Public turn out in force for Emas consultation in Bourne

About 90 people attended a meeting with staff from East Midlands Ambulance Service in Bourne last night (Monday) in a consultation over proposed changes.

The meeting, requested by Bourne mayor Helen Powell, took place at the Corn Exchange in Abbey Road, Bourne.

Councillor Powell read a short statement about the history of the ambulance service in the town before handing the floor over to Emas representatives to give a presentation on their “Being the Best” change programme.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, wants to close 66 ambulance stations, including the one in South Road, and replace them with community posts and standby points.

Paramedics would begin and end their shifts at one of seven new hubs, with the nearest hub to Bourne proposed for Sleaford.

Emas has been consulting with communities on its proposals in recent weeks.

After the presentation the meeting was opened up to questions with about half the audience taking the opportunity to quiz Emas representatives including director of finance and performance Jon Sargeant, who was at the meeting in place of the expected chief executive Phil Milligan.

The main concern was that the proposed plans would see the ambulance serving the Bourne area based at Morton rather than in the town.

Members of the public pointed out this was particularly concerning considering the projected growth of Bourne’s population because of building projects like the Elsea Park estate.

Mr Sargeant said the location the ambulance will be based at, well as other points made in the meeting, will be taken back to the board and considered before plans progress.

Bourne town councillor Brenda Johnson, who has set up an action group to fight the closure of the stations, was in the front row of the audience with a band of supporters wearing T-shirts with “Save our ambulance stations” printed on them.

Coun Johnson has a petition running to show support for keeping ambulance stations in the town.

At the close of the meeting everyone who attended was encouraged to give their feedback on the proposals on forms distributed around the hall and return them to Emas before the consultation period ends on December 17.

Anyone who did not attend the meeting can find out more and give their feedback by calling Emas on 0800 917 9911.