Council backs proposal to relocate staff from Haddington Police Station
Published Tuesday 28th March 17
A proposal to relocate staff from Haddington Police Station within East Lothian Council’s John Muir House campus has taken a key step forward.
The plan was backed at today’s full meeting of East Lothian Council following a decision last week by the Scottish Police Authority to support the move in principle, which would see police officers from the current Haddington Police Station transfer into accommodation on the first floor of the former Haddington Sheriff Courts and space within John Muir House – East Lothian Council’s headquarters.
Police front counter police services will also be maintained.
It follows an agreement signed by East Lothian Council Chief Executive Angela Leitch and Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, Chief Superintendent Ivor Marshall, pledging to increase partnership working to further improve local services.
Speaking after councillors backed the proposal Angela Leitch said:
“This is an excellent example of public sector partners working collaboratively to improve local services. Significant vacant space became available in John Muir House following the closure of Haddington Sheriff Court. The council was keen to look for opportunities to breathe fresh life into the building, which sits at the heart of the town.
“By reconfiguring some of the space, police staff will be based on the first floor of the former court building, while the downstairs reception on Court Street will become a police station public reception area. Remaining space on the first floor will be able to accommodate up to 54 council staff, while a Collaborative Hub will be established on the ground floor of John Muir House. This will enable community police, fire service and the council’s Safer Communities Team to work together in a smarter way with a focus on enhanced public service delivery.”
Chief Inspector Matt Paden, Local Area Commander for East Lothian, said:
“I am excited by the possibilities that moving into John Muir House will open up. It should create a better working environment and give my officers better access to partners who can help solve problems and address concerns in the local area.
“We are committed to this partnership approach as we look to design police services and their delivery according to changing needs over the next decade. We consulted with those who use and contribute to our services in building the proposal for moving into John Muir House, and we want to hear the views of everyone in East Lothian to help shape the Policing 2026 strategy which we will deliver locally from this new facility.
“Local policing and keeping our communities safe remains at the heart of what we do, and moving into John Muir House, just a stone’s throw from our current police station, will have no impact on the level of local policing we provide in the area.”
As part of the Scottish Court Service reforms, a decision was taken to close Haddington Sheriff Court with business transferring to Edinburgh in January 2015. East Lothian Council took operational ownership of the building in December 2015 presenting the council with significant opportunities in terms of extending accommodation for staff and/or community partner use.
A joint project to establish the feasibility of co-location between the Police and East Lothian Council had been underway since February 2016, supported by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT).
The council has allocated £1.47 million towards the project. Parts of the building, which require some modernisation, date back to 1833 and are of historical interest with Grade B listing. The Scottish Police Authority will contribute towards the capital investment costs as well as an annual rent.
The proposal will now go to the Scottish Government for formal approval.
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