DN 08/2020 Harrogate police estate

North Yorkshire Police is changing their presence in Harrogate to meet changing demands from residents and businesses and ensure value for money is being delivered for taxpayers.

Following the expiration of the lease at Craven Lodge, the Commissioner and Chief Constable have agreed that the Neighbourhood Policing Team for Harrogate town will move to the Beckwith Head Road police station, with members of the team also using Harrogate Fire Station as a base.

The local policing team will also hold regular drop-in sessions at Harrogate Library on Victoria Avenue.

The decision meets the objectives as set out in the Commissioner’s Estates Strategy, best utilises taxpayers’ money, reflects the changing demand for policing services within Harrogate and ensures the public get greater access to their local policing team.

The decision not to extend the lease further will save £34,369 per annum, which will be reinvested into frontline policing.

Background

The future of Craven Lodge has been under scrutiny for an extended period of time, given the low footfall to the site and the ageing condition of the building. Within the Transform 2020 programme the building was assessed again for disposal, with all options considered. Following new opportunities for some co-location at Harrogate Fire Station, it was agreed the Craven Lodge site was no longer necessary.  This reduces the cost of the police estate in Harrogate, as well as avoiding future cost in keeping the ageing building in suitable condition to house a local policing team.

The public should see no difference in how the team undertake their role in Harrogate town, with front counter services still available at Beckwith Head Road as they are now.  The team will hold regular drop-in sessions at Harrogate Library, initially weekly on Fridays from 9.00am to 12.00pm.  This may change depending on demand.  This means the team are more accessible than when sporadically using Craven Lodge, where officers may or may not have been in when members of the public visited.  The base at Harrogate Fire Station, whilst not open to the public, means quick and easy access to and from the town centre when necessary.

This decision is also facilitated by the improvement to mobile working within North Yorkshire Police, allowing officer to access digital services via mobile phones and tablets outside of police stations, meaning there is also less need to return to police stations throughout a working shift. A base at the Fire Station allows space for officers to easily get back to a base should they need to, as well as space for vehicles and bikes close to the town centre.

The decision not to extend the lease of Craven Lodge, which will come into effect from 31st March 2020, saves a total of £50,006 per year.  Leasing a small part of the Harrogate Fire Station will amount to £15,637, resulting in a net saving of £34,369 per annum. This will be reinvested into frontline policing.

Decision Record

The Commissioner has decided to not to extend the lease at Craven lodge (Harrogate), with savings reinvested into frontline policing.  The local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be based at Beckwith Head Road police station, as well as utilising Harrogate Fire Station.  Additional services will be available at Harrogate Library, meaning the team will be more visible and accessible.

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Julia Mulligan
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Statutory Officer Advice

Legal, Management and Equality Implications

The Commissioner’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Financial and Commercial

The Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer has advised that he is happy with the financial information contained within the document and the costs to be paid to the Fire Service have been calculated based on market rates to ensure that there is no cross-subsidy across the two areas of responsibility for the PFCC .

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