Fire authority bosses have announced a new set of cost-cutting proposals for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service but there’s no sign of a re-think on proposed changes for Melton Fire Station.
Controversial proposals to close the service’s Central and Kibworth stations and remove fire engines at other county stations are no longer on the table, it was announced yesterday (Wednesday), but Melton is still faced with having one of its two traditional engines replaced with a smaller tactical response vehicle (TRV).
People of the Melton borough have voiced their fears that the TRV, on its own, would not be able to tackle major blazes such as a house or school fire as well as expressing their concerns about a reduction in cover if the changes go ahead.
Nick Rushton, chairman of the Combined Fire Authority, said: “There’s no doubt the fire and rescue service needs to improve its efficiency to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
“However, after listening to the comments made during the public consultation period, and analysing the finance settlement, we are proposing a new approach to the transformation of the service.”
Mr Rushton said if the new approach and other changes were approved it would mean no compulsory frontline staff redundancies would have to be considered.
He added: “Our revised strategy means we no longer have to consider closing Central and Kibworth fire stations. We’ve also removed the need to change the fire engine at Billesdon and propose to keep the second fire engine at Hinckley Fire Station.
“We’re also proposing a review of the Birstall headquarters site and all the buildings owned by the service plus a review of the 100 plus vehicles that make up the service’s fleet.”
Reacting to the news that the proposals for Melton hadn’t changed, county and borough councillor for Melton Alan Pearson said: “Even though Melton isn’t mentioned among the revised proposals I still think there’s potential for additional changes to happen. They’re looking at the whole situation again. At the moment nothing has yet been approved so until the final stamp has been put on it I think things can still change.”
The Combined Fire Authority is set to decide on the revised proposals on February 10.