A NEW £80,000 police counter service at Wantage Library may only open for four hours a day.

Thames Valley Police wants to set up the facility as it shuts its Church Street station and moves to a new £1.13m base to be built at Grove Technology Park.

Officers will move to the new Grove centre by March next year, but to keep a presence in Wantage a basic service will be operated in a garage building at the Stirlings Road library.

Police say no final decision has been taken, but are proposing to open the library unit from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday.

Oxfordshire County Council members for Wantage and Grove, Zoe Patrick and Jenny Hannaby, said it was not enough of a service for a town the size of Wantage.

Mrs Patrick said: “It seems to be an awful lot of money to spend when you are only going to be open four hours five days a week.

“Most people will end up going there to find it closed.

“There is a real risk if it is only open for four hours that it could potentially become unviable.

“People will think it is not being used and it will be closed.”

Thames Valley Police spokesman Rebecca Webber said no decision had been made yet, adding: “In common with other police forces, Thames Valley Police is facing substantial budget cuts.

“We are looking at various ways to achieve savings while protecting frontline services.

“These include the redesign of our front counter services to improve efficiency.”

The new Grove station will provide 24-hour cover, with response and neighbourhood officers and special constables all based there.