Statement on Proposed Police Station Closures
West Midlands Police have announced a plan to close 28 police stations across the region. In and around the Northfield area, Kings Norton, Longbridge, Warstock and Bartley Green are scheduled to close.
Although nearby Bournville Lane will continue to be the Police headquarters for the area, these proposals mean that there will be no police stations in Northfield constituency itself by the end of 2017.
In the recent debate I held in Parliament on 8 September, I and other Labour MPs warned about the consequences of Governments cuts to Police funding. We are now seeing the reality of those warnings. You can read more about the debate here.
The blame for all this lies not with West Midlands Police, but with the Conservative Government who will have cut £130m from the budget by 2020. West Midlands Police are being put in an impossible position; faced with cutting numbers of officers or closing offices.
Faced with that choice, it is not surprising that they have prioritised front line policing above buildings in an effort to keep officers on the street. The trouble is, it’s not likely to end here. Cuts from the Government are set bite even deeper in the years to come, as I said the debate here.
In the announcement by West Midlands Police (see here), Police have said they have taken the decision in order to save £8.5m.
None of the offices scheduled to close in the Northfield area have front office facilities, and all the areas covered will still be served by Bournville Lane Police Station. Even so, there are still big questions to address and that’s why I’ll be making my views known during the consultation period. Please let me know what you think.
In the months I’ll also be continuing to press Ministers to change course. After all, it is the cuts they’re imposing that are jeopardising policing in the West Midlands.