  • Llangefni Civil and Family Court
  • Neath and Port Talbot Civil and Family Court
  • Pontypridd Magistrates' Court
  • Prestatyn Magistrates' Court
  • Wrexham Tribunal (Rhyd Broughton)

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