‘Move fire station’ call in Honiton

Former Honiton mayor says relocation should be a priority.

Now is the time for civic leaders in Honiton to concentrate on lobbying for “the basics” - including the relocation of the town’s fire station and the creation of a replacement facility for the Jerrard Ward.

That is the view of a former three times mayor of the town, who says such matters should be outlined in a vision for Honiton’s future.

Joanna Bull, a retired businesswoman, outlined her views after attending an extraordinary meeting of Honiton Town Council last week, which debated the finer points of the Local Development Framework.

She says the vision for Honiton “will not be achievable for many years”.

But she pointed out: “It is possible for urgent needs to be met now.”

Mrs Bull believes the closed Royal British Legion Club could be adapted to provide up to 20 beds for vulnerable people needing respite care following serious illness - in the same way that the Jerrard Ward once did.

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“They currently have to find private accommodation, putting serious strains on families already suffering from financial hardship,” she said.

“Many years ago, Dr Jerrard, of Honiton, left a ward in his name for the vulnerable residents.

“This ward had 12 respite beds. Unfortunately, the ward was taken over by the NHS and has never been replaced.

“Honiton Hospital can be full to capacity, leaving these residents at risk.”

On the subject of the fire station, Mrs Bull said it is high time it was relocated away from Dowell Street - infamous for its bottleneck approach to High Street.

“It should be moved to Heathpark,” she said.

“This was discussed at great length during my service as mayor - a good idea always shelved.

“Now is the time for the move and the present site could provide valuable land for starter homes, which are badly needed.”

Mrs Bull is urging residents to collect the draft copy of the Local Development Framework plan for Honiton from the town council offices in New Street and to pass their comments back to the town clerk.