WE'RE all waiting with interest a decision on the Ministry of Justice plans to close Northallerton court as part of a wholesale revolution in dealing with offenders. The town is one of eight currently being targeted and objections there have been many.

It seems to make no sense on any level of delivering justice - except apparently flogging off court buildings in the past few years has raised around £115m, £34m more than the Ministry thought.

As they are taxed with cutting annual spending by £265m this still seems a drop in the ocean, and the National Audit Office, who have looked at the whole slash and burn scheme, conclude they’re facing a daunting challenge.

Worryingly Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO said in a recent press release that the Courts and Tribunal Service had improved its approach but was behind where it wanted to be and that "significant risks remain."

She added: "Not only could these delay improvements being delivered on time, the tight timetable could also force HMCTS to make changes before fully understanding the consequences for the justice system.”

The county lost Richmond and Stokesley courts in the last cuts and the idea is defendants travel to Teesside, York, Harrogate or Skipton instead.

Good luck with all that in a county where public transport ranges from infrequent to non-existent .Spectator would like to bet if it does close it will simply mean more cash for travel claims, many more no-shows, and justice being badly served.

We’ve asked the Ministry when decisions are expected. “In due course” came the reply. Holding your breath is not advised.