Only weeks after Wandsworth Conservative councillors accused Labour of ‘scaremongering’ about police cuts, it has been revealed that Lavender Hill police station is on a list of Police stations planned for closure and sale.
Despite reassurances from Cllr Cook, the Cabinet member responsible for community safety, at a meeting of Wandsworth Council in May, that the Metropolitan police had no plans to close the station or its counterpart in Battersea, the police have now confirmed that Lavender Hill is on a list of stations to be closed and sold off.
This comes on top of concerns already raised by Wandsworth Labour about cuts to Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and to parks police.
The police station is close to the epicentre of some of the worst of last summer’s rioting, and neighbours one of the busiest train stations in the country. Labour are concerned that the safety of the local community is being put at risk by the Conservative programme of cuts to the police, which has received tacit support from local Conservative councillors.
Cllr Leonie Cooper, Wandsworth Labour spokesperson for community safety, says,
“The Metropolitan Police need to come clean on which stations they are planning to sell off, and engage in a full consultation with the local community before any decisions are taken.
“Labour councillors wholeheartedly disagree with any plans to close Lavender Hill police station, which is just meters away from one of the areas worst affected by last summer’s riots.
“Wandsworth Council now needs to show some leadership on this issue – helping to protect our local police stations and standing up for the residents of the Borough.
“Sadly nationally, the Conservative-led government’s 20 per cent cuts to policing are going too far and too fast, and are already having a damaging impact on forces across the country, like here in Wandsworth.
“Labour remains committed to prioritising policing, keeping bobbies on the beat and protecting the public.”
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