North Wales firefighters and police to share Nefyn station

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Firefighters and police officers could move into two shared purpose-built stations in Gwynedd.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they need more modern facilities for retained crews in Nefyn and Tywyn.

The fire service and North Wales Police are planning to invest £800,000 in a new station in Nefyn, but planning permission has yet to be secured.

Elsewhere, Dyfed-Powys Police are in talks to close a station in St Davids and move into the fire station.

The deal has yet to be finalised with the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The force's station in Llandeilo, Camarthenshire, could close in March as part of an estates review which recommends shutting other buildings to save £13m.

Officials are considering moving police staff at Llandeilo into Carmarthenshire council's civic offices if arrangements can be agreed.

Start Quote

This project is seen as... working together to serve the local community as well as being able to save on costs”

End Quote Colin Hanks Assistant chief fire officer

Meanwhile, staff from Torfaen council will occupy space in Gwent Police headquarters in Cwmbran next spring.

The shake-up in office space is being conducted by public organisations across Wales in a bid to reduce costs due to budget cuts.

Flintshire council has announced it is conducting a review of County Hall in Mold, saying its 1960s concrete block was no longer a "viable building".

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County Hall, Mold Flintshire council said it was reviewing its assets 'in common with other public organisations'

The news of the collaboration between the police and fire service in north Wales comes after the region's force said they plan to close four police stations and relocate others to make savings.

The north Wales force has 49 police stations, with four recommended for closure at Penrhyndeudraeth in Gwynedd, Towyn in Conwy - which was decommissioned in 2009 - along with Gaerwen and Valley on Anglesey.

Stations in Bala, Nefyn and Bethesda are set to be relocated in Gwynedd along with others across the region, moving into new "joint" locations such as town halls, libraries, leisure centres, council offices or shops and fire stations.

Assistant chief fire officer Colin Hanks said partnerships were nothing new for the emergency services as they share sites with the ambulance service, including one in Llandudno, Conwy, as well as operating a joint communications centre in St Asaph, Denbighshire.

"This project is seen as an extension of this, working together to serve the local community as well as being able to save on costs, instead of having two separate stand-alone premises," said Mr Hanks.

"The project is part of the fire and rescues service's three year capital programme and North Wales Police will contribute towards the capital cost to reflect the floor area they will occupy at the facility."

Front-line policing

The planned fire station at Nefyn will be home to a crew of 12 retained firefighters who live or work within four minutes of the station as well as a local police team.

The public will have their say on the plans before approval is sought for a similar project in Tywyn.

People are also being asked to give their views on plans for the future of police stations across north Wales

North Wales Police Authority chair Alun Lewis said earlier this month that some recommendations would not be welcome, but change was needed to maintain front-line policing.

Nine of the stations are response hubs where officers clock in and are then deployed into different areas.

The 40 others are located in towns and villages across the region and generally accommodate neighbourhood policing teams made up of community beat managers and police community support officers.

Meanwhile, finance and social services staff from Torfaen council will occupy space in Gwent Police headquarters in Cwmbran from the spring.

Gwent Police say about 50 Torfaen council staff already use offices in Pontypool station with others at New Tredegar Police Station.

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