Police eye move into Wisbech Fire Station
Police officers in Wisbech could be moving into the town’s fire station as the force tries to save £20 million.
Sir Graham Bright, police and crime commissioner, says the force is holding talks with the owner of the Churchill Road fire station on how to fund the move to cut costs and maintain front-line services.
The police have an 82-year lease on their side of the courthouse, which was sold by the Ministry of Justice to a private developer for £150,000 last year.
Police and fire authorities have been holding talks for two years on a proposal to share the fire station.
Sir Graham said: “My priority is to maintain front-line officer numbers and find savings from back office functions and other cost areas.
“In line with this approach, fixed cost resources, such as buildings and maintenance, are being reviewed and, where possible, costs reduced to contribute to financial savings.
“In Wisbech we have been in discussion with the Fire and Rescue Service for a couple of years about sharing facilities.
“We are currently in discussion with the owner to work out how to best fund the move and continue to work closely with Fenland District Council who are offering professional support to this project.”
Emergency services across the country are looking at sharing facilities in a bid to save money from ever-decreasing precepts from the Government.
The proposed Wisbech move was discussed at a meeting of Cambridgeshire Fire Authority.
A report to the meeting states: “The crews at Wisbech were fully engaged in this piece of work and helped to identify communal areas within the station that could be shared with our blue light colleagues.
“The constabulary are currently located in the old courthouse with a long lease agreement with the landlord.
“Having completed a review of their own asset portfolio they have concluded that a presence is required in Wisbech and are hopeful that they can re-locate to an alternative site within Wisbech.”