Police 'fully support' sale of former magistrates' court in Bingley

Police 'fully support' sale of former magistrates' court in Bingley

Philip Davies

The courthouse at Bingley, where Keighley Magistrates sit. The court is earmarked for closure by the Government (9932897)

First published in News
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WEST Yorkshire's top police officer has personally assured Shipley MP Philip Davies that the force is fully behind the sale of the old Keighley Magistrates' Court in Bingley.

Mr Davies has campaigned for swift action in selling the redundant building. At the moment, its maintenance costs continue to be met by the tax payer.

The Tory MP recently sought assurances that the court, which remains connected to the police station, would be properly sealed off as a separate building and thus finally be ready for sale - three years after it shut.

Temporary Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Dee Collins, has now written to him and given the current position.

"I would seek to reassure you that West Yorkshire Police is fully supportive of the planned disposal of the Magistrates' Court building and are not holding up this process in any way," she states.

She then explained reasons for delayed action during the past three years.

"When the Court closed and terminated their lease in 2011 they failed to address the matter of shared services such as security alarm, heating and lighting that serviced two adjacent buildings.

"There was the further issue of the three connecting corridors that were in existence between the building that needed to be removed and made good," Temporary Chief Constable Collins said.

"All of these issues were the responsibility of the Court.

"Previous attempts made by West Yorkshire Police to address the issues via the Court's Agents have failed."

However progress has now been made following a site meeting with agents for the court , who she said had agreed to do the necessary work to physically sever the buildings.

"The Agents have accepted the nature and extent of the works required and that it is their responsibility to complete this work so that they can progress the sale of the building," she stated.

Mr Davies said he was glad some headway was being made.

But he said: "It's pretty poor that it's taken so long to sort these things - they should have been done straight away.

"I shall continue to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice, as this is a big empty building with the taxpayer still funding the bill," Mr Davies said.

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