Since the announcement of Scunthorpe Magistrates' Court closing on 22 December (today), North Lincolnshire Council has been working alongside the Ministry of Justice to provide an alternative provision.
The council has agreed to provide a facility within Scunthorpe town centre to include video-link technology to link to the court based in Grimsby. The facility will be based in Church Square House and will be used as per court direction in urgent housing and family hearings.
Extensive efforts have been made by the council to make sure a viable option was provided so that those who are vulnerable or may not have access the courts in Grimsby have continued access to justice.
This new facility will be called Scunthorpe Court Access Link (SCAL).
As part of discussions, the council has consulted with local solicitors and support agencies to avoid any disruption and ensure a seamless transition for court users.
Council staff will be able to accommodate those using the facility by liaising with the court in Grimsby, relaying the documents to court and overseeing the facility whilst in use.
Coun Richard Hannigan, Cabinet Member for Governance and Transformation, said: “Since we heard about the looming closure of Scunthorpe Magistrates Court, we have been working hard with the Ministry of Justice to ensure North Lincolnshire is not completely cut off.
“Scunthorpe Court Access Link will provide a video-link facility for North Lincolnshire residents, especially those most vulnerable and will mean they don’t need to travel to Grimsby for certain court cases.
“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.”