Otley MP Greg Mulholland hits out over 'secret' policing talks

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: MP Greg Mullholland MP Greg Mullholland

MP Greg Mullholland is using the Freedom of Information Act to try to make public details of secret talks that took place between the police and two councils over the possible closure of Otley police station.

Mr Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) spoke out a fortnight ago about the eventually fruitless discussions that could have resulted in the police moving to the Civic Centre.

West Yorkshire Police responded by confirming it had held exploratory talks "months ago" with Leeds City Council, and then also Otley Town Council, about the possibility of relocating.

But the force said those negotiations had been abandoned – and that it was instead intending to consolidate its base at Otley Police Station.

Mr Mulholland, however, has criticised all three parties for not publicising the issue, which stayed confidential at the request of police, and accused the town council of "misleading" people.

He is now writing to Leeds City Council's chief executive to demand that all of the correspondence, phone call logs and other communications about the subject are made public.

In response, the Labour-controlled town council has accused the MP of meddling to "an unprecedented degree" for party political reasons.

It has also pointed out that a Liberal Democrat councillor, Councillor John Flinn (Lib Dem, Ashfield), is a member of the cross-party civic centre working group.

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