A policing team is being moved out of Ripley Town Hall to make way for Derbyshire County Council staff, it has been revealed.
Deputy leader of Amber Valley Borough Council Cllr Liz Bowley said the police’s Ripley Safer Neighbourhood team, which has been based in a two-floor office of the Victorian Market Place building since 2009, is being told to leave ‘in anticipation’ of Derbyshire County Council staff taking it over the office.
Last week the borough council had declined to comment on why the team were being toldto leave by December.
This week Cllr Bowley confirmed the police were to make way for county council staff. Both authorities are in talks as to locating a ‘significant proportion’ of county council workers in Ripley.
She said: “It’s public knowledge that they are looking to move some of their people over here.
“If they do come we want to know we have the space they need.”
Cllr Bowley said the borough council is working with Derbyshire Constabulary to find a new base in the town.
It is not yet known how many county council staff are set to make the move, but Cllr Bowley added: “It’s anticipated that Derbyshire County Council are to bring a sizeable number of people into the town and increase the footfall in the town centre.
“This could be a real win-win situation for Ripley.”
However, the decision has sparked fears at Ripley Town Council. Leader of the authority Cllr Steve Freeborn has said he feels the town will lose out on the counter service which currently runs at the police offices three days a week for townsfolk to talk to officers about crime concerns.
The town council was due to discuss the matter at its Tuesday night meeting.
Sgt Andy Phillips, of the safer neighbourhood team, said the offices have worked well since police moved in there four years ago
He said he was ‘disappointed’ at the team being relocated but said “we are confident new premises can be found.”
But of the concerns Cllr Bowley said: “If you look at the way it has been used by police it’s not an old-fashioned walk in police station, that’s open every day it’s used for other purposes.
“I don’t think there’s any fear that the police can’t be alerted to a crime somewhere.”