An MP has hit out at plans to close two courthouses in Calderdale saying: “We’re not Happy Valley but we need a court.”

Holly Lynch has attacked the Government’s proposals which will see Calderdale Magistrates’ Court and Family Court in Halifax and Halifax County Court close by the end of the year, with cases transferred to Bradford.

Calderdale Magistrates' Court, Halifax.

Local campaigners had put forward a plan to save at least one court but this was rejected by the Government.

In a debate in Parliament, the Halifax Labour MP said although the depiction of her constituency in the hit TV series Happy Valley – starring Sarah Lancashire – was entirely fictional, the town still needed a court.

“Anyone who has seen the recent BBC series Happy Valley would be forgiven for thinking that surely there was enough criminal activity in Halifax to keep two courts busy, processing criminals, around the clock, perhaps even with enough demand to open a Crown Court due to the severity and frequency of the criminal activity taking place.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch
Halifax MP Holly Lynch

“I am pleased to inform you that Happy Valley, whilst thoroughly gripping television, is not an accurate portrayal of law and order across Calderdale. Back in the real world we were prepared to compromise and see one of our two courts close.

“We recognised efficiency savings could be made, and in a move predominantly led by the local magistrates’ bench we actively campaigned for a merging of the courts in a way which would have delivered a cost saving for the Government, while access to local justice would have been maintained.”

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Calderdale Magistrates' Court, Halifax.

The Halifax courts are likely to close between October and December this year, and consultation with staff is taking place.

Nationally, 86 courts will close, saving £27 million a year. Wakefield Magistrates’ Court will close, with cases moved to Leeds.