I am calling on the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to stop the closure of Aldridge Police Station amid concerns that there is no plan to consult with local residents on his proposed plan.
The decision by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to close Aldridge Police Station is shrouded in secrecy, lacks consultation and is set against a back drop in which the Government are providing an additional £9.5 million this year for policing across our region. It also comes too soon after the decision to close the front desk service and use it for training purposes.
The decision to close Aldridge Police Station and save £222,000 comes after a decision by the Police and Crime Commissioner to increase back office staff and administration by a staggering £10 million and the final bill for Lloyd House redevelopment hitting a breath-taking £33 million. The current decisions being taken by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner demonstrate the wrong priorities for our local area.
The consultation exercise being trumpeted by Mr Jamieson is a consultation in name only. The Police Station closure programme was sneaked out via a press release at the twelfth hour and even despite the Strategic Policing and Crime Board agreeing to consult nearly a week later there is no plan to engage with local residents across Aldridge-Brownhills.
As of today, there is no plan on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website consultation page and the proposed telephone number (01922 419 589) which we have been advised residents should call about the closure of their Police Station is discontinued. This is not a consultation this is merely a fig leaf ahead of a rubber-stamping exercise on 22nd March by the Police and Crime Commissioner to close the door on our local Police Station in Aldridge.
I cannot accept the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s plan to simply close Aldridge Police Station and especially at a time when that the West Midlands is receiving a record financial settlement from the Government. I call on the Commissioner to abandon this reckless plan and keep Aldridge Police Station open. This is not just about Aldridge and Aldridge residents. This decision impacts across my constituency.