Marlborough police station: future use of the building remains undecided
This is a news story without much that's very new. Marlborough.news keeps being asked what will happen to Marlborough's police station when it closes.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) asking what will happen to the police station when it closes, has shown that as yet there have been no moves to decide its future use. The police station is owned by the PCC.
It is, however, confirmed that the new police 'touchdown point' that will replace the police station will be at the George Lane car park in the Corner House which used to be home to the Sure Start Centre - now closed.
Marlborough.news understands that heads of agreement have been signed between Wiltshire Council - the building's owners - and the PCC. But it is not yet clear who else will occupy the building.
The 'touchdown point for the Community Police Team and public enquiry office' will be "Open to the public and will be accessible for officers and staff 24/7". When no officers are there, a 'yellow telephone' will be available on the outside of the building for the public to use - like the one currently outside the police station [left].
The move from the police station will save Wiltshire police £90,000 a year.
It is stressed that the current police station houses several specialist police services which can be located anywhere in the county. The PCC says it is too large for the current policing needs for the town.
The documents released under our FOI do include a letter dated 8 September 2017 from a Marlborough resident to the PCC and copied to Claire Perry MP (the sender's name has, as with the other FOI documents, been redacted).
The writer decries the lack of 'consultation with local residents' over changes to policing and the decline in 'face to face contact with the police'. She/he also addresses the 'contentious' news of the closure of the police station:
"To think that only 15 years ago this building was constructed with state of the art holding cells of strategic importance and is now considered redundant. This is a plan that in the future will be seen as foolish and eventually the public will be expected to invest in new facilities."
"...it will be disgraceful if the building is disposed of without discussion with the community and the Town Council. It’s siting is in a central location with easy access and plenty of parking. There is a need for the GP surgery to expand and it could provide a hub for other services such as Social Services, Council and the police themselves."
"I would ask you, as an elected representative, to please ensure that this very important issue is raised with local people, services and the Town Council in order to canvas their options on how this valuable asset can best be used to benefit all the community who fund and support the police."