Plans for blue light hub in Stowmarket
Plans to create a joint police, fire and ambulance base in Stowmarket are set to be revealed in a matter of weeks.
Negotiations with a landowner in the Suffolk town are nearing completion for a brand new hub to be built, which will combine police, ambulance and fire services in a bid to help save money.
Proposals are set to be published in the next few weeks and a public consultation will take place before a formal planning application is submitted.
Work is also being prepared on a revamp of Princes Street fire station in Ipswich, with both set to be completed and in use by 2020.
Dave Pedersen, area commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have successfully established 16 combined stations with either police or ambulance colleagues.
“The success of the programme has been acknowledged by central government as an exemplar for collaboration.
“Our next two projects are in Stowmarket and central Ipswich and will be tri-service facilities – fire, police and ambulance.
“We are working on a number of other opportunities where collaboration would benefit partners and the community.
“This includes considering the sharing of stations in Haverhill and East Ipswich with emergency services partners.”
The blue light programme is set to save a combined £12million over the next 20 years, as the new sites mean there are reduced maintenance and running costs, more energy efficient buildings and disposal of surplus property.
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said the programme had been working well, and crucially had not delayed response times.
“I am delighted at the overall progress of the whole project,” he said.
“It’s a great example of collaborative working, good for the taxpayer and better in efficiency.”
Mr Passmore said the number of joint hubs meant it must put the county near the top nationally, while plans for Ipswich would also be key.
He added: “Being the county town we need a proper presence so as soon as we can get that facility sorted we will.”