Solicitors: “We fear Boston court could close”

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

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Legal professionals have said they fear for the long term future of Boston Magistrates’ Court in forthcoming rounds of cuts.

Mike Alexander of Boston Criminal Defence Associates, has said he believes the court, along with Skegness, is at risk of closure.

It follows news that South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes and solicitors are preparing to fight for Spalding Magistrates’ Court after speculation it and others may be at risk in a future Government consultation.

However, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have rebuked the speculation and said ‘there are no current consultations on court closures’.

A spokesman said: “HMCTS continues to keep the use of its estate under review to ensure it meets operational requirements. Any proposals to close courts beyond those already announced with be subject to consultation.”

It is feared that if Spalding did close, Boston or Skegness could be next.

Mike Alexander said this would have a ‘traumatic’ impact on the county, forcing those people who live in outlying villages to travel much further.

He said: “Forget the actual criminals, but what about the witnesses and victims of crime? It’s going to make the whole system crack.”

Colleague John Storer agreed and said any closure would ignore the impact on the community and be solely centred on costs. However, he believed Skegness was at greater risk of the axe as it did not have its own cells and was ‘seasonal’ in the numbers it dealt with.