Brentwood police building will be sold to save money

A Brentwood police building will be sold off by Essex Police after cuts in funding.

The building in Kelvedon Hatch is one of six that the force is selling off. The plans also include disposing of nine police stations around the county.

Essex Police said the total running costs for the buildings amounted to more than �300,000 including maintenance during 2010/11. The police said they anticipate the sale of these buildings will generate between �4-5 million.

The decision was made after a combination of cuts in grants and other unavoidable financial pressures meaning Essex Police must make savings of more than �42 million a year by 2014/15. They hope to do this by restructuring the force and the sale of police buildings.

Over the past year Essex Police has carried out a review to identify buildings that were no longer needed. The force owns more than 110 buildings and the consultation showed that some buildings would be under-used after the force restructure.

On June 25 the Essex Police Authority Finance and Audit Committee decided to approve the sale of the buildings for disposal from financial year 2012-13.

Chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: “These decisions are driven by the commitment to provide the most efficient and professional policing operation possible for the people of Essex.

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“Faced with highly challenging budget cuts, the Essex Police Authority and the force have had to make some very tough decisions. Ultimately, we do not believe that lighting, heating and maintaining a building that is under utilised is the best use of Essex taxpayers’ money.

“Neighbourhood policing teams will continue to be based in local areas, holding beat surgeries, attending local meetings and finding solutions to local problems. This will not change. What will change is that, on occasions, some neighbourhood policing teams will be based in buildings we share with partners, such as Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.