Battle to save historic Flintshire courthouse has failed

Reporter:

Matt Jones

THE fight to save a historic courthouse looks to have failed.

Despite a tireless battle by community leaders to keep Flint Magistrates’ Court open it was announced in December the site would close, along with more than 140 other magistrate and county courts in England and Wales.

And it has now been confirmed the closures will begin in April, although no official date has yet been given for the closure of Flint’s courthouse.

Flint Coleshill councillor David Cox, who has been a magistrate for 20 years, said he expected the court to close in April.

He said: “We were told that with the work that was taking place at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court there would be use for the court up until April, but that after April there would be little use for it.

“We knew that round about April would be the end for Flint Magistrates’ Court.

“The court has been a very important part of Flint for many, many years. The service for defendants will not be as good. A lot of those who use the courts have not got the money to spend on travel.

“Mold is not the most convenient place to get to.”

Cllr Cox said the town would be poorer with the loss of the courthouse.

Members of Flint Town Council fought to keep the site open and encourage wider use for it since plans for closure were first announced in July.

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly MP has announced that £22 million of capital will be reinvested to improve and modernise the courts to which work will transfer as a result of the closures.

Members of Holywell Town Council blasted the closure and said it signalled the end of the administration of local justice while deputy coroner for North East Wales John Gittins, said the closure could see a delay to inquests.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The closure of the courts we announced in December will start in April.”

See full story in the Leader

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