Grays magistrates named in closure list

GRAYS magistrates court is among the 93 magistrates’ courts to be closed in England and Wales reports the BBC.

These figures are slightly down from 103 magistrates’ courts and 54 county courts previously marked for closure.

Nearby courts in Waltham Forest and Harlow survived the chop but Grays will go. It is expected that case work will be spread to Basildon and Southend

In a statement to the Commons, Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said changes to the court system would mean a “better, more efficient and more modern” system of justice, with premises modernised.

Mr Djanogly also said that the changes would mean 85% of people could still get to their nearest court within an hour via public transport – down from 90% currently.

But, for Labour, shadow justice minister Andrew Slaughter said: “Courts are not like Facebook or Tesco. They are an important part of many communities, in the same way that people regard police stations or town halls.”

It is estimated that the closure programme will save the government at least £15m a year in running costs, plus an extra £22m in maintaining the buildings.

There will be concerns that the closure will leave another empty building in the Grays town centre.

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