|Fuham Police Station to Be Scrapped and Site Handed to Boys School|
Site to house purpose built free school but will also maintain "policing front counter"
Fulham Police Station is to be scrapped, with The Fulham Boys School taking over the site on the corner of Fulham Road and Heckfield Place.
Mayor Boris Johnson says that police will maintain a frontline counter service on the redeveloped site, though there are no details as yet about the level of service which will be on offer to the Fulham community or whether the number of local police officers will be reduced.
In a shock announcement, The Mayor says the station, which he describes as "under-utilised " will be purchased by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) from MOPAC - the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime - which has former Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council Stephen Greenhalgh at the helm.
The purchase price, and the cost of rebuilding the site, has not yet been revealed.
The free school, which has been hunting for a permanent home for over a year, is currently housed on a temporary site on the Gibbs Green Estate in West Kensington. The Mayor promised to find a permanent site last year when it was unable to locate suitable premises before opening.
The school is expected to move into its new home in September 2017.
" The new free school will be a real community asset, giving 800 more pupils the opportunity to have a top-class education and I am pleased the site will also continue to provide a front-desk policing service for the local area. "
The loss of Fulham Police Station will leave the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with just one full time station in Hammersmith.
The news comes at a time when the Metropolitan Police Service is facing "continued budgetary pressures". The Met is expected to save at least £800 million over the next four years, and this could rise further with an impending Comprehensive Spending Review.
As part of this review, a meeting of the Management Boardon September 29 is considering slashing the number of PCSOs - Police Community Support Officers - working in London. The Met say here are two option being considered - either removing all PCSO posts or retaining 629 posts which equates to one for each ward in the Capital.
Former Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Commander Lucy D'Orsi, who is leading the neighbourhood policing project says: " Like local communities we very much value PCSOs and their role in community engagement, they have been an integral part of the Safer Neighbourhoods model from the start.
" However, the financial pressures we are facing mean that we have a duty to consider all options available in order to meet those challenges and to ensure we deliver a quality policing service to London's communities."
The announcement has been welcomed by Chairman of Governors at The Fulham Boys School, Alex Wade, who says: " We set out six years ago to provide an outstanding boys' school for Fulham and I am delighted this news confirms our permanent presence in the heart of the borough. On behalf of the school's founders, parents, pupils, staff and friends, I'd like to thank everyone who has made this possible."
Fulham MP and the school's Patron, Greg Hands, says: "I am overjoyed that we finally have a permanent site for the excellent Fulham Boys School. This comes after many years of searching and quite a number of twists and turns! I look forward to the school moving to its new site in the heart of Fulham in due course."
September 23, 2015