Fears raised over future of Skipton Magistrates' Court

SKIPTON Magistrates' Court could close if the police station loses its cells, a Craven councillor has warned.

Police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan sought to reassure Craven district councillors that there would be no impact on the court if proposals to close the Skipton custody suite - and take people to Harrogate instead - went ahead.

She also told the Council's crime and disorder committee that she had recently been surprised to receive unexpected "reassuring noises" about the future of the court.

But Cllr Simon Myers (Cons), a former criminal barrister, said he believed the Ministry of Justice would decide there was no point in sending people to Skipton Magistrates' Court if they were already in custody in Harrogate.

"Whatever the Ministry of Justice is telling you now, if someone is in custody in Harrogate, the MOJ will say why are we shipping them over to Skipton," he said.

Cllr Myers said he was determined to keep the cells - which councillors were told were not as modern as those at Harrogate - and the court open.

Cllr Andy Solloway (Ind) warned against moving justice away from the town and pointed to the removal earlier this year of traffic offences away from Skipton.

He said two officers would be taken out of Craven every time someone was arrested and driven to Harrogate, impacting on police cover.

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