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Police total 'not hit by downsize'
THE number of officers will remain the same in Chipping Norton despite downsizing into a smaller building, Thames Valley Police has confirmed.
As previously reported in The Journal, the force last month announced plans 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’ and police stations in Charlbury and Woodstock are also being sold and relocated.
Reassuring town councillors at last Monday night’s meeting, Superintendent Colin Paine, local commander, said the town would not see any loss in service.
“We are looking at the relocation of our station with another building,”
he said. “We are not moving out, we will still have the same officers. We don’t have to be leaving until 2015/16 which gives us time to consult and to look at other options. That time gives us the opportunity to look at other partnerships such as yourselves to see what options exist. I know it’s a very iconic building. I’m very attached to it.”
The historic building, which was built in the 1880s, costs about £70,000 a year to run and is too big for the forces’ requirements.
Earlier this month mayor Mike Tysoe said the force should hand the building back to the town with the police switching to the library building in Goddards Lane and the library and museum moving into the old police premises.
Speaking at the meeting he said: “I think the general feeling is we would like to try to keep the police station from being bulldozed.”
Councillor Alex Corfield said: “You can keep that building and we rent part of it, but you actually stay up there.” Supt Paine added: “We have just commissioned some consultants to assess the value for us. We should have the value in the next four to six weeks.”
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