Cross-party meeting will explore options for future of Wimbledon police station

Merton Liberal Democrats will hold a meeting on 26 September as part of an ongoing campaign to overturn Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to close Wimbledon police station.

Wimbledon is one of 37 London police stations Mr Khan announced for closure last year due to considerable Met funding cuts.

Merton Lib Dem Councillor Paul Kohler, 59, said: “Nobody is denying that the Mayor is experiencing a funding crisis, but there is an intelligent way to approach it which doesn’t involve leaving Wimbledon with Mitcham as their nearest station.”

The SOAS lecturer continued: “The purpose of the meeting next Wednesday is that we all share ideas and see if we can come up with a cross-party consensus.”

The campaign scored a victory on 20 July when Councillor Kohler won a stay of execution ruling from Lord Justice Lindblom and Mr Justice Lewis, stating that the case ‘must be reconsidered’.

Different parties within the council have suggested various schemes to save the station, including the Conservatives’ proposal to buy the property.

Merton Councillor James Holmes will be attending the meeting and said: “I am looking forward to being able to engage with Wimbledon residents to make the case that the Conservative plan to buy Wimbledon Police Station, safeguarding it for the future, is the best way forward for Wimbledon.

“We know that our policy works; Havering Council has recently voted to buy Hornchurch Police Station, keeping this vital community asset in the hands of the local community.”

The station would then be leased back to the Met, which Councillor Kohler believes would be a drain on resources and suggests there are other options.

He said: “One option might be close both Mitcham and Wimbledon police stations, sell that land and have a purpose-built station in the centre of the borough and maybe small satellite stations like shops in each of the centres.

“These are all things that we hope to discuss at the meeting.”

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 26 September, from 8pm-10pm at St Andrew’s Church, Herbert Rd, SW19 3SH.

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