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Monday, 01 September 2014

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New hope in call for West Cumbrian town hall to become police base

Cumbria's police chief has indicated that police services may remain in Maryport town centre after closure of the present police station.

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Response: Chief Constable Stuart Hyde, left, and chairman of Cumbria Police Authority Ray Cole

Chief Constable Stuart Hyde told councillors on Monday that he would consider the possibility of basing local police at the town hall in Senhouse Street.

This would be an alternative to a previously discussed idea for police to share the town’s Mealpot Road fire station site.

Mr Hyde told Maryport Town Council that a plan to move police services out of the immediate town centre area was not set in concrete.

While the fire station had been mooted, he was happy to listen to other opinions.

After the meeting he confirmed that he was willing to talk to council officers about the possibility of looking at alternatives, including the town hall.

Several councillors had pleaded with Mr Hyde to give serious consideration to the town hall in order to keep PCSOs based within the town centre.

Coun Carni McCarron-Holmes said that housing police at the fire station would add to traffic problems in the Mealpot Road area, which was already busy because of the nearby railway station.

Mr Hyde said the present Eaglesfield Street police station had to close as part of police cost savings and it was no longer suitable.

Police had issued a statement late last year that PCSOs based would move into the fire station site within the year.

Mr Hyde said no decision had been made about front desk staff or public access.

Coun Angela Kendall said: “It is no secret that we want the town hall to stay open and I am sure that having the police here would help.”

Local publican Moree Weir, of the Sailors Return pub in King Street, said the obvious location for the police was the town hall for ease of public access and to enable officers to keep a close eye on the town centre.

Mr Hyde was accompanied on his visit to Maryport by Chief Inspector Justin Bibby, Inspector Mark Wear and PCSO Lisa Jackson.

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