Following the announcement of the closure of Hartlepool’s Magistrates Court and County Court the town’s concerned MEP Jonathan Arnott has suggested the council could investigate helping out.
He has put the idea forward in the wake of Northumberland County Council offering to host courts in their buildings as Morpeth County Court is also being axed following a national review of court services.
“In the same way that it is wrong that people involved in cases will have to travel to Newcastle it is wrong that Hartlepool people will have to journey to Middlesbrough,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.
“Magistrates courts are meant to be about local justice dispensed by local people and the Courts and Tribunal Service has been turning this on its head by deciding to close 86 courts.
“The driver for these closures is, of course, money rather than justice and they have been made despite opposition from local people.
“While it should not be the responsibility of local authorities – who are all struggling to balance the books – to step into the breach if it can be arranged then that would be a great asset to the town and I would urge Hartlepool Borough Council to give it consideration,” said Mr Arnott.