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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Ambulance control centre to close
Council bosses have backed a shake-up of ambulance services in parts of north-west England, which will see the closure of a control room in Carlisle.

Currently four control centres coordinate services, but the North West Ambulance Service Trust wants to reduce the number to three.

The reshuffle will see the Carlisle control replaced with a more modern facility at Broughton, near Preston.

Cumbria and Lancashire county councillors have now backed the plans.

MP for Penrith and the Border, David Maclean, had said he was against the move, claiming local knowledge was essential in despatching emergency services.

'initial reservations'

But a committee of councillors from Cumbria, Lancashire and Blackpool, which examined the proposals, concluded the changes would improve services.

Cumbria county councillor Jeff Garnett, chair of the joint health overview and scrutiny committee, said: "As a Cumbrian, my instinct is always to fight Cumbria's corner and I must admit I had initial reservations about closing the Carlisle ambulance control room.

"But we visited the centre in Broughton and the whole committee was impressed by the technology being introduced and the facilities available.

"I genuinely believe that this measure will make the region's ambulance response service more effective and efficient in all parts of the region."

The ambulance service trust says the Carlisle site will continue to control patient transport services and stressed there would be no job losses.

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