Posts Tagged 'Walsall Council'

A house is not a home…

Walsall Police Station under construction in 1965. As part of our recently announced estate review, we’ll be looking at how best to use our buildings.

The best part of twenty years before this fresh faced officer was born, workmen from W. Kendrick and Sons Ltd were scurrying around what was then a building site on Green Lane, Walsall, to build the ‘H’ division a new HQ.

State of the art for its time, the new base featured a shooting range, billiards room and a fountain in the front office that functioned as both an aquarium and an impromptu bath, depending on who was using it.

As Kev Pitt writes on his beard-strokingly interesting blog about the construction of the station, the total cost for the build came to £444,979.

Fast forward to the current day and whilst the building has served us bobbies well, it now costs more per year to maintain than the entire station cost to build in the first place, not adjusting for inflation.

As I’ve written previously, it’s owing to these sort of economics, alongside the fact that the station is in dire need of an update, that we’ll be moving out of Green Lane over the next few months.

The reshuffling due to take place forms part of the wider estate review announced by PCC Bob Jones on Monday under which the force’s bean counters will be examining our 140 properties with a view to reducing the £17.5 million cost associated with maintaining them.

Areas to be examined include how we’re currently using our buildings, the long term maintenance costs and whether we could save money by finding ‘room mates’ such as the local council with whom to split the bills.

On the latter point, it’s something that’s already happening in Solihull and has been very successful thanks to a well organised washing up rota and understandings that police officers take out the rubbish once a week and that councillors buy a new carton of milk when they finish the old one and don’t have the TV on too loud late at night.

Furthermore, the reshuffling also takes into account our move towards ‘super blocks’ with our living history cells at Steelhouse Lane being shut accordingly.

The estate review will take place in four phases taking us into the distant future-scape of 2015 and we’d be keen to hear from yourselves on how the proposals might affect you.

You can contact us through a range of different methods by clicking here, I’ll keep you updated on the project too with a special focus on what’s happening at Green Lane as and when I hear more.

Movin’ on up now…

Good old Walsall Police Station. We’ve been working out of the station on Green Lane ever since we left our former address on Goodall Street back in 1966.

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.

Summing up the announcement from our News Beat website, the outline of the proposal is to as follows:

  • 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.

Round my hometown, memories are fresh…

Supt. Fraser will be online @walsallpolice between 5.30pm-6.30pm this Thursday to answer your questions.

Remember our ‘Tweet & Greet‘ last month? Well, to tie in with Walsall Council’sWalsall 100‘ event, we’ve another two lined up and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all about them.

First of all, what exactly is the ‘Walsall 100′?

The aim of the event, named after Walsall’s reputation as being the ‘town of one hundred trades’, to is promote our town by trying to tell you the story of one hundred things about the town itself. People from across the local area are coming to together to contribute to the project, which is running between the seventh to twenty-third of this month, with the results of the initiative being published across a variety of websites, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

For more information, please check out this blog on Walsall 100 and also our own press release. If you’re on Twitter (and even if you’re not) you can follow the project by using the hashtag #walsall100.

As with our first online ‘tweeting’, the upcoming Tweet & Greets represent an opportunity for you to chat with a police officer for an hour through Walsall Police’s own Twitter feed. You are able to ask any questions you have about local policing or just anything else. If our last one is anything to go by, questions are likely to range from whether our officers carry guns to what our favourite type of cheese is. The floor is well and truly open!

The first Tweet & Greet will be held with Superintendent Fraser, head of local policing for Walsall, this Thursday the 19th between 5.30pm-6.30pm via @walsallpolice.

The second will be hosted by myself at the same place, this time on Sunday the 22nd between 7pm-8pm.

We’ll be using the hashtag #walsall100 to tie the Tweet & Greet sessions together and ask that you include the hashtag in any questions you send to help us pull together a transcript of the conversation after we finish.

Beyond this we look forward to seeing you on Thursday and Sunday and if you have any questions in the mean time, you know where to find us!

P.S. As a small qualifier, these sessions are being held on the assumption that things don’t go all Holby City on us and we’re forced for race out to deal with the simultaneous cruise ship, freight train and airliner collision that we’re all dreading. We’ll do our best to keep you updated if we’re forced for whatever reason to cancel.

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PC Stanley’s Twitter Feed

  • ...thing to look out for include damage or tool marks on windows and doors - please report them to us so we can build up a pattern. 15 hours ago
  • We've had a slight rise in attempted burglaries in Rushall and Pelsall recently, please give us a call on 101 if you have any info... 15 hours ago
  • ...had to call upon the office's second-best hole puncher as our best one is currently on a 'secondment' to another department. 16 hours ago
  • Working on a few burglary reports today in the office and preparing a case for Crown Court too which required much hole-punching action... 16 hours ago
  • RT @WMPolice: APPEAL: Man exposes himself on Hollyhedge Lane in Birchills - can you help us find him? 2 days ago

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