Council Concerns Over Police Station Sell-Off - Update
Police say the building is not fit to be a station
Ealing Council has expressed concerns about Metropolitan Police plans to sell-off a borough police station.
The council received a letter on Friday, 25 June asking for its views on the force’s asset management plan, which includes proposals to sell-off Norwood Green Police Station in Norwood Road, Southall. The council only has until Monday, 5 July to respond.
In 2008 the council objected to plans to close the station, but police proceeded to mothball the site. Now police want to sell the station altogether.
The council never believed the safer neighbourhoods team base at the Arches Business Centre on Merrick Road provided a suitable alternative because of its poor location. The council was also concerned that the closure put extra demand on Southall Police Station.
Cabinet member for Safer Communities, Councillor Ranjit Dheer, said: “We are completely opposed to the plans to sell-off Norwood Green Police Station. Fear of crime in Norwood Green and Southall Green wards is amongst the highest in the borough, so if anything we need to have a more visible policing presence in the area. The closure is also having a knock-on affect on Southall Police Station, which suffers long queues at the front desk.
“The force has offered to reinvest the money in the remaining stations in the borough, but that does not help the people of Norwood Green. They have also claimed the safer neighbourhood base in Merrick Road is a suitable alternative, but there is no front desk facility, it’s not open much of the time, it’s off the beaten track and there is no parking.
“I’m also concerned that again the council is being asked for its views on this at the last minute, which gives us little opportunity for community consultation. I understand that like the rest of the public sector budgets are tight, but this is a very poor cost-saving exercise and I would ask the Met to urgently reconsider this plan.”
Superintendent Ian Jenkins says the building is not fit for purpose and no use as a police station.
''In 2008 as part of Met Police Authority Asset Management Plan Consultation, Norwood Green police station was put forward for closure. The reason for this was that it was not fit for purpose. A valuable alternative was identified at the arches at Merrick Road and in 2009 Safer Neighbourhoods Teams moved to the arches.
''They continue to be a visible and accessible policing presence in the Southall area and crime has not risen specifically as a result of the move.It is always a shame to see historical buildings being closed but in this case it would have cost a significant amount of money and the building does not specifically meet our needs.''