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Wanstead and Snaresbrook councillors vow to fight to ‘bitter end’ to save police stations

13:15 22 January 2013

Wanstead and Snaresbrook councillors rejected claims the council has given up the fight for two of its police stations last night.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime is currently undertaking a consultation on its estates strategy, which includes plans to close the front counter at Wanstead police station in Spratt Hall Road and Woodford station in High Road, Woodford Green.

And on Recorder-supported community forum Streetlife, the deputy leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Ian Bond, said it is “informally” understood both stations would be sold if the counters close.

Speaking at the area one committee meeting in Wanstead Church School, Church Path, Wanstead, Cllr Chris Cummins, of Snaresbrook ward, said: “The administration has been accused of giving up without a fight.

“This is a travesty of the truth.

“We’re committed to fight for the stations until the bitter end. We will continue to state the case for Wanstead police station and give support to councillors in area two.”

At a full council meeting on Thursday, Cllr Jas Athwal, leader of the Labour group, said: “We need someone to play hard ball, but Cllr [Keith] Prince [the council leader] seems to have thrown in the towel.

“The council should be fighting for the police stations until the battle is lost.”

The estates plan sits alongside a draft policing and crime plan which would reshape local policing, increasing the number of safer neighbourhood officers in Redbridge by 68 but shrinking the size of ward teams.

The “minimum” standard for ward teams will be one Pc and one PCSO with borough commanders given responsibility to move extra neighbourhood officers to different wards.

Cllr Alex Wilson, of Wanstead ward, said: “I strongly urge that one plus one is a minimum and the Borough Commander [Det Ch Supt Sue Williams] does what she can to increase it.”

Resident Greg Eglin said: “What I’m really concerned about is the SNTs.

“They are vital to fighting crime.”

The Met Police needs to make £500million in savings in the next three years.

The consultation runs until March 6.

Visit www.london.gov.uk to take part.

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