Thursday, 29 September 2011

Is time running out for Brighton Police Station?

UPDATE... This story has now been picked up by The Argus here... UPDATE

Today a meeting of the Sussex Police Authority's Resources Scrutiny Committee considered a report into the dire state of some of the county's police stations.

Since the Government and the Tory majority on the SPA teamed up to impose about £50m of cuts on the force last year routine maintenance has found itself somewhat out of the window.

Things look particularly bad for Brighton Police's John Street HQ: it was reported that steel cladding designed to protect the building from the elements has been taking something of a battering - and the necessary repairs could now cost more than £2m.

Rather than just patch things up, we all agreed it would make sense to investigate whether a more sustainable solution might be found - even if that meant thinking the unthinkable and moving out. Awful as that may seem, the alternative might just be an annual repair bill of hundreds of thousands of pounds, money that would surely be better spent on preventing crime.

So it looks as though the Tory cuts programme might not just have cost over 1,000 jobs in Sussex (half of whom have, we also learned today, already gone) - they might also have cost Brighton Police their home and created yet another development nightmare for the people of Tarner, whose lives have already been blighted by the construction of the American Express HQ (work that will be going on in some form or other for years). Good work.

I hope closer partnership working with Brighton and Hove City Council can help make sure that, whatever happens, Brighton Police can stay in the city centre, and that the impact of this latest local twist in the police cuts saga is minimised.

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