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Public drop in event to give views over potential merger of Beccles fire and police stations

Beccles Police Station

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles Police Station PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

Public drop in event over potential merger of Beccles police and fire stations.

A drop in event will take place at Beccles fire station on Ravensmere, on Tuesday, April 11, between 3pm and 7pm.

Dave Pedersen, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Group Commander, said: “Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Suffolk Constabulary have established a programme of sharing stations across the county. The co-location of emergency personnel reduces the costs to tax payers, provides modern facilities and maintains a presence in the community.

“Our latest proposal is to redevelop the fire station in Ravensmere, Beccles to create a combined fire/police station as both of the current fire and police stations are ageing buildings.

“The new station will provide both police and fire colleagues with modern facilities to improve the service we deliver to the community and the redeveloped site will also provide facilities for the community to use for meetings and events.”

A letter seen by this paper from Dan Fearn, deputy chief fire officer to Beccles Town Council, said it is hoped that if approved work would commence in summer 2017 and be completed by March 2018.

Beccles Town Mayor Graham Catchpole said he had mixed feelings over any potential merger.

He said: “We’ve already lost the police station in a way as it has become a base for the officers but people haven’t been able to go and speak to them for a year.

“I don’t exactly how the merger would work until I see the plans but if it allows people to go and actually speak to the police then it will bring in some benefits.

“I don’t particularly agree with the mergers but it is happening across the county and country and seems to be the way things are going.”

Cllr Catchpole also said he has recently talked to the police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore about getting more police on the ground at Beccles.

It comes after a drop in numbers in the town with some being transferred over to Lowestoft.

What do you think of the plans? Email kieran.lynch@archant.co.uk

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