Residents of the Loughton and Shenley area have expressed dismay at the latest twist in the battle over the Great Holm Fire Station.
Speaking earlier this week, the Conservative Bucks and MK Fire Authority spokesperson spoke about the proposed sell off of the Great Holm Fire station and Bletchley Fire station sites.
He said, "The sites are not being sold directly to fund the Blue Hub"
However the Fire Authority wrote to Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Pete Marland the week before saying, "The funding for The Blue Light Hub includes a figure of £2 million for land sales. This is based on £1.6 million for Great Holm."
Local Community campaigner Ben Nolan said, "The figures just don't stack up. We were told in the consultation that it was £4.4 million for the new Blue Hub and now they say its £14.9 million - that's quite a lot more. We always thought the sale of Great Holm fire station could be motivated by the fact that it would achieve a lot of money if it was sold. We still say it makes no operational sense to close it and leave this whole area Loughton, Great Holm, Shenley, Grange Farm, Oakhill and Medbourne as well as Crownhill and the 6,600 new homes in Whitehouse and Fairfields and all of Stony Stratford without cover near-by.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan, a long standing opponent of closing Great Holm Fire Station, added, “It looks like the Conservative controlled Bucks and MK fire authority now want Great Holm fire station sold so they can fund the new Blue Hub as it looks like they haven't done their sums.”
Ben Nolan continued, “Every day during the rush hours we see the grid roads H7 and H8 blocked with traffic. There is no way a Fire Engine will quickly cross the A5 or Watling Street into the west of the city. I remain concerned about response times and what he was saying was very watered down compared to all those models we were treated to in the consultation to tell us there would be no problem!”
Milton Keynes Council opposed closing Great Holm Fire Station. Ben Nolan believes the Fire Authority, which is struggling financially like all surrounding Conservative bodies, should put closure on hold and rethink selling Great Holm fire station which could instead be a hub for engines to park up to make good response times possible. This would also bring to a head the funding problems the Fire Authority is facing.”
Ben Nolan added, “It is time to stop the closure of Great Holm and time that the Conservative Government bailed out its failing Fire Authority and funded the new Blue light centre at West Ashlands properly.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan concluded, “It really is that simple. Keep Great Holm open and the Government to fund West Ashlands fully. Failure to do so will sooner or later lead to a terrible property fire or road accident because the fire engines have failed to get to the west of MK quickly enough.”