THE PRESSURE is on the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to reveal his plans for Solihull police station’s relocation as sites have been offered to him.
At the full council meeting last week, Solihull Council leader, Councillor Ian Courts, said a site near to the bus station and entrance to Poplar Road – which the council purchased as part of Mell Square – had been offered at a recent meeting.
Coun Courts and the PCC, Simon Foster, have held meetings about the future of the police station in Solihull and the pair are set to have a walk around the town centre later this month.
Coun Courts added: “The PCC has to commit to retain a police station and more importantly state what his space requirements are and what operations will be conducted from there and there lies the rub.
“If we are not careful we will closure of a police station by stealth and we will just have a desk.
“This isn’t about bricks and mortar this is about the level of policing and ability to respond quickly, it is about visibility and ensuring the people and economy are protected.
“He needs to tell us what space he is looking for and what services and facilities he is actually planning.”
Lib Dem member for Elmdon, Coun Laura McCarthy stated the debate in the chamber after she put forward a motion for the council to work with the PCC to find a space in the town centre for the relocation.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Foster said: “We have started meeting with Coun Courts and the Council to look at sites in the town centre to ensure that Solihull has a new police station with a proper front desk where the public can report crimes, speak to an officer and where local officers will be based, so they are embedded in the communities they serve.
“We are committed to retaining a police station in the centre of Solihull and I am looking forward to working with Coun Courts and the Council to help deliver this.”
Mr Foster has proposed the Homer Road site will close by autumn 2025 after approving plans from the force’s Chief Constable for what it needs to provide an effective police service in the region.
In 2018 the former PCC, David Jamieson, approved controversial proposals to sell off the Homer Road station as part of wider plans to save £5million and protect officer jobs across the West Midlands region.
The original date for closure was ‘late 2020’ but this has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Both Mr Foster and Mr Jamieson committed to not closing the Solihull station until a location for a new front desk had been found.