Two Lincolnshire courts to close as part of government cost-cutting measures

Two Lincolnshire courts will shut down as part of government plans to save £500 million a year.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that both Grantham and Skegness Magistrates’ Courts will close, two of 86 across England and Wales announced on February 11.

The workload from Grantham will transfer to Lincoln Magistrates’ and County Courts.

The cost of running Grantham Magistrates’ Court for 2014-15 was approximately £240,000 and the government has said that the court was operating at around 25% capacity, thereby justifying the closure.

However, a petition with over 300 signatures opposing closure was submitted in protest at the closure.

The UK Association of Part Time Judges also objected to the closure, stating: “Whereas now 89% of people can reach the court within 30 minutes, under the proposals this is reduced to 4%.

“With public transport 33% can reach the court response to the proposal on the provision of court and tribunal estate in the Midlands region within two hours but this is increased to 78%.

“Two hours is an unacceptable amount of time to take to reach court.”

Cases heard at Skegness Magistrates’ Court will relocate to Boston.

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said: “Maintaining our underused and dilapidated court buildings costs the taxpayer £500 million a year but some courts sit for less than half the time available.

“In the digital age I am confident we have measures in place to ensure access to justice is not diminished.”