COMMUNITY leaders have voiced disappointment at the closure of a police station counter.
Buckley councillors had been fighting for the counter at Buckley police station to remain open after it was threatened with closure as part of a spending review of North Wales Police services.
But it was closed earlier this month.
During a meeting of Buckley Town Council, members expressed concern at the development and criticised the decision taken.
They also criticised the lack of responses they claimed to have received to letters sent in the hope the decision would be reversed, including to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Professional Standards Department for North Wales.
Cllr Carol Ellis was one of the most vocal critics of the way she felt Buckley had been treated.
She said: “I think they have treated us with disrespect. With that disrespect they are disrespecting our residents.”
Cllr Ron Hampson said the focus now needed to be on ensuring a police presence was retained in the town.
It is hoped a new Flintshire Connects centre in Buckley will be created, similar to what has been set up in Holywell, to allow police and other organisations to be situated in the centre of the town.
Councillors had wanted the front counter to remain open until Flintshire Connects was established. “We hopefully will follow the precedent of Holywell,” said Cllr Hampson.
“There needs to be a police presence at Flintshire Connections. Sadly at the moment this [the police counter being open in the police station] is a lost cause.”
Members voted in favour of further correspondence being sent, expressing the council’s unhappiness at the situation.
In a letter to the town council dated January 14, Chief Constable Mark Polin gave assurances to the council about policing in the town. He wrote “With regard to the front counter service in Buckley police station, the front counter will close upon the implementation of the new front counter structure on Monday, January 14, 2013.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the front counter in Buckley will close I would like to highlight that the number of officers working from Buckley police station will not be reduced and has recently been increased by Temporary Chief Inspector Jeff Moses.”
Mr Polin said the decision to close the front counter service at Buckley Police Station was due to a comprehensive spending review announced in 2010.
Justifying the decision to close Buckley counter, he wrote: “Buckley was one of the stations to receive the fewest visitors and, as such, it was not deemed viable to retain a front counter service there.”
Mr Polin said the police stations at Mold and Wrexham will continue to offer front counter services and neighbourhood policing surgeries are expected to be held on a fortnightly basis in Buckley.