Earlier this week I reported how Humberside Police were going to spend £25,000 on artwork outside their new – yet to be built – divisional headquarters in Hull. The good news today is the authority has backed down. Unfortunately, along with the good news there is some bad news.
It has also been announced the cost of building this new police station has risen from £26 million to £33 million. I thought the first figure was excessive, but a £7 million hike really is unacceptable. The question on everyone’s lips is: how are they planning to spend this money? The answer is: we don’t know. Humberside Police are very tight lipped on this subject, but hopefully we will be better informed next week, however, looking at the plans it appears the new police station will have beautiful landscaped gardens. It wouldn’t surprise me if a fountain isn’t built to make us feel good when we go in to report a crime.
What really disappoints me is at a time when police resources are stretched, and nationally there are more civilians working for police authorities than warranted officers, the Humberside Police Authority feels it is appropriate to allow costs to rise on capital projects. One wonders when some public bodies will get it. We are trying to reduce costs and bring down the huge government debt that will soon pass the £800 billion mark.
As I said earlier, I should have more information on the breakdown of costs for the new HQ next week. I will report back when I have the figures to hand.