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Second phase of public consultation for the Wyre Forest Emergency Services Hub

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It was agreed at the Fire Authority meeting today (Thursday 16 June) that a second phase of formal public consultation regarding the preferred location of the proposed Wyre Forest Emergency Services Hub will commence on Monday 4 July 2016.

A report analysing potential sites in depth and was put forward to the Fire Authority at the meeting today and, at this stage, Silverwoods Park is the preferred location for the hub however Stourpoint 5 is also considered to be a satisfactory location. This further phase of consultation will determine public support for the proposed hub and gather feedback on the proposed sites.

Chief Fire Officer Nathan Travis said: "The amalgamation of the three Wyre Forest fire stations into a new multi-agency hub is aimed at improving the management of a broader range of community risks – not just fire and road traffic collision risks. Furthermore, over the next 20 years, the new hub will result in a more resilient emergency response function across the three communities of Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley.

"There is no intention to reduce the number of fire engines situated in the Wyre Forest area compared to what is provisioned for today, although these assets could be developed over the medium term to better target the specific risks of the area.

"In terms of any changes to response times - based on the historical locations of the previous incidents - it is anticipated that the proposed siting of the new multi-agency hub could result in slightly slower response times to 2-3 incidents per month. Even with these potential changes, the Wyre Forest would remain a very safe place to live, work and travel.

"The new multi-agency hub will also allow organisations, such as the Fire Service, Police, Severn Area Rescue and the Red Cross to work together more closely which not only will improve joint working at emergency incidents, but also allowing the teams to work together more effectively in areas such as prevention & enforcement."

As with the last public consultation that took place from 1 September to 27 November 2015, this process will involve obtaining the views of staff and local representatives, but on this occasion will focus on the preferred sites of the proposed hub. Once this period of consultation concludes, the Fire Authority will make the final decision on whether to proceed with the development which successfully secured £2.38 million of government funding back in October 2014.

If approved, the proposed hub will result in greater collaboration between emergency services, increase joint training opportunities and make the best use of public service resources.

Details of the previous consultation can be found at www.hwfire.org.uk under the 'Consultation' section of the site. Further details on the upcoming consultation will be posted in due course.

Issued by:
Jessica Chadwick
Corporate Communications Manager
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
Tel: 01905 368 319