Councillor retracts accusations against MK’s fire authority

Councillor Zoe Nolan
Councillor Zoe Nolan

A councillor who wrongly accused the fire authority of conducting a “sham” consultation has retracted her remarks.

It follows false allegations made during a 12-week powwow over a proposal to merge Great Holm and Bletchley fire stations with police in a purpose-built ‘blue light hub’ in West Ashland.

Councillor Zoe Nolan claimed to have uncovered evidence that the authority had plans to sell off the Great Holm site for redevelopment before the consultation had ended.

But this week fire chief Jason Thelwell hit out at the accusations made to the public in the press and on social media.

He said: “This has been an unnecessary and unhelpful distraction as the Fire Authority prepares to make its decision over the proposal on February 10.

“I am disappointed that Councillor Nolan chose to accuse us of conducting a sham consultation without at least picking up the phone to check the facts with us. She only had to ask the question.”

This week Labour councillor Nolan, who represents Great Holm, blamed “an error made by a third party” on the misunderstanding.

But MK’s team Tory said her party played a “shameless” game of political football with the fire station’s future ahead of May’s local election.

In a statement, Mrs Nolan said: “I accept that the information provided to councillors on this planning issue last year was inaccurate and misleading.

“I am happy to accept the fire authority, and companies working for it, did not intend to give the impression that the decision to close Great Holm fire station had already been made.”

This week the results of a public survey showed nine out of 10 people are AGAINST the multi-million pound hub – because it would mean closing Bletchley and Great Holm fire stations.

However, the views represent less than 0.5 per cent of MK’s population, with only 782 people responding to the online consultation questionnaire. More than 100 of these did not even complete it.

Tomorrow the final decision on the ‘blue light hub’ will be made by 17 councillors on the fire panel.