Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire magistrates' court is 'closing by stealth' fears MP

Spalding Magistrates' Court
Image caption MP John Hayes said the court was the "beating heart" of the community

A Lincolnshire magistrates' court is in danger of being "closed by stealth", according to a local MP.

Conservative John Hayes, who represents South Holland and The Deepings, said custody facilities at Spalding Magistrates Court had been closed and fewer cases were being heard.

The court was originally listed for closure by the government in 2010, but was offered a reprieve.

The court service said there were currently no plans for any closure.

'Local justice matters'

Mr Hayes said since the court was removed from the closure list two years ago, services had been lost.

"There are fewer cases being heard and constituents have told me the court is being closed by stealth," he said.

"Local justice matters and access to courts matters. At the end of the day, these are the kinds of facilities that are the beating heart of a community.

"People from the community want to retain their court house.

"What I don't want to see is a series of measures and moves which gradually erode the role of Spalding Magistrates' Court."

A spokesperson for the courts and tribunals service said: "We continue to keep the use of the estate under review to ensure it meets operational requirements.

"Any new proposals to close courts beyond those already announced will be subject to consultation.

"No decisions have been made in regards to any future closures."

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