COUNCILLORS have praised a partnership between emergency services which has seen police officers given a new home.

Great Harwood Police will now use the town's fire station as a welfare facility and a location to complete reports and paperwork.

This follows discussion between the local councillors with Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, as well as lobbying Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Great Harwood police station in Hesketh Lane was closed in July 2017 as part of cost-cutting measures.

Bosses at the fire station said they hope it will make the area safer for everyone.

David Russel, assistant chief fire officer of Lancashire said: "Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service staff based at the station are looking forward to working even more closely with the local policing team on a daily basis.

"The benefits that this collaboration will provide will undoubtedly assist both Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service & Lancashire Police in making Great Harwood a safer community in which to live and work.'

The police will use their own enabled laptops which will allow them to work flexibly throughout the station with no costs being incurred regarding re-configuring office space in order to accommodate.

The number of police staff involved will be approximately eight, including three early action, three neighbourhood and two response officers covering any full 24 hour period.

The police on duty in the town will utilise the fire station as required.

Cllr Bernadette Parkinson, who represents Great Harwood on Hyndburn Council, said: "It was a disappointment to the councillors and many of the residents when the police station and front desk facility was closed due to the massive cuts imposed on Lancashire Police by the Conservative government.

"However, we have worked in the background with all the services in Great Harwood to find a workable solution that means Great Harwood has a police presence based from the town."

Lancashire Police said they did not renew the lease on the old building after taking a decision that the premises were ‘underutilised and no longer fit for purpose'.

Cllr Noordad Aziz said: "I think this shows what perseverance and communication can achieve in finding a solution to an issue.

"Additionally, having police visibility in the town will give assurance to all of our Great Harwood residents."