Caerphilly MP raises police station closures in House of Commons
Caerphilly MP Wayne David has raised the issue of police station closures in the House of Commons.
Gwent Police announced plans to close 17 of its stations to the public – including those in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach, Bedwas and Risca – on Tuesday.
The stations will remain as bases for police officers but will be closed to visitors wishing to report crimes in person.
The changes, which were originally leaked to Mr David last week, will see the loss of 19 front desk jobs.
Gwent Police has said the changes will save it £500,000. Due to budget cuts from the UK Government, the force has to find savings of £34 million by 2015 – so far it has achieved £17m.
In Business Questions in the House on Thursday, Mr David called for a special debate on the closures and the fact that there had been no consultation.
He said: “May we have a debate on the fact that the chief constable of Gwent police has embarked on a programme of draconian spending cuts at the behest of the Home Office without any consultation whatsoever with elected representatives, the police authority or, indeed, members of the public?
Sir George Young MP responded on behalf of the Government and said there would be an opportunity for him to raise the issue with the Home Secretary on Monday.
Sir George also recognised that Wayne David was “on the warpath”.
Later today (Friday), Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Carmel Napier, has agreed to meet Gwent’s Labour MPs for an emergency meeting to discuss the cuts programme.
Mr David has said the purpose of the meeting is for the MPs to tell the Chief Constable that she should stop the station closure programme immediately and begin a process of consultation.