THE THURROCK Labour portfolio holder for public protection has asked to go on the record regarding future plans for Corringham Police station.
Worryingly, cllr Gaywood has revealed that the police and crime commissioner, Nick Alston may sell the station in the future.
Cllr Gaywood said:
“There are times when youthful exuberance is a good thing – and there are times when it’s not”, says Thurrock’s public protection chief Cllr Angie Gaywood following her visit to the old Corringham Police station yesterday.
Comments from one of the council’s youngest members, Tory Councillor James Halden, in November led to hopes that Corringham Police Station would either reopen fully, or at least have a police presence on the front counter.
“I welcomed this news but felt dismayed when I received confirmation from Essex Police and our local District Commander that this simply wasn’t true,” said Angie. “I knew the building was going to be used by our Youth Offending Team, but young James had stated that there would be a front desk for local residents to report crime and make police enquiries on a day to day basis.
In December Conservative leader and Corringham Councillor Phil Anderson stated there was a real opportunity to develop a face-to-face contact and information service for the community
Residents have continued to contact me thrilled to think that the police station was reopening, and now I’ve seen for myself this isn’t the case.
“Our Youth Offending Team have had to turn away disappointed local residents wanting to speak directly with police officers and report issues on numerous occasions since the short time they have been in the building. They have also been asked to attend the local community forum to confirm there will be no front desk police support.
Which is why I asked the elected Essex Police & Crime Commissioner – Nick Alston for his clarification.”
“He has written back to me and confirmed that nothing has changed. The YOT will use the building, local police will use it too on occasion, but there would be no official neighbourhood police presence in the Gordon Road building with no front counter and no direct means of reporting crime.
“In fact Mr Alston said that once the Youth Offending Team’s contract was up next year – and there is an option for us to extend it for another 12 months – he would be looking to sell the building!
“Confirmation that there will be no chance of reopening the police station and that the YOT service will have to find a permanent home within the next two years”
“Whilst Cllr Halden has been helpful in assisting the YOT find a short term home I felt it was right and important to clarify once and for all that Corringham Police station will remain closed to the general public and that it is just the building which will for the short term remain in use by other services.
She added: It’s just one example of where inexperience and over exaggeration can land us. Young James Halden heard what he wanted to hear and then spread the news far and wide, and continues to do so in his re-election campaign literature.
Those of us with a little more experience know different. If we hear what we want to hear, we ask if we heard right. We did exactly that with the Police Commissioner’s promise not to make any PCSOs redundant when Essex Police have said they will cease match-funding with the Council in April.
“We checked, he confirmed – and indeed has done so again I believe – and then we acted and publicised. That you don’t get people’s hopes up only to see them dashed.
“Of course, that’s not to say the Commissioner can’t go back on his promise, but we can show we acted in good faith.”
The Parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Mike Le Surf said:” “It is very disappointing to see Thurrock Tories sending unclear messages to residents and causing confusion.
“The truth is that huge coalition cuts to policing have led to a reduction in services and people are feeling more vulnerable as a result.”
Don’t knock poor young James. He has become a stereotypical lying politician. The British public expect our politicians to lie and mislead us as they try their hardest to cling to office to continue to suckle the teat of public cash in the form of expenses and allowances. Why let the truth get in the way of a re-election campaign?
Clearly Cllr Gaywood, a councillor from the west of the borough, has finally been told quite how much traction the issue has over in Stanford and Corringham. Such a shame that her reaction is to up the defeatist rhetoric.
If she would like to try and rain in a young councillor’s youthful exuberance, perhaps she could start with Cllr Kiely?
Cllr Gaywood says “I welcomed this news but felt dismayed when I received confirmation from Essex Police and our local District Commander that this simply wasn’t true,”
She was so dismayed she sat back and did nothing except accept the closure as fact. Well done Cllr Gaywood, that’s sterling work! Where’s the commitment to try and stop the closure form happening? Where’s the innovative plan to put to the commissioner to possibly make him change his mind?
Cllr Halden may be over optimistic and over exuberant but I suspect he would at least make the effort to try to keep the station open.