Campaigners claim Shoebury ambulance service has been downsized despite promise of public consultation

CAMPAIGNERS claim the ambulance service in Shoebury has been cut – despite assurances this would not happen without public consultation.

The East of England Ambulance Service faced backlash from residents when they revealed plans to close down the Shoebury ambulance station in November last year.

The closure was halted and bosses promised no changes would be made until residents had been consulted.

But the service is now only providing one ambulance – despite saying it would provide a second vehicle which would operate out of Southend but be “ringfenced” for the Shoebury area.

Now Tricia Cowdrey, a Labour campaigner from Shoebury, has claimed the second vehicle is no longer operating in the area – although the ambulance service stated “no vehicles have been moved.”

She said: “We presented a petition of over 2,050 signatures and they promised us a public consultation before any changes were made.

“They even reassured Southend councillors that two ambulances would continue to be allocated to Shoebury until a modelling exercise was completed and recommendations made.

Councillor Trevor Harp (Ind), who oversees health, said he was unaware of any reduction but would be “very disappointed if they have backtracked without telling us”.

A spokesman for the service did not confirm whether the second vehicle continues to be allocated to Shoebury.

He said: “Shoebury Ambulance station has consistently had one ambulance present within the station. This continues to be the case. We do not intend for this presence to be altered.

“No vehicles have been moved from this facility. Due to sustained demand, we have placed additional vehicles at our Southend locality.

“However, we would like to reassure residents that we will continue to provide a Shoebury-based response.”

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter