Staffordshire PCC plans review of public buildings

Staffordshire Police Headquarters The former police HQ at Baswich has been on the market for years

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Hundreds of public buildings in Staffordshire could be closed to save money, the county's police and crime commissioner has said.

Matthew Ellis said a review of police and council buildings would help find out where money could be saved from the public purse.

He said Staffordshire Police's former HQ at Baswich had been empty for three years at a cost of £1m a year.

Mr Ellis said: "That's money that could have gone into frontline policing."

The county council currently owns 400 buildings, excluding its schools, and Staffordshire Police force owns 50.

Mr Ellis said the force's empty former HQ was "just one example" of empty properties that could be put to better use by being sold or shared with other public bodies.

"We need to understand where we can bring services together and how we can utilise buildings and assets better," he said.

"We could free up an enormous amount of money for frontline services."

The force relocated to its current £16m headquarters in Weston Road in 2010 having been in Baswich since the 1950s.

Conservative councillor Ian Parry said: "We can make sure where we don't use buildings properly we can share them with other organisations or dispose of them, and perhaps in some case generate fresh jobs and fresh investment."

The BBC understands the force and the county council are to transfer their property management staff into a new organisation that will be partly owned by the authority and police along with a private partner.

The plan, if approved, could affect about 30 staff.

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