PLANS to shut Eastbourne’s town centre police station and move officers to the council’s refurbished Grove Road site have been backed by council leaders.
At a meeting of Eastbourne Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (June 8), members voted in favour of Sussex Police merging their workspace with council offices at 1 Grove Road.
The move, which is still subject to approval from Sussex Police Authority, would see 1 Grove Road would also become a base for the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team.
The co-location would give the public walk-in access to police services and would provide a shared public service contact centre, where customers can access multiple services from two key local service providers.
Cllr David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “It is important to stress that the co-location at 1 Grove Road would not in any way lead to a reduction in either the ability of the force to respond to 999 calls in Eastbourne or impact on the opportunity for local residents and visitors to access the police in the town centre.
“Like all publicly-funded bodies, Sussex Police must continue to deliver quality services while making significant cost savings and this proposal enables this without compromising on public safety.
“Eastbourne Borough Council is now looking forward to developing an even closer relationship with Sussex Police by working together at 1 Grove Road and through our Eastbourne Community Safety Partnership.”
East Sussex Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Robin Smith said, “We are delighted that Eastbourne Borough Council has agreed to share services with Sussex Police in the event that the relocation of Grove Road police station goes ahead.
“I believe this new arrangement, if agreed by Sussex Police Authority, would improve service provision to the people of Eastbourne.
“It will enable them to access both police and council services from the one location, whilst also providing an opportunity to develop our partnership working with council employees, including housing officers, environmental health officers, and the housing benefits team.
“We understand how important neighbourhood policing is to our local community and we have promised to protect this despite the need to make savings.
“This is not about taking away services or blind cuts, but finding alternative ways to deliver policing.”
Key partners in the plans will now be consulted before a final proposal is drawn up.