Essex: Police station moves into the library

MONEY-SAVINGS plans to close community police stations and move services into libraries and fire stations are being put into action.

Following a trial scheme in Tiptree the proposals are now being rolled out in West Mersea, Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team in West Mersea will be based from the fire station in Barfield Road and Essex County Council’s West Mersea Library in the High Street.

Essex Police has to make savings of about �40 million over the next four years, with the first cuts of �17 million coming in the financial year 2011/12.

At the West Mersea launch day on Saturday, Chief Superintendent Alison Newcomb, divisional commander for the area, said: “Working together with the local library service and fire and rescue service we can ensure that members of the public have access to their neighbourhood policing team at a convenient location and accessible times.

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“Sharing the fire station and library will also help all three agencies make best use of the financial resources we have.”

Deputy Chief Officer Adam Eckley, of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As a service we are always looking to use our resources in the most efficient and effective way to make sure every penny counts for the council tax payers who fund us.”

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Kay Twitchen, vice-chairman of Essex County Council said: “This is a brilliant initiative to make it easier for local people to access a range of services. It also makes better use of publicly owned buildings, and I think local people will welcome the change.”

The launch of the scheme in Wivenhoe will be held on March 26 while the closure of Brightlingsea Police Station has been delayed due to minor building work.

After initial concerns about the station’s closure, Brightlingsea Town Councillor Alan Goggin said he had been reassured.

“There has been a hold up in Brightlingsea, but they have made a decision and the closure will go ahead,” he said.

“Alison Newcomb came and visited the town council and we were pleased by what she said. There should be no reduction in service and we could even see an improvement.

“This could also mean that Brightlingsea is less likely to lose its fire station and library.”

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