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News Report Page 12 of 46
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PCC moves office to raise just over ₤1m for Merseyside Police

MERSEYSIDE'S Police and Crime Commissioner has announced plans to move her Office in order to generate just over ₤1m for Merseyside Police through the sale of Allerton Police Station. The Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy's Team has been based in Allerton Police Station, since May 2013, but in line with her Estate Strategy and following substantial interest in the prime location, on Rose Lane, the Commissioner took the decision to put the building on the market to raise vital funds for Merseyside Police.

In partnership with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, a joint plot of 0.96 acres encompassing the old Fire Station, on Mather Avenue and the Police Station, on Rose Lane, was put on the market in October 2017. More than 200 expressions of interest were received about the site, with a total of 24 formal offers being submitted by the deadline in March 2018. Following a detailed evaluation of those bids in partnership with the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (MFRA), the Commissioner can now confirm the joint site has been sold to housing association Liverpool Mutual Homes. The sale of the former Police Station, which has been closed to the public since 2011 and now only houses the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, will raise just over ₤1m for Merseyside Police.

The move will save more than ₤50,000 each year on the annual running costs of the Police Estate which can be redirected straight into frontline Policing. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will now temporarily relocate to vacant space in Wavertree Road Police Station, while space is prepared in Mather Avenue Police Station where the office will be permanently relocated in approximately 12 months' time.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:- "Allerton Police Station is a beautiful old building which is an asset to the area. The Estate Strategy, supported by 92% of the public who responded, committed to disposing of older buildings that are not fit for modern policing and are expensive to maintain. I therefore took the decision that Allerton Police Station, which was more than ½ empty and no longer used by anyone in the Force, could be released in order to generate much needed capital for Merseyside Police. Combined with the old Fire Station, on Mather Avenue, which has been closed since March 2015, it clearly held a lot of interest to buyers and developers, as demonstrated by the number of enquiries we received. In partnership with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, I have accepted the highest unconditional bid which enables us to release the properties quickly, ensuring precious funds can now be redirected towards reducing the capital costs to Merseyside Police and the Fire Service. My office will now relocate to empty space in Wavertree Road Police Station while a permanent base for my team is prepared at Mather Avenue. This will also reduce the annual running costs of the Police service; saving an extra ₤56,000 year on year which can be directed into frontline policing. In the meantime, I will continue to look for a space in the Allerton area to locate a Community Police Station, which will enable the Police to continue to be accessible and visible to the local community."

The Estate Strategy is the Commissioner's 10 year plan to update and modernise the Force's ageing buildings, with the aim of saving ₤2.5million every year on the cost of running the Police Estate, protecting 65 Police Officer posts each year. The Commissioner's Office will move to Wavertree Road Police Station, on Monday, 3 September 2018.

Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com with your thoughts and feelings about this move by the  2 services as we would love to know if you agree or disagree with it.

Local firms to get chance to work with new City housing company

LIVERPOOL City Council is planning to launch bespoke house refurbishment and house building procurement frameworks; giving local firms the chance to pitch for work from Foundations, the new ethical housing company established to create 10,000 new homes and refurbish dilapidated housing stock in the City. Foundations is the flagship housing policy for Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, who wants to use the company to rebalance the City's social housing stock, revolutionise the rent to buy sector and drive up Council Tax receipts for the Council. Formally established in January 2018, it has been tasked with creating bespoke properties for the:- homeless, foster carers, large families, the elderly and people with a disability and to improve the availability of good quality, affordable homes in the City.  The new frameworks will be designed specifically to enable Liverpool and Merseyside based businesses to pitch for work as part of the derelict refurbishment and new build programmes, bolstering the local supply chain.

The Council's Procurement Team have taken the 1st step to launch the new frameworks by publishing a soft market testing exercise with a questionnaire for contractors online now. Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "Foundations has the potential to be absolutely transformational in so many ways, such as by creating the right housing mix that the City needs and generating new Council Tax income which we can reinvest in services. But crucially it is also vital that as part of the construction programme that we give as many local businesses as possible the chance to bid for work from Foundations. We've already got a good track record of doing that with our Schools investment programme, with 74 % of the spending going to Merseyside firms helping create 2,000 jobs and 200 apprenticeships; and we want to replicate that with Foundations."

The sector has until 14 September 2018 to reply, after which feedback will be collated and then used to fine tune the framework before its official launch at the end of September 2018. Chair of Foundations, Frank Hont, said:- "The sheer scale of the work that Foundations will be doing over the next few years offers a tremendous opportunity to local firms, ranging from the supply of materials or fitting out properties. The procurement framework aims to recycle as much of the spending as possible locally through the City region economy, into the coffers of local businesses and ultimately the pockets of local workers, benefiting households across the City Region. It is an example of how the work that Foundations will be doing will have far reaching benefits that stretches far beyond just building new homes."

Foundations, which is earmarked as a ₤500m programme, is seen as fundamental to addressing both the City's need to develop 30,000 new homes by 2030 and its economic future, driving up Council Tax Revenue which is lower than many other areas because the city is dominated by small terraced houses in Bands A and B. Another benefit of the new company is that it will enable the Council to future proof the housing market for an ageing population, ensuring people can live independently for longer and provide intermediary accommodation that help keeps people from remaining in Hospital in the long term. It will also help reduce properties becoming void and reduce the chances of properties being converted into inappropriate Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

For Foundations the profits of both house sales and rentals will be returned to the Council as it is the sole shareholder in the company, with a percentage reinvested in new stock. Foundations will also underpin the Council's other major strategic housing goals such as the renewal of older neighbourhoods and increasing the levels of home ownership in the City by offering tenants products such as rent to buy.  The 1st wave of properties for the new housing company has already been identified, with 120 homes earmarked for land in Yew Tree, between Denford Rd, Ackers Hall Avenue and Dunchurch Road.

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