Bid to ensure Banbury police station future from worried councillor

Banbury Police Station. Cllr. Barry Richards, left and Cllr. Mark Cherry, right. NNL-180918-185945009
Banbury Police Station. Cllr. Barry Richards, left and Cllr. Mark Cherry, right. NNL-180918-185945009

A councillor is hoping to secure the long-term future of Banbury Police Station by urging the council to seek assurances from the government.

Cllr Mark Cherry will be proposing a motion at Cherwell District Council asking the leader to lobby senior politicians for their support for the police station.

Thames Valley Police said there were no plans to close the building but the Labour representative for Banbury Ruscote believes action is needed after the decision to shut Banbury Court House.

“Labour Cherwell District councillors will be seeking all party support for this motion to act now to make sure that Banbury Police Station does not go down the road of closure like Banbury Magistrates’ Court in the future,” Cllr Cherry said.

“We cannot lose any more vital services in Banbury and surrounding villages that people rely on in a every growing population due to housing developments in and around Banburyshire.”

Cllr Cherry’s motion at the district council meeting on October 30, will ask Cllr Barry Wood to write to the minister for policing, the Lord Chancellor, the justice secretary and the home secretary, seeking assurance the police station will remain open for the foreseeable future.

The motion also seeks the council’s condemnation of the ‘retrograde’ decision to close the magistrates’ and county courts.

While police have denied any plans to shut the station, Cllr Cherry believes his motion will back up the commitment to maintaining its future to continue serving people in north Oxfordshire.

Thames Valley Police strategy and assets manager Peter Smith said: “There are no plans to dispose of Banbury police station.

“It is a well utilised building, housing both local facing operational teams and some support departments as well as a staffed front counter. It also has an operational custody suite.

“The police station is well placed to serve the north west part of the force area, within Oxfordshire, and is physically and legally separate from the adjacent magistrates court, therefore the closure and sale of the court should not adversely impact on the police station.

“While Thames Valley Police has been undertaking an estate rationalisation programme since 2010, to reduce non-staff costs as far as possible to help protect the frontline, at no point have we proposed Banbury police station be replaced.

“However, we do constantly review our estate to ensure that all of our assets remain fit for purpose and any estate opportunities are explored.”