Colyton fire station saved from closure

PUBLISHED: 10:01 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:01 03 January 2020

Campaigners have won their battle to save Colyton fire station. Picture: Chris Carson

Campaigners have won their battle to save Colyton fire station. Picture: Chris Carson

Archant

Plans to close Colyton fire station have been scrapped – at least for the time being.

Shutting the station - along with several others - was one of the options in a planned shake up of how the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service should operate in the future.

But following a period of public consultation fire chiefs today announced that: "Colyton is no longer being recommended for closure but will be monitored in the future."

The original options were to close Appledore, Ashburton, Budleigh Salterton, Colyton, Kingston, Porlock, Topsham, and Woolacombe.

Now, following a review, the recommendation is to close only Budleigh and Topsham. A final decision on the proposed changes will be taken by the Fire Authority on January 10.

Colyton's county councillor Martin Shaw said the decision was 'a great success for Colyton and the other communities as the fire service backtracks on almost all the fire station closures'.

The fire service report added: "The payment for availability for 'on-call' staff that has been agreed in principle with trade unions will improve availability of 'on-call' fire appliances.

"It is also agreed - with one trade union and discussions ongoing with another - that 'aggregate crewing', where firefighters can be sent to incidents with fewer than four firefighters, be adopted.

"The decision to defer the closures of these fire stations will be dependent on stations improving their availability, for example by adopting the aggregate crewing model."

"The Service will also share more information with the public on availability at these fire stations to encourage recruitment of additional on-call staff where there are vacancies.

"During the consultation a number of suggestions were put forward relating to potential amalgamation of fire station locations. These will be considered further and any proposals, if appropriate, will be brought forward for separate consultation and decision by the authority."

During the consultation period 3,818 responses were received, 3,232 completed questionnaires, 205 written submissions and 381 email responses.

In addition, five petitions were submitted with a total of 43,644 signatures opposing the proposals.

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