The final 24 cases at Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court are being heard today, with doors to close for good following more than 100 years of justice.
Scunthorpe Magistrates’ and Family Court will shut at the end of December 22 after it was one of dozens across the UK earmarked for closure by the government.
Cases will now be heard at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court, meaning North Lincolnshire residents will now have to travel by car or public transport.
Court closures were announced by the government in a bid to save taxpayers’ money on underused and dilapidated buildings.
The decision has been criticised by the town’s MP Nic Dakin, who has blamed the government for the closure.
He said: “This is a very poor decision by the Conservative government. As the consultation showed it is against the wishes of local people and stakeholders.
“It is unlikely to save any money and I fear that it will reduce access to justice locally, make it less easy for local people to serve in the magistracy and put further pressure on our hard pressed local police.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have worked in our local family and magistrates’ court and local JPs for their service on behalf of local people over many years.”
North Lincolnshire Council has agreed to provide a facility in Scunthorpe town centre to include video-link technology to link to Grimsby Magistrates’ Court.
The Scunthorpe Court Access Link will be used for urgent housing and family hearings and is set to be based in Church Square House.
Councillor Richard Hannigan, cabinet member for governance and transformation, said: “The technology has now been tried and tested, and work on sound-proofing the designated room is being undertaken to ensure it is fit for purpose ready for the beginning of the New Year.”