Council take first steps to save police station

Cotswold Journal: (4137200) (4137200)

IDEAS have been put forward to try and save Chipping Norton's old police station, which is being sold by Thames Valley Police.

Town councillors met for the first time to discuss how the historic building could be kept in the town.

Police announced plans last July to sell the town’s Victorian station in London Road and move to a ‘more efficient’ building.

The move is part of a ‘force asset management programme’ which is set to save £829,000 and will also include the sale of police stations in Charlbury and Woodstock.

Chaired by Mayor Mike Tysoe, suggestions put forward included a museum, town council offices, storage of salt and quad bikes or a community area or cafe.

Other ideas include the police hiring part of the building, a creche or a day care centre or even lease out the car parking spaces.

Reporting to the council at Monday night's meeting, Cllr Tysoe said: "It's got potential to do something with it but I'm not quite certain what we could use it for.

"We've expressed an interest we wouldn't mind buying it if the price was right."

Councillor Alex Corfield said: "We need to sit down and actually brainstorm to work out what are the possibilities and what we are financially about to do.

"It's a beautiful purpose-made building, the only one of its type in the county. Personally I would like to see the police station stay there or be part of that site."

A structural survey will now be carried out and the council will seek advice from the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils to see whether the project would be suitable to take on.

Last month, police front counter services moved to West Oxfordshire District Council'sGuildhall reception, which now doubles up as a one-stop shop for police and council services.

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