Following the recent announcement by Thames Valley Police that the Chipping Norton Police Station would be closing in 2015, it was today agreed that Chippy’s police front counter services will move to the Guildhall reception in the centre of town prior to the closure.
This announcement comes as a result of an agreement between Thames Valley Police and West Oxfordshire District Council. The Guildhall reception will “double up” as a one-stop shop for police and council services.
Superintendent Colin Paine, Commander for West Oxfordshire and Cherwell, said:
“This is great news for residents of Chipping Norton. They will keep the police front counter and it will be open for an extra 15 hours per week. The service will be in a good central location and offer the opportunity for residents to access council services at the same time.
“Obviously, in due course the existing Chipping Norton police station will be sold and replaced with a smaller, more efficient building. We have not yet determined where that will be and are still exploring the options available.
“The police station will not close, the same police officers will be based in the new building, and there will be no reduction in the service provided.”
The opening hours in the Guildhall will be Monday to Friday 8.45 to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm (4pm on Fridays).
The joint announcement from TVP and WODC does not specify when the front counter services will move, simply stating that it will be “soon”.
Closing and replacing TVP police stations that are deemed to be “inefficient” is part of their asset management strategy, which is aiming to save over £800,000.
Update 17 Sept: At last night’s town council meeting, county councillor Hilary Biles stressed that it is only the front counter staff being relocated to the Guildhall, sharing space with council staff – the rest of the staff at the police station will remain there until alternative premises are found in town. She also categorically ruled out the library moving into the police building when it closes – something the town council had mooted as an idea at the previous council meeting.