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13th Mar 20
Police, Fire and Crime commissioner Stephen Mold has launched a new, joint ten year plan to modernise and rationalise the police and fire buildings estate.
The aim of the plan is to reduce current expenditure and avoid future costs on the repair and maintenance of ageing buildings, which do not now properly meet the needs of Northamptonshire Police or Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Many of the current buildings, both police and fire, are in need of major repairs – including one that needs a £1.5m programme of maintenance that would not be economically viable to carry out. The joint plan aims to ensure that future costs are kept as low as possible, so that funds are prioritised into delivering services.
In making decisions about future buildings, both organisations are committed to improving public access and maintaining visibility in the local community while best meeting business needs. This will be a key factor in deciding when to replace police buildings in particular.
The aim is to create an estate of modern, fit-for-purpose buildings that will be more cost efficient in the future.
The new plan also sets out for the first time the ambition for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer to bring support services together and to share operational buildings where possible.
A building is being purchased to meet the accommodation needs of both organisations and to promote closer working when some existing buildings are closed. The building will be made as energy efficient as possible to make future running costs even more affordable. This project is still in its early stages but will futureproof the estate against changing needs.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that changes should make the police and fire estate less costly to run as well as well as promoting new ways of working.
Buildings in both the police and fire estate are ageing and we face a bigger repair bill each year,” Stephen Mold said. “This plan reflects an opportunity to overhaul the estate and ensure that we invest in buildings that meet the needs of local people and the business that both organisations carry out in an affordable way that allows us to invest as much money into the delivery of frontline services as we can.
“We want all the officers and staff of both services to be based in a comfortable, productive, working environment and to be able to make use of the most modern working practices.
“These plans are at a very early stage and we will be involving the officers and staff of both organisations, as well as the public, as we work through the process of making them a reality.”