Brave or incompetent, police have left taxpayer with bill

From: Paul Sherwood, South Kilvington, Thirsk.

BACK in January, there was much coverage by the local media about proposals just put forward by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner to relocate the police administrative headquarters onto a greenfield site at South Kilvington.

It was later identified that the site was not only to be the administrative building but also an operational police base replacing the police office and custody suite in Northallerton nine miles away. The whole complex had an expected staff level of over 500 personnel, swamping a village of 220. This futile venture was to have cost the taxpayers of North Yorkshire in the region of £20m.

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Neither the commissioner’s office nor the police had been willing to communicate in any meaningful way with concerned residents and have prevaricated for the past seven months.

Over the past four months very little had been heard from either the Chief Constable or the Police Commissioner other than that they were progressing their development plans as the existing Newby Wiske Hall (listed building) was unsuitable as a headquarters – and yet the former Police Authority purchased it in about 1976 as “fit for purpose”.

One of the long list of futile reasons for re-location was that Newby Wiske was not central enough in the county, Ripon is fairly central. But now we have been told that despite the commissioner wasting £620,000 of North Yorkshire residents’ hard earned money, in poinless evaluation and feasability studies they have dropped the proposals and are moving to the outskirts of Middlesbrough to share 
with Cleveland Police, central indeed!

But at least Northallerton will retain the totally unsuitable office. We could have had about 15 additional constables for that incompetently squandered sum.

From: Chris Foote-Wood,
Brook Terrace, Darlington.

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the decision by North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan to cancel plans to build a new Police HQ at South Kilvington near Thirsk is a brave one. It takes courage to write off the £620,000 already spent on the scheme. I only hope the projected £10m savings will be realised. Moving some facilities to Cleveland Police’s proposed new HQ at Hemlington is also welcome. Sharing saves money!

Hopefully a new role will be found for the old HQ at Newby Wiske Hall, no longer suitable for the police, so this fine Grade II listed building can be refurbished.