The purpose of this consultation has been to provide an opportunity for members of the public to express a view on the Constabulary’s proposal to redevelop Wilmslow Police Station, which will include the closure of the helpdesk.
Wilmslow residents have been encouraged to feedback their views on this proposal. The responses received so far have included a variety of views and questions and this document seeks to provide additional information and answers to some of these.
Q. Why do you need to redevelop Wilmslow police station and close the helpdesk?
A. The existing station is largely unoccupied as it is too big for current and future operational use. This proposal would see the current station redeveloped to create a new, fit for purpose zero carbon station at the site with a view to become fully operational in around Summer 2023.
The new station will not only help save tens of thousands of pounds in both utilities and maintenance costs but will also allow the Constabulary to sell the remainder of the unused land and reinvest any money back into local policing to help make Cheshire a safer place to work and visit.
Having looked at visiting patterns to the station over the last few years, there is generally less than 20 visitors per week and not all these visitors require police service. As such, looking to the future, the plans for Wilmslow Police Station do not include a helpdesk - but the services they provide will still be at Wilmslow via an exterior direct dial phone that connects directly to the police control room.
Q. Where is the nearest helpdesk located?
A. The nearest helpdesk facility is located at Macclesfield police station, Brunswick Street, Macclesfield, SK10 1HQ.
Q. Why don’t you publicise other face-to-face meetings that you offer?
A. For those wanting to speak to someone face-to-face, there are regular community surgeries at Wilmslow Library, Dean Row Centre, Handforth Youth Centre, and Festival Hall in Alderley Edge.
Meetings are also publicised on social media and pulled through to local policing pages on this website.
Q. Isn’t this just another example of the police pulling out of an area and the people of Wilmslow getting a poorer and less visible police service?
A. The Constabulary and Police and Crime Commissioner remain committed to maintaining police services in Wilmslow and the planned new police station on the existing site demonstrates this commitment. The current police station is too large for current and predicted future operational use. For members of the public who wish to report incidents and/or crime, or to seek police advice, can do this through the following channels:
101 non-emergency telephone service which is available 24/7
Online reporting via the Cheshire Police Website
Social Media – Facebook and Twitter are available for general queries
For those wanting to speak to someone face-to-face, there are regular community surgeries at Wilmslow Library, Dean Row Centre, Handforth Youth Centre, and Festival Hall in Alderley Edge. 999 should always be used in an emergency.
Q. When will a detailed plan of the proposed new station be available to review
A. We are currently working up with our architects a suitable plan for the new station. This will be available as soon as we have an agreed form.
Q. How can a police station be carbon neutral?
A. The construction of the building will be to the highest insulation value and lowest air change rate possible, meaning that we will retain as much energy used for space heating as possible (We may achieve a building which requires almost no space heating). We will be using a combination of Photovoltaic cells and battery storage so that the electrical demand for the building will be minimal. We will be looking at grey water recycling to minimise fresh water usage. Through these and other measures we are confident we can provide a zero carbon building.
Q. Are you going to improve the online services to make them more user friendly?
A. We have invested in the development of our website over the last few years and have introduced a considerable number of online forms to give people the opportunity to report incidents (including the ability to report road traffic collisions, domestic abuse, and missing persons), provide feedback (make complaints and compliments), request information, and make applications (including job applications, firearms licence applications). The website is continually being reviewed and new features and online forms are being regularly developed and added to allow people to safely and securely report crime online.
Q. What are the plans for selling off the land?
A. The land, which after constructing the new station, would be surplus to the constabulary’s need, will be sold off for the maximum return to the public purse. This will then be reinvested into policing Cheshire.
Q. Isn’t this just a money-making exercise?
A. This project looks to minimise the expenditure on a building that is not fit for purpose, reinvesting all returns into the policing of Cheshire
Q. From Spring 2023, will there be police officers back in the new police station at Wilmslow?
A. Police officers will remain at Wilmslow throughout this project. Once the new building is constructed officers will relocate to it prior to the existing station being demolished and remaining site being developed
Q. Have you thought about moving in with Fire and Ambulance to create a 999 hub instead of building another police station?
A. We have undertaken a detailed feasibility into this possibility, the conclusion of which was that it was not in the interests of the blue light partners to proceed.