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Suffolk police and council in £23.7m move

PUBLISHED: 17:09 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:41 06 July 2010

POLICE and county council services in Ipswich are to be concentrated in two centres as part of a new drive to bring the public sector together in a cost-cutting move.

POLICE and county council services in Ipswich are to be concentrated in two centres as part of a new drive to bring the public sector together in a cost-cutting move.

The Civic Drive police station in the town is set to close in 2013 as part of the county-sponsored “single public estate” initiative.

Many of the functions of the police station will transfer to St Edmund House on the corner of Rope Walk and Grimwade Street which the police will share with some county council departments.

Other police departments will move to Landmark House on Whitehouse Road on the edge of town.

It had already been announced that the police station's cells would close when a new custody suite opens at the Suffolk Police Headquarters at Martlesham.

As well as closing the police station - whose site could then be redeveloped - the move will also enable the county to close several other premises around the country.

The cost of the reorganisation is £23.7 million - although county officials hope the move will save £500,000 a year and will enable people in Ipswich to have “one-stop shops” for public services.

Among the county sites to be sold off are Belstead House in Pinewood. The offices at Tower Street in Ipswich will also be sold.

The county will surrender its lease on Kerrison, near Eye, and the Whitehouse social services offices in Ipswich.

Woodbridge police station will close and be sold off. Most of its functions will be moved to the new offices in Ipswich or police headquarters - although the neighbourhood police team will stay in the town, probably based at Suffolk Coastal's offices on Melton Hill.

Needham Market police functions will move to the new offices in Ipswich and several small buildings used as offices in Martlesham, Ipswich and Stowmarket will also close. Stowmarket police station will be unaffected by the proposals.

Chief constable Simon Ash said: “We were faced with a position where we had to make some significant changes - especially in relation to Ipswich police station which really is not fit for purpose any more.

“We would have had to spend millions bringing it up to a basic standard and the would have faced more problems in the not too distant future.

“So the chance of working with the county to create a new estate was too good to miss.”


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