By John McDougall
A question mark is hanging over the future of Widnes Police Station after Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner confirmed a proposal to potentially close it.
John Dwyer spoke at the Appleton, Kingsway and Riverside Area Forum on Tuesday, January 28, and confirmed proposals are being discussed to close the station – currently at the junction of Kingsway and Milton Road – and move it to a different location.
Mr Dwyer spoke to residents for more than an hour on various issues and informed them of potential options should the proposals go ahead.
He told those assembled that the ageing building was no longer fit for purpose and that discussions are taking place over alternative venues, which the public will be consulted on.
Mr Dwyer told the Weekly News: “Consideration is being given to options to revamp or relocate Widnes police station as the current facility is no longer fit for purpose.
“This is not a done deal and the public will be consulted about the proposals.
“I want to reassure the people of Widnes that nothing will close until alternative buildings are available.”
Last November, the Weekly News reported on rumours that the station could be moved to the Select Security Stadium, the home of Widnes Vikings.
At that time, Halton Council confirmed discussions were taking place between it and police over premises being shared between both bodies, but did not directly comment in relation to the stadium.
But Cllr Ged Philbin told the Weekly News that Mr Dwyer had confirmed to the meeting the stadium was the only premises currently being considered.
He said: “He confirmed it was the only one they were pursuing at the moment.
“I would imagine that the building is costing a fortune to run and heat.
“There were a few concerns raised about sirens but they are usually in the heart of the community when they are going out.
“He was saying there was an awful lot of money being spent on it and it may not be available.
“He emphasised it would not take place until somewhere else was decided.”
The station was included as part a review by Cheshire Constabulary last year, which assessed all police stations across the county to ensure they were still fit for purpose and offered appropriate levels of access for residents.