THE leader of North Devon Council and the area's MP have called for more consultation on plans to cut magistrates' courts in North Devon.
Both North Devon MP Nick Harvey and North Devon Council leader Brian Greenslade said they should have been consulted.
Mr Greenslade said: "I am very concerned to hear about the proposals by HM Courts and Tribunals Services.
"This would mean fewer courts sitting in our town, with the vast majority of North Devon hearings instead taking place in Exeter.
"The implications of a reduced service in Barnstaple would be huge for many people, including victims, witnesses and police. Aside from having to travel some distance to get to court, we will effectively lose much of our local justice service.
"As the local authority, I believe North Devon Council should have been consulted and asked for their views on these proposals in good time.
"However, this hasn't been the case. I am requesting the consultation period be extended to allow all interested parties to be able to have their say and to hopefully add weight to the campaign to keep the town's magistrates' courts fully open."
Mr Greenslade and Mr Harvey have co-signed a letter putting these points, and a few others, to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service.
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