SURPRISING times we live in, some things seem to take forever with endless discussions, others not quite so much. The closure of Northallerton magistrates court for example seems to have nonplussed many who did not know exactly when it was moving and what arrangements were in place to administer justice locally until the doors were shut on Friday May 31. Enquiries by this newspaper were met by an employee in York revealing it had closed and hearings transferred to York and Harrogate depending on the case.

There is apparently a video link set up which is we understand for witnesses, but possibly defendants. Enquiries to the Ministry of Justice were hardly illuminating although they did at least confirm that the court had closed and there was a video link in the building. Another usually very reliable source maintained the video link was at North Yorkshire County Council's headquarters across the road.

Is it just Spectator who thinks this is really not a very impressive way to administer justice and if the system meant to impose punishment for breaking the law is managed in a confusing and seemingly ad hoc way how effective will it be? There were many protests when the closure was being considered.

In a rural area such as Northallerton and the surrounding hinterland travelling to York and Harrogate can be problematic. So little has been said about how exactly this will work, we see the Magistrates Association has expressed its concern about the manner of this closure and indeed the loss of half the magistrates courts across the country. At the end of the day there are real fears it won't improve the justice system locally.