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Woodbridge: Police and fire seek public opinion on HQ share plan

PUBLISHED: 08:05 31 May 2014

Tim Passmore

Tim Passmore

Archant

Consultation is under way on plans for police to share a home with on-call firefighters in a Suffolk town.

The £600,000 project could see Woodbridge officers move from their base in Grundisburgh Road to the local fire station in Theatre Street.

Proposals includes extending the fire station to house both services.

Suffolk County Council’s head of public protection, Colin Spence, said shared stations had already worked well in Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham and Framlingham. He added: “Our plans to develop and improve Woodbridge fire station will help us become even more cost effective, we will be able to work much more closely together in Woodbridge and also improve vital emergency services property.”

Funding for the project will be split by the two services, but it is hoped the Government will help pay for building work at the station.

Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said working together was key to meeting financial challenges. He added: “I am very pleased with the existing shared stations across the county - it saves money and improves the joint working of these two key blue-light services.”

Mr Passmore said the sale of the police station was in the process of being completed with a developer.

Local county councillor Caroline Page gave her backing. She said: “I am very supportive of plans to consolidate the premises. Not only is it closer to the town centre, but I hope it could also encourage greater understanding of other aspects of the services - for example, the brilliant Firebreak youth engagement project run by the fire service.”

Mayor of Woodbridge and district councillor, Geoff Holdcroft said: “I think it’s a great way to retain a police presence in the town. It will be a lot more accessible to most people, although I do have some concern about car parking - the police station has significantly more.”

If approved, work would start this summer and be complete for next March. It would include five new parking spaces and a garage for an emergency vehicle.

The public can inspect plans at the fire station from 3pm-7pm on Thursday, June 5, or send feedback to Fire.BusinessSupport@suffolk.gov.uk quoting Woodbridge Consultation.

Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

The government has still not agreed a deal to end its £50m commitment for the regional fire control “white elephant” in Cambridgeshire – nearly two years after negotiations started.

A police helicopter was involved in a search which continues this morning for a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk last night.

James Blunt and Plan B have joined this year’s Newmarket Nights line-up.

Police are at the scene of a crash on the A1071 near Hintlesham this evening. Updates here.

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