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Court opens in Swansea Civic Centre

Swansea Lord Mayor Cllr Mark Child, centre, in the new temporary court room at Swansea’s Civic Centre with His Honour Judge Geraint Walters, left, and His Honour Judge Paul Thomas QC.

A temporary court room has been set up in the council chamber at Swansea’s Civic Centre.

It comes at the request of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as part of a solution to help the courts system respond to the pandemic.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service officials worked with Swansea Council officers to make the new arrangements. Lord Mayor Mark Child visited the new facility to mark its opening.

Cllr David Hopkins, council joint deputy leader and cabinet member for delivery and operations, said: “I’m glad that the council and courts service has been able to work hard together to agree this arrangement.

“It’s vital that agencies collaborate effectively in this way, especially at challenging times such as this.

“It also means that the council is earning important new rental income which will help us continue to deliver top quality local services.”

“Swansea has a ‘can do’ approach and this was illustrated this year when we built a 1,000-bed hospital at Bay Studios in response to the pandemic.”

Cllr Child said: “I thank the court officials and judges for showing me around the new facility.

“It’s important that Swansea plays it part in helping them respond to the pandemic. Like every other part of society, our courts continue to face new challenges due to coronavirus.”

The MoJ started using the Civic Centre’s chamber and a number of support rooms for an initial eight months on August 17. Other local courts remain open.

Council meetings that once took place in the chamber have taken place in the refurbished Guildhall chamber for a number of years.

It may be that in future a small number of council teams will move to other locations within the Civic Centre but the public’s use of the building will not change.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service will manage the people who come to use their new temporary facility.