THE fate of the Wiltshire Police helicopter will be debated in Parliament.

Salisbury MP Robert Key has secured a half hour debate on the helicopter following concerns that Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) may pull out of the shared Wiltshire Police helicopter and Air Ambulance.

Although GWAS has said it wants to continue with the shared helicopter in Wiltshire for one to two years while it undertakes a review of air ambulance cover, Wiltshire's Chief Constable Brian Moore said the police want a commitment of five years and if GWAS do not sign up to that the police would not be able to fund the shortfall and consequently the helicopter would be grounded.

Devizes MP Michael Ancram and North Wiltshire MP James Gray are due to attend the debate which is being held in Westminster Hall. A Home Office minister will respond on behalf of the Government.

Mr Gray said: "I feel very strongly that we need our Air Ambulance dedicated to the people of Wiltshire. We also desperately need our police helicopter to continue operating. If the air ambulance aspect comes to be undermined there would be a serious question mark over the future of the police helicopter."

Mr Ancram and Westbury MP Andrew Murrison have both applied for a debate to be held next week in Westminster Hall about Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

A Great Western Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charity is negotiating the length of extension of the lease with the police and continues to speak with them. Wiltshire Air Ambulance isn't under threat."