Police Station Update – Public Alert . . .
The Town Council held a extraordinary meeting on 11th October to discuss a request from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Previously, we as a Town Council, had unanimously decided that we required a Police Station covering Response Teams and Neighbourhood Teams in the Town Centre area.
Joy Allen had written back saying she could not get a site in the Town Centre, thus wanting us to release her from that pledge.
Minute 78: NEWTON AYCLIFFE POLICE STATION UPDATE.
The Town Clerk provided members with an update in relation to the search for a new police station premises for the Newton Aycliffe Neighbourhood Policing and Response Teams.
It was advised that a viable premises had been identified by the police at Parsons Court on Aycliffe Business Park but that the Police and Crime Commissioner was reluctant to investigate this further due to the previous Council resolution that the premises must be in the town centre.
It was requested that the Council rescind the previous resolution that the police premises must be in the town centre and that a letter be sent to the Police and Crime Commissioner requesting that she investigates the feasibility of the freehold purchase of the identified premises at Parsons Court.
There then followed a lengthy discussion during which a number of councillors expressed their opinions on the search for a new premises for the police.
Most Councillors felt the PCC had had over 10 years to facilitate this issue but had done absolutely nothing. It was proposed by Councillor Arun M. Chandran and seconded by Councillor Peter Bergg that the recommendations of the report be approved subject to it being recorded in the minutes that the Council agrees to the premises at Parsons Court being investigated ‘under duress’ as a result of there being no other viable options available, and that the original motion, i.e. that the police station, should ideally remain in the town centre, remains the preferred option of the Council. The proposal was agreed by majority vote.
RESOLVED, as follows:
1. That the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner investigates the feasibility of the freehold purchase of the identified premises at Parsons Court and submitting a formal expression of interest to purchase the premises as a matter of priority and;
2. That the above is progressed as quickly as possible subject to a public consultation exercise being undertaken and;
3. That a drop-in facility is maintained at all times in Newton Aycliffe Town Centre either via a vacant shop premises or the new ‘Community Hub’ and;
4. That the PCC liaise closely with Durham County Council regarding any future ‘Levelling Up’ funding bids for Newton Aycliffe Town Centre with a view to earmarking funds for a permanent premises in the town centre and;
5. That a comment be added to the letter stating that the Council was making this request ‘under duress’ as a result of there being no other viable options available, and that the original motion i.e. that the police station should ideally remain in the town centre remains the preferred option of the Council.
Cllr Arun M Chandran