Jo Coles - York and North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Jo Coles - North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

064/2013 – Full evaluation of proposal to provide a new Northern Base to replace the current Headquarters facility and Northallerton Police Station – 23 September 2013

Executive Summary and recommendation:

In March 2013 the Police and Crime Commissioner gave approval to progress a full evaluation of a proposed new Northern Base.

The detailed evaluation work has now been completed and attached as Part B to this Decision Notice is the full evaluation report, that sets out the full case for a new build facility to replace the current Newby Wiske Headquarters facility and Northallerton Police Station.

The report provides detail on sites, costs and an indicative project timeline for consideration, and recommends that approval be given to progression of a purpose built new facility in the Thirsk locality, and disposal of residual estates assets upon completion of migration to the new facility.


  • Re-provision of both the current Northallerton Police Station and Headquarters facilities and consider the inclusion of Vale House and the Solberg Kennels as part of the scheme
  • Secure land to provide a single new facility in the Thirsk locality based upon the option appraisal considered and debated on 10th September 2013
  • The estimated budget shown in Appendix L of Part B of this Decision Notice
  • Disposal of the exiting Northallerton Police station and Headquarters facilities as vacant premises following full migration to the new site
  • Approval to review and progress (where appropriate) facilities to support policing in the local communities of Thirsk and Northallerton. This is likely to take the form of a new Local Police office/Station in Northallerton
  • Approval to the budget estimate for the provision of a local Police Station/Office in Northallerton as per the estimate provided in Option 3 of the main evaluation report included at Part B of this Decision Notice

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:


Signature Date 23 September 2013
Title Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

Introduction and background

On the 20th March 2013 the Police and Crime Commissioner approved Decision Notice 25/2013; to progress a full evaluation of a proposed new Northern Base that would replace the current Newby Wiske Headquarters and Northallerton Police Station estates assets.

Work has since been ongoing, and the outcome of the evaluation was to consider and cost the project to provide a facility that supports the business objectives of North Yorkshire Police now and into the future. The specific project outcomes are set out below:

Provide a single facility that is ‘Fit for Purpose’

The new Northern Base will be a facility that will:

  • be cost effective to operate
  • provide modern Home Office compliant custody facilities
  • be visible and accessible at all times to staff and visitors
  • facilitate working with external partners
  • provide modern IT functionality to improve communication and working practices
  • improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all functions based within the building by creating appropriate adjacencies of team
  • enhance the working environment for staff
  • be flexible in its construction and design to allow for future changes in accommodation requirements
    facilitate an agile working culture

Reduce revenue commitments

A new Northern Base that will provide an overall reduction in revenue commitments compared to the current financial forecasts for Newby Wiske and Northallerton Police Station. This will be by maximising the efficiency of building design and specification (in terms of insulation, materials, orientation and use of technology), and by incorporating sustainable energy sources. It is also expected that there would be potential to secure further efficiencies arising from a single facility and co-location of teams.

Reduction in carbon footprint for NYP

The organisation has a responsibility to ensure that it minimises, where possible, the impact it has on the environment. All NYP facilities should maximise the opportunities for the use of sustainable energy solutions that will support the organisation aim for both financial and environmental sustainability, seeking to reduce costs and carbon emissions. Additionally the provision of a sustainable energy solution will help mitigate the future risk of energy supply being outstripped by demand within the next 10 years.

In addition to the specification and design of our buildings, the organisation can further reduce its carbon footprint by being cognisant of transport links in respect of staff travelling to work.

Introduce modern methods of working

The project aims to support changes to more effective space utilisation and a cultural change around working practises by the introduction of flexible/agile work spaces that can be used for a myriad of functions/purposes (office accommodation, meeting rooms, incident rooms, press briefing accommodation etc).

Aspirationally, North Yorkshire Police wish to be an ‘employer of choice’ and attract the very best applicants for their roles. In order to achieve this, we have recognised that there will be fundamental shifts in working practises into the future. These will include things such as:

  • The changing demographics of the workforce
  • The aspirations of the new generation of employees, who are technically adept and have expectations about working for a modern police force
  • The changes to retirement ages, that may result in a workforce that seeks to balance the expectation that they will work for longer with a ‘work life balance’
  • The speed and frequency with which technology is advancing and how that will impact on the organisation and its workforce
  • The ability to improve staff wellbeing by facilitating people being able to work at a location closer to home on occasions; this may be either at local ‘drop down’ facilities or home working

Achieve demonstrable benefits to NYP

It is expected that there will be demonstrable and measurable benefits to the organisation which will ensure that the capital investment provides value for money. These benefits include:

  • delivering revenue savings to the organisation
  • increasing staff morale by improving the working environment and providing appropriate tools to carry out their work
  • reducing the organisations carbon footprint
  • improving service delivery for the communities of North Yorkshire
  • introducing process efficiencies

The scope of the project is to deliver both the Northallerton Police Station and Newby Wiske facilities on a single site in a strategically beneficial location. Revisiting of the Estates Strategy or the ISD Strategy are not in scope.

The scope of the full evaluation report is to provide the appropriate information to the Police & Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable and Executive Board Members upon which a decision can be made regarding whether to progress a new Northern Base.

Information has also been re-presented on the previously reported and considered options in respect of ‘do nothing’ and ‘purchase of an existing facility’ for completeness. The full evaluation report is provided under Part B of this Decision Notice due to the commercially confidential/sensitive information contained therein.

Matters for consideration

When consider the proposal for a new purpose built Northern Base the Commissioner will wish to consider the current condition, running costs and sustainability issues in relation to the current Newby Wiske Headquarters facility and Northallerton Police station, and how these facilities can support the delivery of policing services both now and into the future. These issues were flagged in Decision Notice 25/2013, and other identified issues include:

  • The Northallerton Custody suite falls well below Home Office Standards and fails to provide officers with the appropriate space and facilities in which to process detainees
  • Connectivity to utilities is poor, there are frequent ‘dips’ in the power provision, this in turn negatively impacts on the provision of IT services and the supporting infrastructure required to protect against these ‘dips and surges’
  • Security of the Headquarter site
  • Accessibility issues

Other options considered, if any

For completeness the full evaluation report has also revisited the previously explored options of:

  • Do Nothing
  • Purchase an existing facility and build a new custody suite as part of that site

Both of these options have been rejected. Understanding the current issues for service delivery and sustainability ‘Doing Nothing’ is not an option. It is clear that both of the facilities that have been considered as part of the review do not effectively support the organisation in delivering services.

The option to purchase an existing facility has been discounted as there was nothing that met the requirements of the organisation, providing both the requisite amount of office accommodation and the land space to construct a custody suite to Home Office standards.

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

The progression of a new Northern Base would contribute to the following Police and Crime Plan outcomes:

  • Fit for the Future
  • Delivering more for Less

Consultations carried out

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has undertaken initial public consultation to secure feedback on the proposal. If approval to the proposal was received then there would be a much wider public consultation as part of progressing the scheme and prior to submission for Planning Approval.

Financial Implications/Value for money

The financial implications associated with this scheme are set out in the evaluation report. The estimated budget requirement for the scheme has been provided for in financial plans. A full Borrowing Requirement evaluation is provided at Appendix D, and the required funds have been included in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

Legal Implications

The proposals canvassed within these papers are within the lawful remit of the Police & Crime Commissioner. Formal compliance endorsement will be entered onto accompanying Decision Notices.

Equality Implications

An Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out as part of the evaluation, and is included as Appendix A of the full evaluation report.

This assessments indicates that the project does not favour or provide any advantage or disadvantage to individuals with any of the protected characteristics. The project will impact equally across the workforce as any new buildings must be fully compliant with requirements held within the Equality Act 2010.

Public Access to Information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted. Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES
If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – COMMERCIALLY SENSITIVE

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer Joanna Carter has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. G. Macdonald on behalf of CEO 16/9/13
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge. Simon Dennis 16/9/13
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice G. Macdonald 16/9/13
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice. Julie McMurray Collar 6038 28th August 2013
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision Julie McMurray Date 28 August 2013
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