A £7,000 lifeline has been thrown to Ripley’s Neighbourhood Policing Team in a bid to keep cops operating out of the town hall.
The small team of officers, which has been based in the Victorian building on Market Place since 2009, was told it would have to relocate to the police station at Wyatt’s Way — away from the town centre — by the end of the year.
Town hall owner Amber Valley Borough Council said it needed the two-storey offices to provide extra space at its headquarters for Derbyshire County Council staff, due to be relocated in Ripley.
In a final bid to keep the policing team at the town hall, Ripley Town Council is proposing to pay Amber Valley in the region of £7,000 a year in rent on behalf of the force.
Leader of the council Cllr Steve Freeborn said at its meeting on Tuesday, January 21: “To keep the safer neighbourhood team in the town centre is of real importance for successful policing.
“If they were based at Wyatt’s Way it means there is a lot of non-productive time spent to-ing and fro-ing between their base and the town centre.”
He said the 15 minutes it would take for an officer to walk from Wyatt’s Way to the town centre was impractical.
“There are other issues at Wyatt’s Way,” he added. “There is very poor access to the station, there is no footpath by the A610 leading up to it. The only footpath is via a very dimly lit unmarked path that goes through Carr Wood.”
A decision by Derbyshire police on the proposal is expected soon.
PC Richard Marshall told the latest town council meeting at Ripley Town Hall: “I would like to pass on our sincere thanks to every one who has tried to help us stay there.”
The council made provision to fund the cost of the police’s rent in its 2014 budget which was approved on Tuesday. Cllr Freeborn added: “If they go somewhere else I believe this town council would like to contribute. We all want to keep a police presence in the town centre.”
A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said the authority was finalising plans to take over a space at Amber Valley “at the moment”.