A town lunch club are celebrating after their long-running campaign for a public defibrillator finally became a reality.

The defibrillator has been installed at Witham Town Hall, in Newland Street, following long-running controversy over the equipment.

Last year, the William Julien Courtauld Medical Fund offered £1,000 to fund the piece of equipment, which came in under budget at about £630, thanks a discount from Cardiac Science.

However a committee of town councillors initially rejected a proposal because of fears the council could be sued if something went wrong when using it.

But a u-turn was made and the green light was given to install the defibrillator after a public outcry.

A celebration was held by Witham’s lunch club, who have been long-term supporters of the scheme, this month.

District councillor Phil Barlow said: “Some of the councillors originally voted against it, but since a new town council has been in place we have had lots of support.

“We are going to do training with the ambulance service to teach people how to use the equipment.

“The lunch club have already expressed an interest in taking part, which is excellent.”

Mr Barlow also paid tribute to the Essex Community Foundation, whose grant helped the scheme become a reality.

Find out more about the foundation by visiting their website.