A COUNCILLOR has welcomed a backtrack on cuts to the opening hours of Newton-le-Willows police station's front desk.

Merseyside Police has agreed, after listening to feedback about cuts to Newton station, to change the decision made in January to only open the enquiries desk to the public on Fridays.

The Star reported after an outcry broke out over a reduction of the station's general enquiry desk's hours to one day a week.

Political leaders hit out at the decision, with Newton councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron calling the idea that "our police station can be sidelined and essentially closed ludicrous".

Newton-le-Willows general enquiry office will now be open between 8am and 4pm on Mondays as well as from 9am and 4pm on Fridays.

The force has said after listening to feedback about the cuts to Newton it has agreed to change the arrangements which were put in place in January, "whilst we further review our contact offer to communities".

Welcoming the change, Cllr Gomez-Aspron said: “I would like to personally thank the Chief Constable for listening to the representations made by us as local councillors and our MP, Conor McGinn, on behalf of the community. This gives us an opportunity to pause the decision made about Newton-le-Willows Police Station and have a rethink.

"We have the upmost support for our local Neighbourhood Police Team and are very clear that cuts are driven by Tory austerity. "But equally, we should have our fair share of what’s left.

"I look forward to meeting with relevant partners to establish a sustainable way forward that works for both the police and the community around Newton-le-Willows.”

After the decision change, Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said: “I completely understand the concerns.

"It’s really important to us to get the right offer for our communities and that needs to balance their needs with the demand we see for services, so we can put our resources in the right places."

The force says it is looking to employ additional temporary staff to change the general enquiry office opening hours.

Meanwhile, St Helens general enquiry office on College Street will remain open for 93 hours a week, available between 8am and 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 8am to 5pm on Sunday.