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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Meeting agrees to close Dalton fire station and move engine from Barrow

PLANS to close Dalton fire station and move one fire engine from Barrow to Ulverston are set to go ahead, following a council budget meeting on Thursday January 30.

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet decided to keep the second fire engines at Penrith, Workington, Maryport, Kendal and Whitehaven, which had all been underthreat.

However, plans reducing the service in Dalton and Barrow are still due to take place.

The Cabinet’s draft budget will now be voted on at a full council meeting on February 13 in Kendal, where a final decision will be made.

Cumbria County Council Cabinet today agreed that:

- Proposals for the removal of the second fire engine from Barrow and its relocation to Ulverston would take place;

- Proposals to close Dalton fire station should proceed but a resilience fire engine for major incidents would be sited in Barrow;

- The service’s two aerial ladder platforms (ALPs) would continue to be based in Carlisle and Barrow crewed by staff from Carlisle and Furness;

- Proposals for the removal of the second fire engine at Penrith, Workington, Maryport, Kendal and Whitehaven would not take place.

The arrangements for Furness will see Barrow’s second full-time crewed engine relocated to Ulverston, as originally proposed, but with the current Dalton engine relocated to Barrow and designated as a ‘resilience’ pump available to respond to major incidents.

There is no set response time for ‘resilience’ pumps meaning crews could travel into Barrow from elsewhere to staff this pump.

This change is linked to the revised arrangements for crewing the aerial ladder platform and comes at no extra cost.

The changes by Cabinet follow the council’s recent budget consultation, when over 1,500 people responded and local petitions were organised.

Councillor Barry Doughty, Cabinet member responsible for Cumbria Fire and Rescue service, said: “The fire and rescue service is one of the council’s life or death services, so I’ve not been surprised that our proposals generated a high level of public interest. At a time when we hear so many stories about public apathy, it’s been encouraging to see local people making their voices heard.

“The original consultation proposals to remove the second pump from five stations acknowledged the significant reductions in all incidents across Cumbria in recent years. As well as the evidence though, our job as cabinet members was to make sure public confidence is also taken into account.

“Cabinet has listened carefully to views put forward during the consultation and has concluded, despite the huge impact of the service’s fire prevention work, not to proceed with the changes as originally proposed.

“As a result we have dropped proposals to remove the second pumps from Penrith, Workington, Whitehaven, Kendal and Maryport.

“In relation to the Furness peninsula our revised proposals confirm that cabinet remains convinced that the relocation of one of Barrow’s full-time crewed engines to Ulverston provides for an enhanced level of response in the area.

“However, we have acknowledged the argument that Barrow requires additional resources to be available in exceptional circumstances, hence the proposal to locate a ‘resilience’ pump in the town to provide additional cover in those exceptional circumstances.

“This consultation has generated a huge amount of public feedback and I’d like to commend people on the time and effort they have put in to participating."

Have your say

Re:Concerned, at the meeting in Dalton this question was asked, Adrian Buckle Assistant Fire chief stated that "Ulverston Fire Station would be upgraded at the cost of £100k to provide accommodation". Barrow has a perfectly good Fire Station opened in 1998 more money wasted if it is downgraded, it already has accommodation, rest and training facilities, etc, as you say why don't they leave everything as it is. Seems that is too sensible. I think it is doubtful most of the members of CCC haven't even been here, and the local ones don't seem to be obliged to fight for Dalton and Barrow

Posted by june on 3 February 2014 at 23:54

Full time means day and night. Does Ulverston have the facilities to provide overnight accommodation? Does this mean that a new Fire Station will have to be built at Ulverston or the existing one extended? Might it not be cheaper just to leave things as they are?

Posted by Concerned on 3 February 2014 at 11:05

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