Ambulances look set to stay in Dursley area
4:04pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
AMBULANCES currently based at the soon to be axed Dursley Ambulance Station are a step closer to a new home, ensuring emergency response times are kept to a minimum.
Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is set to make its final decision on whether the ambulance and rapid response vehicle can be based at Dursley Community Fire Station on Monday, October 21.
In July this year the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAS), which owns the station on Marment Road in Cam, announced it was to be closed at the end of the year and eventually demolished.
Amid concerns raised by members of the public and local politicians about longer emergency response times if the vehicles were based in Stroud, a more suitable base was sought.
A SWAS spokesman said the trust was very keen to relocate to the fire station on Kingshill Road.
“This would provide an excellent location, close to the town centre, enabling us to provide a rapid response to all urgent and emergency calls in the Dursley area,” he said.
“The ambulance service is currently in negotiations with the fire service and we are awaiting a final decision from Gloucestershire County Council Property Board on October 21.”
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “We offered the ambulance service accommodation months ago and we would be very happy if they were to take it up.
“Our fire stations are perfectly positioned to respond quickly to emergencies in communities across the county and such a move would only benefit local people further.”
Cllr Steve Lydon (Lab, Dursley) and chairman of GCC’s health and care overview scrutiny committee, said it was great news for Dursley and Cam residents.
"The fire station is ideally situated between the two communities and close to the Vale Hospital,” he said.
“If all goes well, the final decision will be made in the autumn and the ambulances will be able to move to their new site by the end of the year.”
Stroud District Cllr David Drew, who represents the district on the same committee, said the chief executive of the trust was told an improvement on waiting times was needed.
“If this didn’t happen the committee would need to take a much more in depth look at the reasons behind the failure to meet the targets,” he said.
In August the Gazette revealed Stroud District Council had served notice on the lease of the land, as it had earmarked it for council housing, with the contract set to finish on December 31.
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