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Ipswich/Suffolk: Ben Gummer joins fight to save county’s police control room

10:51 17 March 2014

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer

Archant

The campaign to save Suffolk’s police control room has been joined by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

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He warned that a merger with Norfolk would be unpopular in Suffolk, could create risks across the county – and would probably not make the predicted savings.

He said it made more sense to 
combine police, fire, and ambulance control from Suffolk in one control room.

Mr Gummer was speaking after meeting Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore at 
the police headquarters at Martlesham.

He said: “So far as I am concerned the police control room is part of the front line of policing. It is the first point of contact for most members of the public who need police action. 
My constituents believe that it is important that the person at the end of the phone knows the county and is in the county.”

He said both the ambulance and fire mergers had thrown up serious problems, adding: “I have just spoken to one woman in the control room who previously worked at fire control (before it merged with Cambridgeshire) and that was not a great success.”

It was revealed that fire appliances had been sent to the wrong communities by controllers unfamiliar with Suffolk. Mr Gummer said the savings have not been as great as had been expected, and there had been extra costs that came in as working practices in Suffolk had to be changed to take account of the way Cambridgeshire worked.

He said the possibility of creating a county control room for all the blue light services made more sense.

There were many other ways of saving money – like sharing public sector buildings and services.

Mark Sanderson, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s deputy chief fire officer, said: “Working with Cambridgeshire still represents significantly increased value for money for the people of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, compared to operating two separate 999 fire controls.

“We now share the running costs and any investment in new equipment is shared equally, reducing the investment that we would have been required to improve our own control, if we had continued to operate this.”

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7 comments

  • he could also remind bbc east and many national newspapers that beccles is still in Suffolk.

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    david peters

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • at the meeting at fhq some two weeks ago there was probably £700.000 pounds worth of salary sitting at the top table wow half the money already saved.amb and fire have proved it does not work well so why would we even try it because when its gone it willnot come back the skills will be lost for ever.

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    bumpyboy

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • One of his supporters, an Ipswich councillor I think, that improvements to our hospital were down to little Ben as it was in his constituency and therefore other local MPs didn't count. By the same logic then the Martlesham control centre is clearly nothing to do with him. Just jumping on the band waggon then.

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    amsterdam81

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Little Ben's party are causing all the cuts !, does George Osborne and Cameron know he is not 'supporting' those 'cuts' ??

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    freedomf

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • '
My constituents believe that it is important that the person at the end of the phone knows the county and is in the county'. Hmm. I wonder how many constituents Joe 90 has actually canvassed on this matter. Another soundbite. He's struggling and out of his depth again.

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    Rita WAG

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I suppose better 'late' than never !, did dad tell you that you ought to support it ?, it won't make any difference in May 2015 !!

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    freedomf

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I wish to say this having worked for the oprganistaion for 35yrs (suffolk police) i am amazed how quickly they (the management ) are willing to hand over so much of the force i have been proud to be in if the control room goes then the heart is gone completelydo we need all the senoir managament that we currently have 2 chiefs 2 deputies 2 assistants plus l;oads of other senoir staff on very good money.

    Report this comment

    bumpyboy

    Monday, March 17, 2014

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