Plans for new Gloucestershire Police buildings scrapped

Plans for new police buildings in Gloucestershire have been scrapped amid fears over funding.

There had been plans for two new custody centres and extra accommodation at Bishops Cleeve and Waterwells.

Rob Garnham, chairman of the Gloucestershire Police Authority, said the force could not afford new buildings at the expense of officers and staff.

Chief Constable Tony Melville said he supported the decision.

Construction was due to start in March 2011.

The new buildings would have replaced existing facilities at Bearlands, in Gloucester, and Lansdown Road, in Cheltenham.

Mr Garnham said the project was "no longer a viable and affordable investment for the force and is to be withdrawn".

He said: "We've had to look at saving £10m over three years.

"The government has now said we've actually got to find another £1m this year alone and we know the public spending review in the autumn is going to be asking for many more millions of pounds in savings.

"With the current financial crisis we have had to look again at all our strategies and we cannot end up in the situation of trying to afford new buildings at the expense of officers and staff.

"We owe it to our colleagues to ensure that their wellbeing and employment comes before bricks and mortar."

Mr Melville said: "Whilst I understand that it may be difficult for the public to understand, this is ultimately about ensuring that we invest in the right places to serve our communities; it is essential that we keep officers on frontline duties where the public need them."

Work has now begun to review the force's existing estate.

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