You can probably tell from the funky design of the roof that our building on Green Lane dates back to the swinging sixties, although I can assure you that inside the building is (for the most part) fairly modern.
Sure, we do have a few ball chairs and a vinyl record player blasting out the Rolling Stones but then, who doesn’t?
As good as the Stones were (are?) though, music has moved on a great deal since the sixties and so have building designs.
Just like the members of the Stones themselves, our base on Green Lane is now looking a little ‘weathered’ and as such the search for a suitable replacement is underway.
Subject to complicated negotiations between lots of different parties, progress was always going to follow a similar pace to that at which Charlie Watts now climbs the stairs to his drum kit, however recently details have emerged on how we’re looking to find new accommodation in Walsall.
- Moving some of the neighbourhood and partnership teams in with Walsall Council at the Civic Centre on Darwall Street
- Having the response shifts, the head honchos from the command team and other departments work from Bloxwich Police Station
- Bloxwich would become our Local Policing Unit HQ
- The old station on Green Lane would be ‘disposed of’, probably by huge wrecking balls, explosives and diggers with fierce claw attachments.
There’s incentive to leave Green Lane as looking after the station in its old age is becoming increasingly expensive, a maintenance bill of half a million a year at last count, and not only this, listening to loose bits of cladding crashing into the roof on windy nights was always a bit disconcerting for officers too.
Working from the Civic Centre would offer several advantages including enabling officers to work more closely with council partners, being more accessible for the public and as mentioned, freeing up money that could be better spent elsewhere.
As for a time frame, should the proposals successfully make the transition to solid plans then officers could be working from the Civic Centre as early as this September with the bulk of the rest of the move taking around a year and a half.
As Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones has said, “The proposals really do embody the spirit of joint partnership working and will allow police and the council to work even more closely together which can only be of huge benefit to the people of Walsall.”
I’ll keep you posted on the latest news as when I hear it, your feedback on the proposals is welcome too and you can contact us via a variety of different options on the Walsall LPU website to let us know what you think.