Cambridge City Council centre could host post-Parkside police station
The police and crime commissioner will hold talks with Cambridge City Council about using the Regent Street customer service centre after Parkside station is closed.
Plans have been drawn up to close Parkside police station and move to a larger site in Milton, which the force says will meet the latest custody standards and other policing needs.
The commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, has promised to provide some kind of public-facing police building in the city centre, but is seeking to commit to the Milton site before finalising those details.
Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said Mandela House, which houses the city council’s customer service centre, is “only half full” and his office is “looking at that at the moment”.
He said he is considering a number of different options, but if he cannot negotiate an alternative site with another authority, using part of the Parkside site remains “the backstop”.
The last day of the public consultation was originally intended to be today (Friday, July 5) but it has now been extended to Friday, July 19.
The commissioner will now hold a second public meeting in Milton on July 10, as he says the views of Milton residents were not properly heard.
Mr Ablewhite also confirmed that there will be no public meeting in the city centre before the end of the consultation.
Mr Ablewhite said at a public meeting last month: “This is the start of the consultation and everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to it… the consultation is ongoing, I will be consulting with residents and we will have a meeting in Cambridge.”
The commissioner has said he will hold a public meeting in Cambridge after the consultation has ended, as part of another consultation on future plans for a new city centre building.
Cambridge City Council executive councillor for transport and community safety, Cllr Nicky Massey, said she welcomed the extension, but was “disappointed” there would be no public meeting in the city before the first consultation ends, saying she cannot understand the decision.
Cllr Massey said the council was open to speaking with the commissioner about sharing buildings, but questioned whether the Mandela House would be suitable, saying it is only open 9-5pm Monday to Friday.
More by this authorBen Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter