Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. DMPC approval is being sought in respect of the principle of disposing of Hornchurch Police Station on the basis set out below.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1. Hornchurch Police Station, which has no current public access, was identified as surplus to requirements and noted for disposal in the Public Access Strategy approved in November 2017.
2.2. Heads of Terms have been negotiated with the London Borough of Havering (LB Havering) for the grant of the Option for LB Havering (or Mercury Land Holdings Ltd, a company wholly owned by LB Havering), to acquire the freehold interest in Hornchurch Police Station, and a leaseback of part of the premises for a term of 10 years at peppercorn rent to MOPAC. The purchase price is to be the Market Value (as defined by the RICS ‘Red Book’) on the basis of special assumptions to maximise value and thereby achieve best consideration.
2.3. LB Havering may exercise the Option by serving an option notice prior to 30 November 2018, after which the Option will expire. This period is however capable of extension if at expiry the purchase price has not been agreed or determined by an expert (following an application by either party for expert determination), in which case it will be extended until the 20th working day following agreement or determination of the purchase price. Completion of the sale (and leaseback) is to occur on the earlier of (i) the date 12 months following service of the option notice and (ii) such earlier date as MOPAC elects, on 2 months’ notice to LB Havering.
2.4. The proposal makes provision for the supply of a DWO hub location at Hornchurch Police Station at nil cost to MOPAC. The proposal also makes provision, to be via a Memorandum of Understanding, for Community Contact Sessions to be held at the site.
2.5. This opportunity secures for MOPAC free DWO space, it reduces estate running costs, and generates a capital receipt. At the same time it offers a stable police contact arrangement to the local community. As a result Heads of Terms for the proposed disposal have been worked up – see Part 2.
2.6. This is consistent with the Public Access Strategy as MOPAC committed to a flexible approach to DWO Hubs, using sites which were most cost effective. As the DWO Hub at Hornchurch will be provided for free, this meets that commitment.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. The capital receipt generated by the disposal will be used to contribute towards funding the capital programme, investing in the retained estate and technology to enable officers to be more mobile and visible. The revenue savings arising from the disposal are estimated at £95k p.a.
3.2. The leaseback to MOPAC of part of the site is for a 10-year period and is at nil cost to MOPAC.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. Further to section 3 (6) (a) and (b) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the Act) MOPAC must secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police force, and secure that the metropolitan police force is efficient and effective.
4.2. MOPAC may do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office which includes acquiring and disposing of property (including land). Under paragraph 7 (2) (b) of Schedule 3 of the Act MOPAC has the power to dispose of surplus properties (including land).
4.3. The MOPAC Scheme of Delegation and Consent provides for the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to make this decision.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that, in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
• Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
• Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
5.2. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (all except the last being ‘relevant’ protected characteristics). The duty may involve, in particular, removing or minimising any disadvantage suffered by those who have a relevant protected characteristic, taking steps to meet the needs of such people, and encouraging them to participate in public life or in any other activity where their participation is disproportionately low, including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding. Compliance with the Act may involve treating people with a protected characteristic more favourably than those without the characteristic.
5.3. As the Community Contact Sessions are replacing the Contact Points that are currently held at Hornchurch Police Station, and officers will continue to be deployed from there as at present, it is considered that the police will continue to serve the community. The key difference being that these are now Community Contact Sessions which involves a closer working partnership with stakeholders so that through the involvement of local people they can determine opening days and times, and will keep this under review.
6. Background/supporting papers