By Audlem Webteam - 11th March 2006 7:06am
Audlem Parish Council has expressed its opposition to the proposed merger of Cheshire's police force with Merseyside. The Parish Council is sending a written protest about the lack of information that has been made available to the public; the impact the change could have rural policing and the cost of the proposal which will fall on local taxpayers.
Audlem, says the Parish Council, has fought for years to have a dedicated police officer. PC Ken Maple's arrival, and the successful introduction of Community Action meetings, could now all be at risk. The village already suffers from its isolation when a fast response patrol is needed. This situation could worsen if control passes to Merseyside.
The proposals, according to the Government, will cost £600 million and save £4.2 million a year. That is the economics of madness. No business would invest a sum so large to achieve a saving so small.
The Parish Council has also advised MP Stephen O'Brien of their opposition. He spoke in the recent Commons debate on police re-organisation. If the merger goes ahead, Audlem will be even further away from its police HQ if that shifts to Merseyside. It took a patrol car almost 40 minutes to arrive when a robbery was taking place a month ago in the village. Even the thieves were unconcerned when told the police were on their way — they knew how long it would take. How long will a patrol take to arrive in an even larger police force area?
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