Updated, January 19
Two suggestions for premises to replace Uckfield Police Station were aired last night (January 18).
Uckfield Town Council’s general purposes committee heard that sharing the public library should be considered along with converting the disused public lavatories on the Luxford car park.
The police station in New Town is earmarked for closure under a Sussex Police strategy.
Police response units would move probably to other premises away from the town centre with neighbourhood policing having a base in the town centre, available for the general public to visit.
Discussions with the town council will continue (see story below).
Our original story
Closure of Uckfield Police Station appears to be coming closer.
Discussions are going on between the town council and Sussex Police over finding new premises in the town for officers.
Paul Watson reports
It was first announced in June 2013 that the police station would close, as part of a county-wide scheme.
Part of the plan will see the police station re-named to reflect the services the public will find there.
The town council was told later in 2013 by a senior officer that policing in the town would not be affected by the closure of the existing police station and a move to a new site.
Members of the town council’s general purposes committee will be updated on Monday (January 18) on discussions between the police and the council.
Chairman of the committee, Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, states in a written report:
“Following an approach from Sussex Police, the civic centre manager [Susan Allum] and I met two representatives of Sussex Police for an exploratory discussion regarding their wish to find alternative premises in the town centre for undertaking their community policing work.
“As councillors will be well aware, Sussex Police are having to operate on a reduced budget, and the force is seeking ways to rationalise its spending whilst clinging firmly to the principle of maintaining a presence in the community they serve.
Continue to investigate
“Sussex Police are exploring the possibility of working on a shared space basis, as they have done in Eastbourne, Seaford and Hove.
“At this stage discussions are very much in their infancy but it is suggested that the civic centre manager should continue to investigate if, and how, the town council might be able to help Sussex Police on this issue.”
Cllr Smith is recommending the committee to encourage the discussions with the police so that a report on the options can be submitted to councillors.