West Midlands Police headquarters Lloyd House should be sold to save taxpayers cash and bring officers closer to the people, a police commissioner candidate has claimed.

Conservative candidate Matt Bennett has pledged to sell-off the Birmingham city centre block if he is elected police and crime commissioner next Thursday.

He believes the 13-storey block is too expensive and leaves staff too remote from communities.

Mr Bennett, a former Birmingham city councillor, said: “There is no reason for West Midlands Police to occupy a large office building in the most expensive area of Birmingham city centre.

“The cash savings can be used to keep local Police stations open and even re-open some that have been closed. This will help to meet my promises to bring policing closer to the public and give residents the best possible access to the Police locally”.

He explained that some departments or offices could be relocated to smaller police stations throughout the West Midlands to ensure they remain viable and open to the public.

He is one of seven candidates vying for the £100,000 a year post of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner at the election on November 15. The remaining six are Bob Jones (Labour), Ayoub Khan (Lib Dem), Bill Etheridge (UKIP), Cath Hannon (Ind), Derek Webley (Ind) and Mike Rumble (Ind). The winning candidate will have the power to hire and fire the chief constable and set policing policy and priorities.

Chris Game on the Police and Crime Commissioner elections: Page 27