Wrexham MP warns Magistrates' merger could be 'legally challenged'

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A decision to merge Wrexham and Flintshire Magistrates' Benches could have 'profound implications' on local people, according to Wrexham MP Ian Lucas.

Mr Lucas has written to the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling, asking him to reconsider the proposal, because of the impact it would have on the Wrexham area.

The MP has been a long standing opponent of the proposed merger, and has made submissions to consultations ran by the Ministry of Justice.

In his letter to Mr Grayling, he says:

"This could have profound implications for Wrexham people - whether that is the court staff who face uncertainty over their jobs, the cost to all those involved in court cases having to make additional journeys to Flintshire, or indeed the impact upon our town's legal professionals."

"It is little wonder that the possibility of a legal challenge to the proposals is now being seriously discussed in Wrexham."

– Ian Lucas MP

A spokesperson for the HM Courts & Tribunal Service said the decision was made after consulting local authorities, Criminal Justice System partners and stakeholders, including local MPs.

"Following a local consultation, Flintshire and Wrexham Local Justice Areas were merged into one new Area.

"The merger was to make the best use of judicial, legal and administrative resources to improve the service for court users.

"It will improve the effective delivery of justice by increasing flexibility in dealing with cases and increasing the opportunities for magistrates to retain experience and their competence."

– HM Courts & Tribunal Service spokesperson