A Colchester man has led calls for answers after delays in a defibrillator being fitted in Shrub End.
Peter Greening was part of a group that raised money to fund the life-saving device, which is due to be fitted on the wall of the Co-op in Shrub End.
In a statement to the Herald, Mr Greening said:
“Way back in March 2018 I was asked to help in a Defibrillator for Shrub End fundraiser. An old school friend, Debbie Shore, had started a just giving donation page on Facebook, at the suggestion of Martin Ford, Colchester Community First Responders. Local councillor Linda Barton (Lib Dem) also contributed £500.00 from their locality budget.
“The lovely landlord and landlady at The Old New Inn, Chapel Street Colchester very kindly got behind this campaign. In one weekend £465.00 was raised and contributed a third of the money needed to purchase a much needed defibrillator on the estate.
“Having approached East of England Co-Op to have the machine located on the wall next to the ATM back in May, we have had to wait a very long and frustrating time for the legal side of things, and to gain the permission required to site the defibrillator on the outside of the Co-Op on Shrub End.
“Meanwhile, across Colchester more than 10 machines have been located.
“Sadly I recently learned that a contributor of £100.00 to the Shrub End defibrillator cause died on the estate of a massive heart attack.
“I am beyond frustrated with this process. I understand the machine has been delivered to the store, but it’s not saving any lives by not being in use.”
Mr Greening blames the delays on legal red tape. The delays have not been caused by Colchester Community First Responders.
A representative of Colchester Community First Responders said:
“Ths red tape has nothing to do with us and we have been working hard to facilitate the installation.
“We have today spoken with the Co-op and believe we now have a way forward.”
Lyn Barton, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Shrub End, added:
“Despite persistent chasing, the equipment has still not been installed. This is very frustrating for all concerned as the whole project generated a real community spirit.
“It was a real achievement to raise the funds so quickly. On the back of this I organised a HEARTSTART course for residents which was well attended.
“We are all qualified to use the defibrillator but bureaucracy is delaying its installation. It’s so disappointing.”
An East of England Co-op spokesperson said:
“As the leaseholder of the property, we are working hard to ensure we have all the necessary consents in place and have carried out all due diligence with regards to the safety of our contractors before installing the defibrillator. We are meeting all the associated costs in relation to the installation, with the aim of fitting the defibrillator on site as soon as possible.”