Monday 4 March 2024
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West Bridgford Fire Station: 78% of residents disagree with proposals to remove night cover

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed the results of its consultation on controversial planned cuts.

The major changes, intending to save £2m to reduce a budget deficit, would see West Bridgford Fire Station have no crew on duty at all at night, and both London Road and Stockhill stations losing one fire engine each.

But the Fire Brigades Union claimed the plans would “further endanger the lives of the public and the safety of fire crews”.

In Ashfield, the fire service plans the return of 24-hour cover at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield station in a move hailed by local leaders as a “massive victory” for residents and public safety.

A public and workforce consultation regarding the proposals ran for a 12-week period from September 2022 until December 2022.

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Ahead of the fire authority meeting on February 24, the service has revealed the results of the consultation.

Papers reveal that 1,814 completed questionnaires were submitted from individual respondents and 14 organisations.

Just under 50 per cent of responses came from the Rushcliffe area, where the West Bridgford station is based.

When asked about the proposed removal of second appliances from London
Road and Stockhill, 81 per cent of people said they “disagreed or strongly disagreed”.

And 60 per cent of staff members said they “disagreed or strongly disagreed” with London Road and Stockhill plans, as well as 12 of the 14 organisations which responded.

On the proposals which could see West Bridgford Fire Station have no crew on duty at all at night, 78 per cent of people “disagreed or strongly disagreed”.

However, 43 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed on plans to reinstate 24-hour cover at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield station.

Staff member responses showed 83 per cent agreed or strongly agreed.

Ashfield District Council Leader Jason Zadrozny (Ind) said: “Ashfield needs a full-time Fire Station to protect residents. The Ashfield Independents, along with residents said it was a mistake to close our fire station 5 years ago and it is a mistake now.

“The facts back that up, the residents back our call and we are looking forward to confirmation that Ashfield Fire Station will be reopening full-time later this year.”

Documents prepared ahead of the meeting next week added: “Most questionnaire respondents were opposed to the proposed changes in Nottingham City.

“However, while they were not overwhelmingly supported, the reasoning underpinning them was understood in all three focus groups and in some of the written submissions.

“Most questionnaire respondents did not agree that an increase of seven seconds to the average attendance time would be acceptable as an outcome of meeting the required budgetary savings. Support was again highest in Ashfield and lowest in Nottingham City and Rushcliffe.”

The service wrote in papers that since 2010, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has seen budget reductions of £9.6 million in cash terms.

They say the reductions are “significantly higher in real terms” due to inflation.

The consultation also showed generally strong support for a one-off £5 council tax increase for NFRS.

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