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Closing North Yorkshire Police HQ ‘would save £820k’
NORTH Yorkshire’s police HQ should be closed and a cheaper replacement built to save £820,000 a year, according to one of the candidates to be the region’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
Julia Mulligan, the Conservative candidate, has vowed to launch a plan to shut North Yorkshire Police’s Newby Wiske base, in Northallerton, if she is elected on November 15, saying the savings would be ploughed into protecting frontline policing.
The Grade II listed building and its grounds are believed to be worth between £1.2 million and £1.6 million. It is not an active police station, but houses the force’s senior officers and administration staff and is also a training base.
Once elected, the Commissioner’s powers will include setting North Yorkshire Police’s budget and Mrs Mulligan said: “Closing Newby Wiske and building new, more cost-efficient facilities presents an opportunity, and I believe this would be the best solution for the people of North Yorkshire.
“The current HQ’s running costs of about £820,000 a year represent a lot of money to spend on a building - the equivalent of the salaries of 30 police constables - when we need to focus resources on frontline policing.
“Newby Wiske is expensive to maintain and I feel this move would help protect jobs while also saving money.”
Mrs Mulligan was challenged on twitter this week by City of York Council leader James Alexander over where a new HQ might be based, but told The Press: “This needs to be looked at and there must be proper consultation over the facilities which would be required and how it would ensure North Yorkshire Police meets its objectives, as well as a due diligence process.
“It would not be appropriate to comment on potential locations at the moment, but I do feel the police jobs in the area around where Newby Wiske is based are very important.”