Monday 11 June 2012

PFI - Dyfed Powys Police in Private Eye

Thanks to @rlloydpr for spotting Dyfed Powys Police in a recent edition of Private Eye - The article concerns the failed Ammanford Police Station PFI fiasco, which is now up for closure in an attempt to slice £13m off the budget. (I imagine the rapid response team at the beck and call of County Hall will remain unaffected by the cuts, you just never know when someone might wield a mobile phone in the public gallery)

"As forces "adapt" services to meet the funding cuts, Dyfed Powys has decided to close seven police stations to reach its £13m target.
One of them is the £2.5m Ammanford station in Carmarthenshire, built under a PFI scheme in 2001, complete with its state-of-the-art custody suite with see-through toilets to retrieve, for example, drugs.
Unfortunately, according to insiders, the custody suite has been woefully underused since a death in custody not long after it opened.
A half-used building was perhaps an obvious target for closure; but it leaves people in swathes of north Carmarthenshire without access to a police station - while still facing the staggering £15m bill for the white elephant before the PFI deal ends in 2030. Brilliant!"

(Private Eye)


Cneifiwr said...

It's worth pointing out that the figure of £15 million is probably something of an under-estimate. The chief constable told the council earlier this year that the PFI would cost the force £700,000 in the current year, and that costs were rising year-on-year.

£15 million would be a bargain under the circumstances!

Anonymous said...

The station at Ammanford is one of the most modern in the force estate but there is no doubt that the PFI deal was a huge mistake. Its not a mistake than can be laid at the feet of Mr Grange incidentally, the Chief at the time was Ray White.

It seems the force is saddled with the building so it stands to reason that it should be used to the max to extract as much value as possible.

The custody unit at Ammanford is one of he most modern in the country with state of the art facilities. It has been mothballed for years.

It now seems the force wants to spend another 5 million on a custody unit at crosshands. This is totally unreasonable whilst a perfectly good facility exists down the road.

Another question which needs to be asked is why do the force rent a factory unit at Crosshands to house a trafic unit when again perfectly god garage facilities exist at Ammanford Police Station.

I say that the Police should be making do and mending in this day and age and certainly not be allowed to spend public money on buildings which duplicate existing facilities just down the road.