MP JOHN Healey will meet Rotherham’s top cop this week to renew his call for Wath police station to be reopened.
The Wentworth and Dearne MP wrote to Chief Constable Stephen Watson last week demanding the Church Street base be brought back into action and is due for talks over the matter with Chief Supt Una Jennings.
Mr Healey, who has an office in the town, welcomed the Government committing to recruiting more police officers in its autumn spending review and said it was the perfect opportunity to reopen the Wath station.
The enquiry desk closed eight years ago and the building has not been an operational base since 2015.
But the force poured cold water on the request, saying the small base for officers it operates at Montgomery Hall was an “invaluable community asset”.
Mr Healey said in his letter to Mr Watson: “There is now an important opportunity for you to restore the community policing presence that has been lost in many of our South Yorkshire towns and villages, outside the main centres.
“And, of course, you will need police station space and operational bases for increased numbers of officers.”
Mr Healey said Wath Police Station, which is to be sold next month subject to contract, should be taken off the market immediately and reopened “to strengthen the police’s neighbourhood presence”.
A police spokeswoman said the sale had been agreed as it was “costing thousands of pounds each year to retain an unused building”.
She added: “The space we lease within Montgomery Hall helps to support an invaluable community asset - it gives us a base within the heart of the community which enables us to interact with residents and spend more time in the town.”