Joint emergency service station to be 'fantastic' addition to Leiston
PUBLISHED: 18:01 05 December 2018
A station which will house both fire and police services in Leiston has been officially opened this afternoon.
The unveiling was attended by Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore as well as Deputy Chief Constable Steve Jupp, chief fire officer Mark Hardingham and Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection Richard Rout.
The new combined station is a redevelopment of the former fire station on King George’s Avenue in the town.
It now features modern welfare facilities, new office accommodation and improved IT provision.
The services also hope that the combined station will also reduce their impact on the environment.
Combined stations currently sit in Newmarket, Saxmundham, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Framlingham and Clare.
Mark Hardingham said: “This project has been in the pipeline for the last 12 - 18 months.
“We have delivered a fantastic blue light station in the heart of one of Suffolk’s really important market towns.”
Tim Passmore added that he believed that the new station would be a real benefit to the local area.
“There are considerable financial benefits as well as significant operational improvements that this collaboration between our two organisations delivers for people and businesses across the county.
“It’s very difficult to put a value to it,” said Mr Passmore.
Mr Passmore said that money from the sale of the former police stations was being pumped back into the service.
An application to turn Leiston’s former police station on Kings Road into homes is currently being considered by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
He said that it was important to maintain bases in Suffolk’s communities and that having such stations allowed emergency services to deal with ongoing issues in local areas.
“The representation of policing in Leiston is important. Having these joint facilities will make things easier.
“Suffolk continues to lead the way nationally in blue light collaboration.”
Plans are now in place to create further joint stations in Beccles and Stowmarket with some services set to be shared in Ipswich as well.