Sadiq Khan closes Eltham Police Station, but Coldharbour Police Base wins reprieve

Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that he will go ahead with plans to close Eltham Police Station, despite significant public opposition and following the revelation that Labour-run Greenwich Council failed to oppose the move in its consultation response.

Coldharbour Police Base, which the Mayor had also planned to close, has won a reprieve after significant local opposition to the move - and will now become a Dedicated Ward Officer Hub.

The plans were announced just a few weeks after the closure of the consultation, which many believed to be a sham, with most decisions already taken after leaked emails showed the Mayor had been developing the closure plans in secret as far back as last December.

In contrast to the actions of Labour-run Greenwich Council, however, Conservative-run Bexley Council, Bexley MPs and their Assembly Member made a successful case to keep Bexleyheath Police Station open.

Cllr Matt Hartley, Leader of Greenwich Conservatives, said: "It is deeply disappointing that Sadiq Khan is pressing ahead with the closure of Eltham Police Station. Instead of constantly trying to shift blame, it's about time the Mayor started taking responsibility for his own budget and his own decisions.

"At the same time, I am relieved that Sadiq Khan has backed down on his deeply unpopular plan to close Coldharbour Police Base - but this is scant comfort overall. Today's announcement is a real blow for Eltham."

Cllr Spencer Drury, Conservative councillor for Eltham North, revealed at the October Council meeting that Greenwich Council failed to oppose the closure of Eltham Police Station in its brief two-page letter responding to the consultation, which came from the chief executive, rather than the Labour Cabinet Member. This contrasts with Conservative-run Bexley Council which managed to save Bexleyheath Station. 

Spencer said: "I am disappointed but not surprised with this announcement. The Labour Council simply failed to engage with the process and didn't defend Eltham's Police Station at consultation meetings or in writing. Their failings mean that our Borough's only police station will be in Plumstead which simply isn't good enough. I hope that the decision to sell-off Eltham's police station in order to purchase better computers is reversed - the Mayor of London's vision for policing leaves too many areas unprotected for the vast majority of crimes."

For more information on the Council's failure to oppose the closure of Eltham Police Station see Cllr Spencer Drury's blog at http://spencerdrury.yourcllr.com/2017/10/26/labour-council-fails-to-stand-up-for-eltham-police-station/