PCC Astonished at Planning Outcome

News
|
February 10, 2023

PCC Joy Allen has expressed her surprise following the decision of Durham County Council’s Planning Committee to refuse her application to have a non-operational concrete communications mast permanently dismantled.  When the new Police Headquarters was built in 2014 it had been agreed that the communications mast on the old HQ site would be taken down and then re-erected.  However, the mast structure suffered unavoidable damage during dismantling due to internal fusing of its parts. Significant sums of money would need to be spent on recasting, repair and maintenance without adding much time to its life expectancy before it will become necessary to take it down permanently, again at significant cost, within the foreseeable future.

This is against a backdrop of reduced funding to Durham Police and rising demand.

PCC Allen said: “This decision is frankly astonishing, particularly in the current financial climate. At a time when every purse is stretched and when the public has just supported my plans to sustain police services through an increase in the council tax precept, the Council demands that we use around £1m of public money to reinstate – and then maintain – a concrete structure that has no operational, commercial, sentimental or practical value. Comparing the mast to Durham Cathedral is nonsense.

“Even our request for the decision to be deferred so that we could continue to discuss options was rejected.   I think people would rather have police officers and PCSOs than a redundant mass of damaged concrete.  I most certainly would.

“Public services should work together for the benefit of the taxpayer.  This decision will affect the affordability of police services to the residents and communities of Durham and Darlington and puts at risk the continued recruitment of PCSOs to replace those who leave to become regular Police Officers, even though I have only recently increased the police precept part of council tax with a commitment to maintain PCSO numbers.”

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: “The Force will be working closely with the PCC to work through the implications of this decision in terms of service delivery and the broader impact on the public.”

Read More News

PCC hits back at Home Secretary’s comments

PCC Joy Allen has hit back at comments made by the Home Secretary when visiting Durham Constabulary’s training centre last week.

News
|
May 24, 2024
Read More

Joy Allen has been re-elected as Durham Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington.

Joy Allen has been re-elected as Durham Police and Crime Commissioner.

News
|
May 3, 2024
Read More

PCC delivers on pledge to make County Durham safer, stronger and more resilient to crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.

PCC reports on progress made over the past eight months deliver justice for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.

News
|
March 21, 2024
Read More