‘Cash-strapped’ Humberside Police spent £325,000 maintaining disused buildings

HUMBERSIDE Police spent more than £300,000 maintaining the force's disused buildings last year.



PCC Matthew Gove outside a Humberside Police station

CHANGES: Police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove. Inset, the former Queens Gardens station.
Main picture: Jack Harland

Humberside police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove says he does not want the Queens Gardens building to become an “eyesore”.

Mr Grove points out the building only stood empty for three months of that financial year.

He said: “The former Queens Gardens Police Station is on a large site, which is partly shared with Hull City Council. Until recently it housed a major IT installation for the force, which has now been removed and we are looking at options for disposal.

“We are in ongoing discussions with the council on its future development.

“Queens Gardens is a significant city-centre location and I want to ensure its best future use for the city of Hull so it does not become another eyesore like so many others as we look towards the UK City of Culture celebrations in 2017.”

Mr Grove said fresh calculations show it costs £110,000 a year to maintain the empty station, of which £92,5000 is rates.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show a further £27,502 was spent on the former stables in Walkington, which was vacant from November 2014, when the force’s mounted section was scrapped, to last November, when it was sold.

Another £23,401 was spent maintaining the former station in Mount Pleasant, east Hull, which closed in November 2014, when the roads policing team moved to purpose-built facility in Melton.

“Humberside Police owns or leases a very large property portfolio,” said Mr Grove. “In recent years, some of its buildings have become outdated and costly to maintain and new, energy-efficient developments such as Clough Road Police Station in Hull and the Melton facility have replaced them.

Any disused sites are marketed and disposed of as quickly and efficiently as possible to reduce the maintenance burden.”

The Walkington site was sold for £672,000 to Waudby Associates Limited, which has earmarked the land for future housing.

Pharmaceuticals company, Invidior – a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser – bought the former Mount Pleasant station for development purposes for £230,000.

“Both substantial sums that have been used for reinvestment in policing,” said Mr Grove.

He claimed the force, which needs to save £31m by 2019, is always looking at ways to reduce its overheads.

“We are in constant dialogue with other public sector organisations to explore the possibility of sharing buildings to provide better value for money for local taxpayers.”

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