New base for village bobby

Warton's former Lytham Road Library and (below) Insp Keith Ogle.

Warton's former Lytham Road Library and (below) Insp Keith Ogle.

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A DERELICT village eye-sore has been spruced up and painted blue – ready to become home to the local bobby.

The closure of Freckleton police station left Warton’s neighbourhood policing team without a place to drop in for a brew –but now Warton Parish Council and the Village Hall Committee have stepped in with the ideal solution.

Inspector Keith Ogle

Inspector Keith Ogle

They have taken over the empty Lytham Road library building, given it a lick of paint, and are set to create a base for officers to pop in and hold PACT meetings with the local community.

Coun Julie Brickles said: “The building was closed by Lancashire County Council as a library and the village hall trustees took over the lease, but they have been struggling for the last five years to know what to do with it because it’s so small.

“Then we spoke to the police and realised we had a fantastic use for it.

“We’ve done it up and painted it blue and now are just waiting to do the inside, although the police are already using it.”

Coun Brickles stressed the former library is not a police station, but said: “It is just for the police to use the facilities there and hold community PACT meetings, but they have already had lots of visitors.

“The PCSO has basically said if he is there and there’s a knock it will be answered, but it isn’t a police station.”

It is hoped other rural villages may follow Warton’s example, which Fylde Inspector Keith Ogle described as “fantastic”.

He said: “They have provided a facility for my neighbourhood policing team to hold meetings and surgeries right in the middle of the town and it just shows how committed they are to ensuring police remains at the heart of the community. It’s fantastic.”