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Police step nearer HQ sell-off

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

Former Staffordshire Police HQ on Cannock Road

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THE former Staffordshire Police HQ which has been draining £1m each year from police coffers should be sold by September now agents have been appointed to market it.

Staffordshire Police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis has brought in agents to dispose of the Cannock Road site, which has stood empty since 2010.

And he says he is optimistic a sale will be finalised in the next few months with a target date of September for completion.

Police moved out of the HQ to Weston Road and the plan was to sell the site off for housing.

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But potential buyers, including Taylor Wimpey, pulled out leaving its future uncertain and taxpayers forced to help foot a £1 million a year bill.

Mr Ellis said: "It is moving along and it is now a case of doing the practical work and working with the borough council to actually get rid of the site and put millions of pounds back into policing.

"There are some potential new buyers so we are hoping that by September it will all be done."

Mr Ellis said demolishing the buildings had helped save £500,000 per year but it was still costing the same again to maintain the site.

He said he was frustrated at the amount of money spent maintaining it as it could have gone into frontline policing.

Ward councillors John Francis and Judith Dalgarno had previously critcised plans to leave the site empty and demolish historic Baswich House.

It comes as Mr Ellis announced a freeze on the police council tax precept for 2014/05. And despite tough financial problems for the police he said he did not envisage any redundancies at this stage, although jobs could be saved through natural wastage.

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