Morley Police Station to remain open on Saturdays?
POLICE and councillors have found the funding to keep Morley Police Station open on Saturdays.
At the end of May, West Yorkshire Police announced that although the station on Corporation Street would continue to be manned 24 hours a day, the front desk would be closed at weekends and midweek opening hours would be cut.
The move, part of a bid to slash £100m from its budget over four years, was put out to public consultation.
On Monday Coun Robert Finnigan, the leader of the Morley Borough Independents, said the Outer South Area Committee was in talks to provide £3,000 towards a scheme jointly funded by the police to keep the station open for a further eight hours on Saturdays.
He said: “That has been agreed in principle but we need to rubber stamp it at the September meeting.
Chief Supt Paul Money, Divisional Commander for City and Holbeck, said: “Following the public consultation, we have taken on board local people’s views, particularly around providing some late and weekend opening.”
The new proposal is that the front desk will open from 1pm-9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10am-6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
“We are continuing to liaise with the council to explore all the available options to see if it will be possible to provide some weekend opening with their support and limited funding from the divisional budget.
“Despite the current pressure on budgets, we are determined to remain as accessible as possible to the public, not just at police stations but through our neighbourhood policing teams who are out there serving our communities every day.”
Coun Finnigan added: “We talked to the police, asked if they were prepared to open up longer hours if we put some finance into it and once we knew they were willing to do that, we asked them to come back with a figure.
“The area committee has the finances to support community safety issues, so let’s get on with supporting them.”
The funding is expected to be agreed at the next meeting of the Outer South Area Committee on September 17.
Following his own policing survey among local residents, Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls said 82 per cent of people were opposed to cuts in the opening hours of the station which is currently open from 8am-8pm midweek and from 10am-6pm on Saturdays.
He said: “That’s a very clear message which I’ll be taking both to Government Ministers and to local police chiefs to ask them to think again.
“Police chiefs here in West Yorkshire are in an impossible position.
“They’ve been made to cut their budgets too far and too fast with front loaded cuts from the Government. Despite assurances from the Prime Minister that cuts wouldn’t impact on front-line services, our local police station help desk here in Morley is being threatened.”
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