Islington Council: ‘If Holloway police station closes, we must stop it becoming luxury flats’
- Credit: Archant
The town hall has already begun talks about buying Holloway police station to build affordable homes.
It comes after last week’s announcement that the Hornsey Road building is facing closure as part of a Met cost-cutting drive.
The part-time station, which numerous Gazette readers have claimed is barely open, is one of 20 facing the axe across London.
Cllr Andy Hull, the town hall’s community safety leader, said “everything points” to the station closing once consultation has ended in October.
He said it was “reprehensible” that the Met is having to consider shutting one of Islington’s two police stations, as part of £200million savings forced by government budget cuts.
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But at the same time, he said the council has already made moves to get to the “front of the queue” and buy the building if it does shut – and stop it falling into the hands of private developers.
He told the Gazette: “If the Met has to sell this building, the council would want to acquire it for residential purposes. Our plan would be five or six storeys of 43 council homes – rather than luxury flats.
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“We want the public to get the best possible deal, even though we don’t agree with the station shutting.”
Cllr Hull continued: “It’s reprehensible that the government is forcing the Met Police to strip away its assets. As with everything else, austerity is coming at a cost to the public.
“The police should be accessible to the public, but when the Met is being forced to make savings, I can see why it would shut this under-used station as opposed to cutting staff.”
Holloway police station is listed for closure because hardly anyone reports crime at its front counter. According to figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, an average 1.1 people a day reported crime there in May.
Islington’s other police station, in Tolpuddle Street, is unaffected by the cost-cutting plans. About five crimes a day were reported there in May.
It comes nine years after campaigners, including Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, fought off similar closure plans for Holloway.
At the time in 2008, the Met said the station was “hardly used”. Mr Corbyn, on the other hand, had told the Gazette: “I’m amazed and concerned. To expect everyone to go to Tolpuddle Street is unreasonable.”