A KIMBERLEY councillor is worried a police meeting set up to discuss the implications of funding cuts has been planned to ‘rail road’ through the closure of the town’s police station.
Mel Crow said she was ‘suspicious’ about the purpose of the Police Authority meeting and was concerned it could be used as a disguise for a public consultation to hurry through the closure of Kimberley police station through.
“I am very suspicious about the purpose of this meeting,” she said.
“The ‘improvements to performance’ that the meeting notice talks about might well involve a proposal to close Kimberley Police Station, as this was the line the police were taking last summer when this was first mentioned.
“At that time there had been no proper public consultation and I am genuinely concerned this is just a ‘ticking the box’ exercise to rail road things through.”
The councillor said she was also suspicious about the timing of the meeting – just days before elections when councillors have their hands tied with having their say on community issues.
“The way it is being done is very rushed as local elections will be called on March 25, so basically the public are not being given a lot of time to air their views,” Cllr Crow said.
The Kimberley councillor is now urging residents to make sure they attend the meeting.
“If the public are passionate about keeping local policing then I would urge them to attend this meeting and not leave it to someone else, particularly so close to local elections when councillors are very limited in what actions they can take.”
Nottinghamshire Police Authority announced a round of public meetings county-wide to explain the implication funding cuts will have on local policing and talk about future improvements to performance.
Glynn Gilfoyle, vice chair of the Police Authority, said: “We have undertaken consultation with our partners and we are now holding public meetings. The proposals for the police estate have been widely publicised and will be considered by the Police Authority on March 23. We have already made it very clear that no contact point will close until alternative accommodation has been agreed.
“The priority in all of the proposals to cut costs is to protect frontline policing services and at the end of the day bricks and mortar don’t arrest people.”
The Broxtowe meeting is being held at St Mary’s Church hall in Eastwood March 21 at 7.15pm.
When rumours started last summer about Kimberley police station closing down, the police force denied the claims and said it would be kept open as a contact point.
Police officers since have been shipped over to Eastwood, with front counter staff remaining at Kimberley to man reception.
Eastwood’s proposed £3.5m station was put on hold along with several others in the county because of force budget cuts.