Courts that serve Bedfordshire at risk of closure under new plans

Courts to close
Courts to close

Four courts which serve Bedfordshire could all be closed under new plans announced by the Justice Secretary Michael Gove today.

A consultation has been launched on plans to close 91 courts across the country, as part of Government plans to reform courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

And four courts which serve Bedfordshire, namely Mid Beds Magistrates’ Court and Family Court and Bedford County Court and Family Court are among those earmarked for closure.

In addition to the proposed closures, a number of integrations will take place although none of the four courts earmarked for closure which serve Bedfordshire are part of the merging plans.

The consultation covers the proposed closure of 57 magistrates, 19 county, two crown and nine combined courts plus four tribunal hearing centres.

Since June last year, all Bedfordshire adult and youth crime, local authority civil, and crime and probation cases have been listed at Luton.

Shire Hall, in St Paul’s Square, Bedford, had remained open, at a cost of about £1,000 per day, to hear family court cases including civil cases previosuly heard at Bedford County Court in Goldington Road.

The consultation closes on October 8 and can be viewed in full here on the Ministry of Justice website (as a PDF).