THE Met is planning to close the front counters at both Wanstead and Woodford Police Stations by April 2013.

The news was revealed by the deputy leader of Redbridge Council, Ian Bond, who says the police are in a process of formal consultation with the council over the closure of both front counters.

In a statement on the website of Roding ward’s Liberal Democrats, Cllr Bond says that as well as the proposal to shut front counters at Wanstead and Woodford, the Met also plans to close the front counter at Barkingside Police Station outside of daytime hours.

Under the plans Ilford Police Station’s front counter would remain open 24 hours a day.

The news comes as a  huge blow to campaigners fighting to secure the future of both stations.

Cllr Bond said: “Although the police are keen to emphasise that the future of the buildings themselves is being considered separately, clearly at some point these separate decisions will need to come together.”

He added that a decision on the proposals would be made by December 11, with a public consultation to follow in January, and implementation due to take place in April.

Under the plans almost half of the Met’s front counters will close and a third of their buildings, including New Scotland Yard, will be put up for sale.

More to follow.