Neath MP Peter Hain has urged the public to get behind Neath Magistrates Court which is currently the subject of a Government consultation over its future. Launching a petition calling on the Government to scrap its plans to send criminal cases from Neath to Swansea Mr Hain said, ‘Local cases should be heard by local Magistrates who know the local area in a local venue.’
‘This is another Government attack on local facilities following on from Citizens Advice Bureau and the ongoing question mark over the Crown Post Office which will be a devastating blow for the town. Some of the suggestions in the Government’s consultation are preposterous and raise serious concerns over whether they have seriously looked at the implications or whether it is merely a paper exercise undertaken miles away from Neath. To suggest that 85% of the population live lest that half an hour from Swansea Magistrate Court they have clearly never tried to drive into Swansea for a 9am meeting.
‘There will be a knock on effect on other services in the town including the Probation Service who are currently based in Neath and solicitor firms based in Neath that represent local people. The Government needs to rethink its proposals and seriously look at finding an alternative venue to house the facility.’
Mr Hain has set up a petition on line calling on the Government to scrap the plans. To add your name to the petition visit:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dExfNDFZaUYwTUFkY1pQZy1YNlI2TFE6MA
The Ministry of Justice launch a consultation on moving criminal cases to Swansea Magistrates Court and Family Matters to be sent to Port Talbot on 24th September. The Consultation closes on 7th November.