No closure until a new base is found

I was interested to read Jane Shaw’s letter about the petition that was being carried out in Park View mall about ‘Saving the police ptation’ in Whitley Bay (News Guardian, March 6).

Early on that Saturday morning I was walking through the mall where the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming local election in Whitley Bay in May was standing with tables and petition sheets.

I did go across and tell him that the mayor had met with the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable.

I explained that Whitley Bay police station will not close until any new premises are operational. He said he would still continue with his petition.

Several residents have told me that they signed the petition to try and help secure the facility in the town; they did not realise that it was being organised through the Conservative Party.

Northumbria Police cuts are for the same reason as the council imposed cuts; because of huge cuts in funding from central government.

For information, Northumbria Police budget has been cut by £60m since 2010 and another £14m needs to be cut from the budget this year – the commissioner is of the belief that everything possible should be done to keep police officers on the beat.

Many of the stations are costly to run, some are not open to the public at all, some are with limited hours.

The plan proposed by the commissioner is to relocate the Whitley Bay station and the new base will be in the heart of the community, it will be more accessible and fit for purpose.

There will be no relocation of any station, including Whitley Bay, until the new base is up and running.

The police are asking the public for any suggestions for the new location, please let me or them know so they can be considered.

The council is doing all it can to assist the police with local knowledge within the town to help identify any space.

Sandra Graham

Councillor for Whitley Bay