Row over plan to shut police front counter

Chris Webb
Chris Webb
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Labour has waded into a row with Conservative MP Paul Maynard over the closure of the front counter at Bispham Police Station.

Mr Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has warned the move will leave constituents with a long journey if they want to see an officer face to face.

Paul Maynard

Paul Maynard

But the contituency’s Labour party spokesman Chris Webb said: “I can’t believe Paul Maynard has the cheek to complain about local police closures.

“He has a long-standing record voting for police cuts.

“Only few months ago Paul Maynard MP had opportunity to reverse the cuts to local police and emergency services and he voted against . This call to save Bispham police station is just hypocritical.

“If he really cared about local police stations remaining open, he should apologise for this voting record and lobby his Tory government to reverse the cuts and give Lancashire Police the resources it needs to remain operational in places like Bispham.

“With cuts, totally over £72m to Lancashire police, resulting in over 1,300 police and staff being lost, how does Paul Maynard MP expect services to stay the same?”

However Mr Maynard said: “Since 2010 the funding provided by government to Lancashire police has risen by more than £63m.

“It is true to say forces across the UK have been asked to find cost savings and efficiencies but Lancashire Police, in the plainest terms, receives more money now than it did seven-years-ago.

“I am concerned that in this case the people of Bispham and the surrounding areas were not given a full range of options from which to choose.

"The Commissioner has the power to raise additional funding for policing through a council tax precept.

"As a proportion of the £12m income from council tax this year, the cost per-person of retaining the front counter at Bispham would be very sma

"At no point were the people of Blackpool asked if they were willing to pay a little extra specifically to keep these services running.

"To ask those who are unwilling or unable to report crime online or by telephone or those who by necessity have to report to a police counter the cost will now be far higher."