Mixed views at police meeting

A DISAPPOINTING number of residents turned out to a public meeting in Kimberley, held as a last ditch effort to save the town’s police station.

About 40 people turned up to the parish hall on Monday night to confront senior Police Authority figures about their plans to close Kimberley Police Station and the front counter at Eastwood station.

Kimberley Town Council was hoping some residents might be able to suggest alternative ways the police force could save money.

Several suggestions were put forward, but Cllr Steve Brunt said he felt the ‘deal was done’ and the ideas would not be seriously considered.

“It was clear their minds were already made up. I think it’s done and dusted,” he said.

One meeting-goer suggested renting Kimberley Police Station instead of selling it so it could be used in the future when the force’s budget becomes more stable, and another suggested police officers were given vehicles similar to mobile homes to travel around in, instead of moving them in to community centres.

Kimberley town councillors suggested selling offices belonging to all the senior officers and basing them out in the community instead of the beat bobbies. They also suggested selling Eastwood station instead of Kimberley, pointing out that the force would get £39,000 for the sale of Eastwood, instead of £16,000 for Kimberley.

Cllr Shane Easom said: “Kimberley is a much more modern building.

“You could move all of the response officers back here, and distribute the Eastwood officers into community bases as you are doing in Kimberley. And you would save the renovation costs on Eastwood station.”

But two residents stood up at the meeting and said Kimberley Police Station was barely used and people needed to be more understanding about the cuts and the decision made.

“I have often wondered what that building is hidden away opposite the brewery, and I have never been,” one said.

“I think busying out officers in the centre of town is a brilliant idea. It’s got to be a thousand times better than having them in that remote station.

“I want all our authorities to do that – save tax payers money.”

People asked if Eastwood station would be axed, but the panel of officers would only confirm it was not on the list for the next round of closures.

Vice president at the authority, Glynn Gilfoyle, said at the meeting he had listened to what people said, and had made a note of suggestions and ideas.

Should plans be given the green light on September 21, Kimberley-based officers will be moved to the security office at Ikea, the parish hall in Kimberley and the Temple Centre in Nuthall. The station will be one of 12 closing county-wide and 24 of the 42 front counters will also close.e police force has to save £42m over the next four years.