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Executive Summary

The lease for the current police premises in the Wem, Shropshire is due to expire in August 2023. An operational police presence needs to be retained as not having a base locally in Wem will negatively affect the policing service in the locality.

The existing landlord in Wem does not want to renew the current lease, as they have identified that they require the space for their own service delivery. The OPCC has reviewed options for alternative sites within Wem. The recommended option is to enter into a 5-year lease with a private landlord at an alternative location, being an office building – 2 Aston Street, Wem, SY4 5AY. The rent and projected running costs for the new premises are significantly ‘lower than those for the existing premises.


That the PCC authorise:-

the signing of a lease with the landlord of 2 Aston Street, Wem, SY4 5AY for a proposed 5-year term, as detailed in this report.

Approval of West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

I hereby approve the above proposal.

Signed: Marc Bayliss.

Part 1 – Non-Confidential/Exempt Facts and Figures

Supporting Report

The Wem Safer Neighbourhood Team are currently based in the Wem Health Centre Police staff have exclusive use of two rooms (approximately 40sqm total area) and one parking space. They share the use of the waiting area, a data cupboard and welfare facilities With the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust The sub-lease IS to expire on 28th August 2023

The rent for the premises IS E6,975 per annum and the service charge IS arca E 7,500 per annum On 29th June 2023, correspondence was received from the NHS that due to cost pressures, the service charge for the premises Will Increase by 15% With effect from 1 st April 2023 This means that If the Police were to reman In the health centre, the service charge would Increase by El , 125 to €8,625 per annum. The total cost of the lease for 2023/24 would therefore be El 5,600

On 16th February 2023, OPCC Estates received correspondence that the Associate Director of Estates for Shropshire Community Health Trust has advised Shropshlre Council that the lease between their organisatlon and the PCC for police staff occupying the premises In the Wem Health Centre may not be renewed Since the demands for the local healthcare service has grown, space IS required by NHS staff

Due to the relative remoteness of Wem from other existing Police premises (Shrewsbury DHQ, Oswestry, Whitchurch and Market Drayton), losing premises In the town would have a negative mpact on policing operations, presence and response times.

OPCC Estates has engaged in discussions With Shropshlre Council seeking to find another co-location opportunity which could be delivered to coincide with the end of the lease of the Health Centre. However, no alternative co-location option could be found. OPCC Estates monitored the open market for a suitable replacement premises. Supply of office space in the town centre With parking IS very limited as local demand IS substantial Most of the premises viewed are large stand-alone buildings In poor condition which are not deemed a financially viable option.

In March 2023, OPCC Estates Identified a potentially suitable property which, following a site inspection, satisfied the business requirements of Wem SNT. The property IS comparable in size to the premises In the Health Centre, whilst offering a significant reduction tn annual costs

2 Aston Street, Wem, SY4 5AY IS a Grade Il listed former pub with a large car park at the rear (approx 25 spaces) which has been converted Into offices It IS located at the end of the High Street, across from the railway station’s car park

The building IS currently undergoing phased Internal refurbishment The ground floor will offer a sound-proof meeting room for 4 occupants to all tenants and will be available to book In advance This meeting room will be a suitable replacement for the interview room in the existing premises.

OPCC Estates and West Mercia Police consider that available office space, located on the first floor of the building, Will be sufficient for the needs for the SNT, offering a total of 55sqm of space The space appears to be In overall good condition with some minor wear and tear The doors are brand new and comply With fire regulations The windows are well maintained and double-glazed, lighting IS modern and Ar Conditioning IS installed In two of the rooms. There IS potential to reinstate a connecting doorway linking the rooms proposed to be occupied by police staff

The advertised price per month for offices 6 and 7 IS E20 per sqft, however, following negotiation by OPCC Estates on behalf of the PCC, the landlord has agreed to lower the rent to E 18 per sqft for the PCC to El 0,678 per annum should a 5-year lease be signed

The rent offered IS all Inclusive (general maintenance and compliance of the building, all utility costs, etc) and Includes the use of one parking space The PCC will be responsible for the payment of business rates, cleaning of the police offices and the maintenance of fixtures, fittings and equipment The costs as outlined above represent a saving of approximately €5,000 per annum In rent and running costs, compared to the existing location. The proposed lease terms include a rent review In year 3 which would be subject to CPI indexation The cap In the rise will be 3% and the collar Will be 1%.

The break clause offered allows the PCC the opportunity to dissolve the agreement with 6 months’ written notice at the end of the third year of the lease

The proposed lease will be outside of the Landlord and Tenant 1954 Act and the PCC will not have security of tenure. This IS important to note due to the need to make an investment in the premises for the Initial fit-out. According to the Estates Strategy, retaining a physical presence is the area IS required until 2030. This IS consistent With the majority of leases that the PCC currently has in place.

Strategic Considerations

This decision supports the following element(s) of the Safer West Mercia Plan

  • Putting Victims and Survivors First
  • Building a More Secure West Mercia
  • Reforming West Mercia 
  • Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities

The decision supports the above listed objectives through the following:

West Mercia manages its resources to maximise value, effectiveness, efficiency and meet demand.

West Mercia Police will establish and maintain a clear, strong identity with its staff, public and partners.

Ensure West Mercia’s estate delivers the facilities police and communities need, In the most effective, efficient way possible.

Resources will be prioritised towards front-line services to the public, ensuring all communities can access their police service quickly and conveniently when they need to.

Benefits and their realisation

Benefits Include:

The Police will be utilising an accessible location known to the local community, retaining presence in the area ensures the continued provision of good visibility and protects police response times.


Tess Vincent, Date: 4th July 2023.

Financial and Treasurer Comments

The negotiated annual rent for the 5-year lease is £10,678 per annum (exclusive of VAT) which IS Inclusive of all costs with the exception of the non-domestic rates liability relating to the premises and cleaning

This IS a saving of around £5,000 per annum in rent and running costs, compared to the occupation of the Health Centre. The proposed lease terms include a rent review in year 3 which would be subject to CPI indexation, the cap in the rise will be 3% and the collar will be 1%.

A quote has been obtained in connection With the projected legal costs for the PCC for signing this new lease. The estimation IS £1,000-£1,500 (excl. of VAT). The landlord has also requested that the PCC covers a maximum of £750 (excl. of VAT) of their legal costs incurred in connection with the completion of the lease.

There will be costs associated with moving premises, fitting out the new office and minor refurbishment works OPCC Estates will also need to obtain planning permission for change of use for the premises and may be required (subject to the advice of the Conservation Officer of Shropshire Council) to obtain listed building consent to carry out any Installation or refurbishment works.

IT have advised that the costs associated with decommissioning the old premises and setting up the new location, the costs will be £7,487

OPCC Estates estimate the physical fit-out of the premises Will cost around £9,500 exclusive of VAT This Includes Installation of a new fire door and frame, installation of built-in storage, constructing the space for the data cabinet and redecoration works.

Although the initial one-off costs for these works is estimated to be circa £7,000, this premises will remain cheaper in rent and running costs over 5 year term of the lease in comparison with the current budget spend.

The estates services have provided assurance that his option represents the best option for meeting the needs of policing in Wem, from the currently available property.


Treasurer, Date: 06 July 2023.

Legal Considerations

By virtue of schedule 11, paragraph 14 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 the Police and Crime Commissioner may do anything which is calculate to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of commissioner, that includes entering into contracts and other agreements (whether legally binding or note) and acquiring and disposing of property (including land).

Public Access to Information

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation. Part 1 of this form will be made available on the West Mercia Commissioner’s website. Any facts and advice that should not be made automatically available on request are not included in Part 1 but instead in a separate Part 2 report.

Officer Approval

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Date: 07 July 2023.