A POLICE chief has reassured residents a police presence will be retained in Poulton’s town centre despite the closure of the main police station.
Last year 21 police stations across the country were left facing the axe as the force attempts to claw back millions of pounds over a four year period.
Following a consultation which saw 11,000 people respond, the decision was taken to close 14 stations instead of the proposed 21 and make alterations to opening hours.
The front counter service was saved at Kirkham and Bispham but residents in Poulton were told their station would close – although a front counter could possibly relocate to the town’s civic centre.
But at a meeting this week, councillor Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council reassured residents a police presence would remain in the town centre.
He said: “There has been a lot of speculation about the police station, when it will close, what the building will be used for and where it will be relocated.
“I have been assured Lancashire police are searching for a site which will be highly visible within the town centre and there are no plans to move into the civic centre.
“The station will not close in June as previously suggested, although there is no time scale as such, it is expected the current station will be used as an operational base for the next few months.
“And despite rumours, the building is not on the market, that will be some way in the future.”
After the meeting, Chief Supt Richard Bayly echoed Coun Gibson’s comments.
He said: “We are continuing now to find premises within Poulton to me our needs and the need of the community.
“We won’t rush, we will find the right premises that we can afford, if money was no object it would make the search much easier.
“Ideally we would like to find somewhere within the town centre because if our police officers can be seen it will provide reassurance.
“It is too early to say who would be based in the new site, but it would be an operational police base.”
Chief Supt Bayly said he couldn’t say when the currents station would close.
He added: “It won’t be in the next few weeks that is for sure, the building is owned by the police authority and I have not been made aware the building is on the market.
“Once we have found a new site I will be more than happy to attend the next meeting of Poulton Area Forum to advise residents of the changes,”
Other Fylde coast stations affected by closures included Cleveleys, South Shore and Lytham. The doors closed at Freckleton in April.