I’M surprised to see such an animated response from Councillor Toni Fagan re Hereford Shire Hall (herefordtimes.com, January 7).

Shire Hall, where the crown court is housed, is owned by Herefordshire Council. It’s currently closed, and the council has no clear plan as to what it would take to get it reopened.

It’s not about a lack of money but a lack of action by Herefordshire Council.


As the court remains closed it is impacting the most important factor in all of this, the victims, who are being denied the justice they deserve.

I am committed to finding a solution and I have been vocal many times about the importance of tackling the huge backlog of cases that are waiting to be heard.

The court backlog for the West Mercia area is staggering. Before the pandemic, the figure was just over 700, now it is over 1,000 – this is more than a 40 per cent increase. All made worse by the continued closure of Shire Hall.

Let’s be clear, if it were open now the court backlog would have a better chance of reducing.


I continue to play my part to resolve this issue, we need Herefordshire Council to make the same commitment.

We need to find a solution and I will gladly be part of the discussions that need to be had with Herefordshire Council and HM Court Service to ensure victims are able to seek the justice they need in order to move on with their lives.

Coun Fagan needs to devote her efforts to persuading the council she is part of, and her party helps lead, to do the same.


Conservative West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

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