AXED - Fire authority confirm Budleigh and Topsham to lose fire stations

PUBLISHED: 14:18 10 January 2020

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service HQ. Picture: Callum Lawton

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service HQ. Picture: Callum Lawton

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Budleigh Salterton and Topsham fire stations will close, it has been confirmed.

The Devon and Somerset Fire Authority on Friday (January 10) backed the controversial proposals that been put forward to save cash and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the service.

Budleigh Salterton's fire station will close, with the affected firefighters responding from Exmouth fire station, while Topsham fire station will be relocated to the service headquarters (Clyst St George) until an on-call crew can be established at Middlemoor.

Proposals to implement a day crewing only model at Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton have been deferred, subject to a revised 24/7 crewing model being agreed with the Fire Brigades Union.

Risk-based availability will be introduced for the second fire engines at Sidmouth rather than initial plans to only crew the second engine at night.

The decision follows 3,818 responses to the initial proposals that saw 95 per cent of people opposed to all six closure options put forward

The proposals were part of plans that not only would make financial savings for the authority but would also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the service, but one response.

Lee Howell, chief fire officer, said: "We are confident that we can secure alternative ways of working with our whole time staff which will allow us to undertake significantly more prevention and protection activity which will also make communities safer."

He said the proposals they have put forward derive from the options consulted on and the consultation responses and aims to strike the balance between driving reform and enabling reallocation of resources to risk, specifically providing more prevention and protection activity

He said the new proposals would also cut the risk of fire deaths from 7.99 a year to 7.65 a year, and road traffic collision deaths from 33.72 to 33.02.

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