RADCLIFFE and Ramsbottom Police Stations could be sold as part of cost-cutting plans.

Greater Manchester Police chiefs have started a review into the future of the stations, which could result in those two bases being put on the market and net the force a one-off £700,000 and an annual saving of £100,000.

Neither of the stations are open to the public and it is common for officers who used to be based there to instead use Bury and Whitefield stations.

But their loss would be symbolic as police stations are often seen as community beacons against crime.

Stations also up for closure in the county are at Plant Hill, Northernden and Failsworth, which are all empty, and Mossley.

A police report on the topic says: "Radcliffe and Ramsbottom stations are currently used by a small number of officers for refreshments and to occasionally use a computer.

"The annual revenue costs of Radcliffe Station is £14,000. The division has secured a room in "Ramsbottom Station has annual revenue costs of £8,000. Alternative space has been identified at Ramsbottom Library."

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: "Police officers don’t need to be based in police stations in order to deliver local policing.

"By embedding neighbourhood policing at the heart of the service, developing the use of mobile data, and working much more closely with partner agencies, officers are now more visible in local communities, whether that’s out on the street, sharing a council building or in the local library.

"This means that we have more property and premises than we need.

"Today, I have given the go-ahead for six police stations to be put forward for possible sale.

"I’ve been reassured that there will no impact on the police service provided to local people should these buildings be sold and I welcome feedback from local councillors, MPs and communities on these plans."

Ramsbottom Cllr Ian Bevan said: "The number of police officers patrolling Ramsbottom has reduced in recent years.

"While we are low-crime town, there are still issues, particularly at night and weekends, and I can envisage that police officers, due to the nature of their work, would rarely be available if a resident turns up at Ramsbottom Library."

Bury North MP David Nuttall said: "I accept Mr Lloyd has to make the best use of premises and property to meet the needs of the Greater Manchester Police and local people.

"If this proposal does go ahead, the library will be more accessible for most people than the current situation as the police station has been closed to the public since 2012.

"I think it would be useful if they could have a designated room or space clearly identifiable and accessibly to the public.

"As it will not be manned when the officers are out on patrol there should be some way of a person being able to leave their details or use a police telephone to speak to officers."

Read the full police report at www.tinyurl.com/closurereport