Suffolk’s campaign to merge police, fire and even ambulance stations – saving money and improving collboration across the emergency services into the bargain – has had a major boost with the award of a £4.9m grant.
It has been made as a result of the submission of a joint-bid, led by SCC’s Fire and Rescue Service, earlier in the year to the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Suffolk’s pioneering Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has been a keen protagonist of the policy. It makes so much sense to locate the blue- light services in one joint building, sell off the unwanted properties and use the money to keep services going.
My county council colleague Colin Spence, our cabinet member for public protection, has worked over the last two years, with our partners in the police to create four shared fire and police stations which are located in Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham and Framlingham. Ambulance crews are now based at fire stations in Lowestoft and Brandon.
Colin says this national funding will support the co-location of our front-line blue-light services at further locations across Suffolk. I gather that possible sites are Stowmarket and Woodbridge.