THE ELECTED head of Thames Valley Police says he is ‘pleased to announce’ that if all goes to plan, a city police base will be staying open.

Despite telling the Oxford Mail a decision has not yet been made over Marston's police office, Anthony Stansfeld – the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the force - made the announcement in a live Q&A session.

Last Friday, he said: “I am pleased to say that provided I am able to put up the police precept on the council tax, what I’ve recommended is that we will be retaining the police station, we’ve looked at the sums again and I don’t think we got them entirely right so I’ve listened to that and unless something untoward happens I expect us to retain the police station.”

The plan to permanently close the office came to light in October after locals said the shutters had been down for weeks.

A city councillor said that Thames Valley Police rents the Marston and Northway Police Office for £17,000.

Campaigners have previously told the Oxford Mail that is it a ‘tiny amount’ of money, and now it is understood that Oxford City Council and Thames Valley police are negotiating costs.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, who is on the council’s board for housing and customer-focused services, said: “Our discussions with TVP are progressing well and I’m very hopeful that we can come to an agreement that ensures the station remains open.

“Having a police station in the neighbourhood encourages people to report local crime and anti-social behaviour, which leads to improved community safety.”

Mr Stansfeld told the Oxford Mail: “With changes to the TVP funding that should stop further cuts to our budgets and an ongoing arrangement with the council, I am expecting it to be kept open.

“The final decision is yet to be made.”

He added he will have a meeting with the chief constable later on in the month, when there is a more clear idea on the budget for the next financial year.

The elected head has also announced he will not be standing for re-election when his time is up in 2020.

The Conservative has had the position since it was created in 2012. He said: “I will not be standing for re-election and never intended to after this current term. I believe eight years is enough.”