Court switch questioned by councillors
A COMMUNITY council in Neath's biggest village has questioned a decision to move court services to Swansea.
Coedffranc Community Council discussed proposals by HMCTS to move services from Neath to Swansea, when the current court is demolished as part of plans to regenerate the town centre.
A consultation is running until November 7.
The discussion was nearly adjourned because of the absence of Councillor Keith Davies, but Councillor Ian Whitehead-Ross said: "I know it means a lot to Keith, he asked us to put it on the agenda last time."
Chairwoman, Councillor Annette Wingrave, said: "I personally have made my own representations to this consultation as a resident. I don't know if you want to do anything from the council."
Councillor Harry Bebell said: "When it first came out, the idea was to knock down the old magistrates and build a new one very close to it.
"But all of a sudden, due to the financial recession, we have got to find a better idea.
"I think it would be an even better idea for Swansea to amalgamate with Neath Port Talbot.
"What's to say they shouldn't join us?
"We need as much employment and business as Swansea do."
Councillor Whitehead Ross said: "It's important to have a local service, in particular for victims.
"But it says here that the court room in Neath is only used 57 per cent of the time and it's got a £1.3 million back log of building repairs.
"I would like to see health and education more protected than other things.
"It is going to cause problems for victims as well, but given the costs involved they are going to have to do something."
Councillor Karl Whitehead Ross said there were better travel conditions and parking facilities in Neath.
Councillor Paula Bebell questioned whether the Registrar's Office in the town would also be removed in future, because it was also an old building.
"Are people going to have to register their children in Swansea and get married there as well?" she said.
To give your views, visit https://consult.justice.gov.uk by November 7.