DCSIMG

Plan for police to move into Castletown Civic Centre

Meeting at Castletown Civic Centre in connection with the changes planned to take place to policing the south of the island

Meeting at Castletown Civic Centre in connection with the changes planned to take place to policing the south of the island

  • by Mel Wright
 

Plans are being drawn up to accommodate the police station within the Civic Centre in Castletown and once completed, the local authority will hold a public meeting.

The possibility of the station, at present in a building opposite the entrance to Castle Rushen, moving to the Civic Centre was first raised last year and again earlier this year when deep cuts to the police force – including the closure of Port Erin and Lord Street police stations – were announced.

Last month, the issue of policing cuts and the impact on the south was discussed at a public meeting in the town organised by the Police Consultative Forum.

Concerns were expressed that the move to the centre would result in the loss of all, or part, of the hall, which is the largest and only public space in the town.

They included Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band’s Simon Court who said the hall is ‘a valuable resource’. The band’s last concert there – on August 12 – had attracted a ‘large audience’.

The band uses the hall for about 10 concerts a year, plus further events for Balley Cashtal Brass, the training band, and its unavailability would ‘severely reduce’ the finances of both groups.

Also, other organisations such as the Castletown and Malew branch of the Isle of Man Anti-Cancer Association use the hall on a regular basis.

The hall offers disabled people – of which there is a ‘reasonable number’ in their audiences – easy access. Its loss would jeopardise any further concerts.

Retaining part of the hall for public use (if the police station used half the space) would be no good as a smaller area would not accommodate all the band’s regular audiences.

The idea of moving the police instead to the soon to be vacated fire station, in Farrant’s Way, was raised as a preferred option.

Castletown Commissioners’ chairman Richard McAleer said: ‘The board continue to have discussions with the police regarding a possible relocation and are exploring all options at the moment.

‘The board want to see the police maintain a presence in Castletown, but any relocation has to be right for all parties concerned. No decision has been made by either side at present.

‘I can reassure the people of Castletown that the board remain committed to maintaining the Civic Centre, the hall is unlikely to be included in any potential relocation plans and will continue to be available for use by its many user groups.’

He added: ‘Also, I can confirm that the board remain committed to keeping the library open.

‘The board will be getting some plans drawn up to see if the police can be accommodated within the Civic Centre complex without adversely affecting current services.

‘Once these have been discussed by the board, a public meeting will be held.’

 

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