North Huron votes to keep Wingham Police - March 8, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
North Huron Council laid the debate to rest on Monday night, voting to keep the Wingham Police Service in Wingham.
In a recorded vote, all council members except Wingham Ward representative Councillor Trevor Seip voted to keep the Wingham Police Service over switching to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
Seip, prior to the vote, said he would respect the decision of council but feels that North Huron, and specifically Wingham ratepayers, are at a crossroads and difficult decisions need to be made regarding servicing in the future.
He said that the only way taxes can be addressed in the ward is to look at reducing services, however he said the process that led to the vote was good, because it showed what ratepayers wanted.
Councillor Bill Knott reminded those watching that this decision was about Wingham’s policing and that any changes to Blyth or East Wawanosh’s police services weren’t part of the discussion.
Knott went on to say the feedback he had received from Wingham ratepayers had been overwhelmingly in support of keeping the Wingham Police Service, despite any potential savings the OPP might provide.
The decision puts to rest months of debate and special meetings regarding the issue, however council now has to face the request from the Wingham Police Association to double the number of active officers, a change which will have a $400,000 impact on the municipality’s annual budget.