A magistrates court, which was closed to save money, is costing £22,000 a month to maintain.

Dewsbury Magistrates was closed in March 2012 alongside 141 other magistrates and county courts as part of Government cost-cutting plans.

But according to official statistics released by the Ministry of Justice yesterday, the empty building is costing £22,000 to run each month.

It is believed the costs include security, heating, business rates and general maintenance.

While the former Dewsbury County Court on Eightlands Road was sold on the open market for £278,000, Dewsbury Magistrates, on Grove Street, still belongs to the Ministry of Justice.

Dewsbury County Court
Dewsbury County Court
 

Yesterday, Dewsbury councillor Paul Kane described the costs of maintaining the former magistrates court as “a complete and utter waste of money.”

Clr Kane, who chairs Dewsbury Regeneration Board, said: “It’s atrocious.

“It’s a travesty that it’s not being used. Why on earth can’t we have a satellite magistrates? The building isn’t even that old.

“I would like to see it reopened because at the moment it’s a complete and utter waste of money.

“It’s an absolute false economy and it’s not working. Sometimes it’s smoke and mirrors. It looks like it’s saving money but it isn’t.”

While the Conservative-led Government opted for the closure of Dewsbury Magistrates Court, Dewsbury Conservative MP, Simon Reevell, campaigned to keep the court open.

Yesterday Mr Reevell said: “It was the wrong decision and it sends the wrong message about local justice.

“I don’t know what they spend £22,000 on but I will be going to the Lord Chancellor and Justice Minister Chris Grayling.

“To me it makes sense to spend money on keeping it open rather than spending so much on maintaining an empty building.

“I’m not for breaking ranks but I think people would have more time for politicians if they thought they voted for what they felt was right, rather than the party line”.