A CONVENIENCE store has been accused of ‘depriving’ a community of a ‘life-saving device’ after deciding to take down a outdoor defibrillator.

The defibrillator on the outside wall of the Co-op in Pensarn will be taken down and a new one will be set up in-store as part of a national Co-op project to have defibrillators on its premises.

The existing defibrillator, which was funded by a £5,000 grant from the Abergele and Pensarn Town Council and installed by the First Responders there two years ago.

Co-op has offered to move the kit to another location, but its current location is considered to be strategically important, near the prom for people that could suffer a cardiac arrest at any moment.

Soon it will only be available during shop opening hours.

The nearest defibrillator is situated half a mile away an outside wall at Abergele Rugby Club, with others placed outside Tesco and Threeways Garage.

The reason as to why a Co-op owned defibrillator should move inside the building is unclear.

Phil Mann, First Responder who helped to secure funding for the kit, said: “Co-op is depriving the community of a life-saving device.

“The shop has said there is a threat of vandalism to the unit, which is not a problem as we can fix it.

“They also said there is a risk of electrocution, but that is ridiculous. The defibrillators were installed by qualified electricians and we’ve never heard of anyone being electrocuted.

“There must be some other reason, but I cannot think what.”

The defibrillator is understood to have been used once during an incident at The Yatch pub across the road.

Co-op notified the town council on October 15 that it would be handing the defibrillator back within weeks.

Alan Hunter, county councillor for Pensarn, said: “I’m absolutely concerned about residents’ safety after the decision to take down the defibrillator and put a new one inside the building.

“This is important kit in a strategically important area. The prom is a stone’s throw from the Co-op and if anybody has a problem on the beach they can use it.

“This is about caring for the community and it’s not just residents that benefit but visitors, too.”

Every year in the UK, 100,000 people die of SCA, making it the nation's biggest killer – more than lung and breast cancer combined.

A Co-op Food spokesperson said: "We are totally committed to maintaining defibrillator provision in Pensarn and the installation of a new Co-op owned model is to meet our obligations in ensuring it is properly maintained on a regular basis.

“We have offered to relocate the device elsewhere in the community to increase provision.”

It is understood the First Responders are continuing their effort to persuade Co-op to keep a defibrillator outside the premises.