EARBY: ‘No plans to close police station’: chief

GOING: A number of Police Community Support Officers are set to go. (S)
GOING: A number of Police Community Support Officers are set to go. (S)

CHIEF Inspector Jeff Brown, the borough’s senior police officer, has told Earby Parish Council he will attend its next meeting to reassure councillors that there are no plans to close the town’s police station.

The council wrote to Chief Insp. Brown after their latest meeting to voice their worries that erratic opening hours at the station on Victoria Road might mean it had been earmarked for closure.

At the meeting, Coun. Joyce Myers said: “We were reassured that our police station wouldn’t close two or three times but there’s times when it’s not open, or the lights are on but the shutters are down. Once it said it was open but the door was locked.

“I am quite cross about this. I am very annoyed because I know that there are staff but they are not over here. They are either kept in Nelson or Barnoldswick.”

Parish Council chairman Coun. Chris Tennant said it was important for the town to at least retain its current police staff.

He said: “Earby is not a shrinking town. It is growing with the developments that are on the cards. We definitely don’t want the station to close.

“It will be interesting to see what Chief Insp. Brown can tell us.

“We’re also interested in the emergency response times. Since officers were moved back to Colne because of refurbishments at Nelson the times have gone back to what they were before they were relocated to Nelson in the summer.

“I’m also interested to see what will happen when the compulsory 20 m.p.h. zones are introduced in residential areas in Earby because we have been told by the county council that the police will play a part in enforcing the limits.

“But we will give him a chance to address these issues.”

The parish council expressed concern in December that the station may close after a sign appeared on the door saying it would not be open again until January 4th.

After complaints from residents and councillors the sign was removed the following day.

Reporting on police issues at the meeting, Coates PC Claire Sharples said: “I understand your concerns. There has been a lot of people off with flu. I don’t know if that has anything to it but it’s best to ask Chief Inspector Brown directly.”