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Risley Police Set To Move Into Birchwood Fire Station

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 5:57am

By Stephen Topping - Local Democracy Reporter

Image: Kevin Hale

Fire chiefs have signed off plans to allow officers from Risley police station to move into Birchwood fire station.

Cheshire Fire Authority is set to receive just short of £12,500 a year from the police and crime commissioner’s office for allowing police to use the fire station’s downstairs facilities.

The two parties have been in negotiations over use of the fire station since April, when the move was announced following a six-week public consultation held earlier this year.

The lease, which was approved by members of the Cheshire Fire Authority at Wednesday’s meeting, lasts for 20 years – with break points allowed at either five, 10 or 15 years.

The terms include a promise from both services not to interfere with each other at Birchwood station.

Birchwood fire station, in Ordnance Avenue, is set to be one of the first of 21 fire stations across Cheshire to be refurbished as part of an £8.5 million project over the next five years.

The current Risley police station – which is less than half a mile away from Birchwood fire station – provides a base for suspect interviews, meetings and local PCSOs.

It also has a help desk from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday – but this will be relocated to the main Warrington help desk, in Arpley Street, which runs seven days a week.

Cheshire Police says that for every 100 people who use the Warrington help desk, only two use Risley’s, meaning it has the lowest level of demand of any help desk in the county.

The force expects to save £493,000 over the next 10 years as a result of the move.

Speaking as the move was announced in April, David Keane, Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner, said: “The relocation of Risley police base will provide an increased police presence for local residents in a more accessible location.

“It will also provide improved facilities for officers and PCSOs to work from and conduct meetings with members of the public.

“The relocation of the help desk to Warrington will ensure local residents can access more services during longer opening hours.

“As part of this decision, I have asked that the constabulary put in place a plan to ensure the new police base offers even more opportunities for residents to have face-to-face interaction with officers.”

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