Local Labour AM Jeff Cuthbert has urged his constituents to contact him with their views on the proposed closure of Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published plans to close the magistrates’ courts at both Caerphilly and Abergavenny, with work being transferred to courts at Newport and Cwmbran, which are the two other existing courts in the Gwent Local Justice Area.
HM Courts and Tribunal Service (a division of the MoJ) argues that the Caerphilly court – which is currently only open two days a week and has no staff permanently based there – is in significant need of refurbishment and the cost of this cannot be justified.
HM Courts and Tribunal Service believes that work would be better carried out at the new, purposely-built Newport court, as well as the court at Cwmbran. It argues that such a move would ‘deliver much improved facilities for court users and magistrates’.
Jeff Cuthbert AM said:
“I am keen to hear my constituents’ views on the proposals to close Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court and transfer the workload to courts at Newport and Cwmbran.
“In the consultation document that I have received from the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunal Service sets out the case for why it believes that such a move would be beneficial.
“However, I do want to know what my constituents think of these proposals as it would mean an end to the direct presence of local justice in Caerphilly for the first time in many years, with my constituents having to travel further to Newport or Cwmbran if these plans go ahead.
“Given that this could have significant implications on travel times and costs – particularly for those of my constituents who rely on public transport – I would urge them to contact my office to make their views known, before the consultation closes, so that I can feed back to the MoJ.”
The consultation can be found online at: www.justice.gov.uk/consultations.
The deadline for responses is Monday 21st July.