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Ledbury Police station to remain open
5:06pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
THE town's police station will remain open after a force-wide shake up saw 11 police bases close.
There were long-standing fears Ledbury police station would close but police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore announced yesterday it would remain open.
However, Bromyard police station will close and an alternative base will be found in a shared building.
It was part of a review being carried out by West Mercia Police and the neighbouring Warwickshire force.
When the review was announced last September, rumours were rife in Ledbury that the police station in Worcester Road was one of those targeted for closure.
One of Ledbury's county councillors, Peter Watts, said: "At least we're retaining a police base here; at least we will see the police around the town.
“I'm glad to see the station is being kept; I think it’s probably because it's close to the M50. I hope the hours it remains open will be long hours.
“As long they don’t disappear over the hills as the ambulance service did, I don’t mind.”
Town mayor, Coun Phill Bettington, said: “I understand it's going to be upgraded as a centre for the patrols, for the motorway patrols, but whether this will mean we’ll see more police in the town itself, I don’t know.
“It’s an asset we’re not losing, and that must be a good thing, but it remains to be seen if this means the town will get a better service from the front counter.”
He said the retention of the police station would mean it will also continue to function as a base for the local ambulances and community first responders, which moved there after the ambulance station in Bye Street was closed earlier last year.
In Malvern, the 24/7 response team which answers 999 calls will be scrapped with the service provided by Ledbury or Worcester.
Meanwhile, there was a puzzled reaction in Bromyard.
Coun Jonathan Lester, a Herefordshire councillor for Bromyard, said: “On Monday, I was at Bromyard Town Council when we were told that the police station was to be kept open, so obviously I will have to find out more. I would have hoped to have been consulted about a decision like this.”