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Monday, 24 November 2014

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New Ulverston fire station being considered amid cuts

ULVERSTON could have a new fire station built in the next 18 months – despite services being slashed.

fire fighters strike

Firefighters say they have been left in limbo after recent changes while £80,000 is expected to be ploughed into making Ulverston’s existing station useable in the meantime.

Barrow’s Fire Brigades Union spokesman Tony Callister slammed that as a waste of money in the current climate.

Cumbria County Council confirmed in February that Dalton fire station will shut next month and one of Barrow’s engines will move to Ulverston – cuts which will save the service £200,000.

Mr Callister said he had it on good authority that discussions were taking place about building a new station in Ulverston.

The county council refused to rule it out saying it was “currently exploring a number of options.”

Mr Callister said the current site in at The Ellers would have to be upgraded to be suitable even in the short term. He said: “There is currently one male and one female toilet and shower at Ulverston so they are spending £80,000 putting temporary cabins outside to provide more.

“It is concerning that they are looking at building a new station yet putting £80,000 into providing temporary accommodation. Why not leave the engine in Barrow until a decision is made about a new station rather than spend this sort of money?

“Plus, while this is going on we are still waiting to be told just what is going to happen in nine weeks when Dalton closes and one pump is moved? No-one knows what they are doing because they are not talking to us.”

A county council spokesman said the cost of temporary accommodation had already been factored into the budget savings.

He added: “It isn’t costing as much as £80,000 although due to commercial sensitivity we can’t publicly confirm the price.

“Putting in temporary facilities will mean we can begin to make savings sooner because we won’t have to wait until a permanent solution is in place at Ulverston fire station before introducing the fire service changes in the Furness peninsular.”

Commenting on proposed plans for a new station the spokesman added that nothing had been ruled in or out. He said: “The service is currently exploring a number of options at Ulverston which includes changes to the current station.”

He denied that staff were not being kept up-to-date on current plans adding: “A working group has been established and there is ongoing communication. Senior managers have spoken directly with staff on station.”

Have your say

so lets look back to where this all started. The County Council said they need to cut budgets as part of their overall savings required. The Fire Service produces a raft of proposals that potentially affect the entire county. Most proposals are rejected but eventually the axe falls on Furness with the imminent closure of Dalton and full time resources are to be moved from Barrow to the lower risk Ulverston area, all to save money???
Now we are being told there are plans for a new Station at Ulverston, at what cost??? with interim arrangements to house the crew who are moving also adding to the costs, I ask again, where are the so called savings to help the county budget??
Local councillors should be asking the right questions about how much this apparent budget-saving exercise is actually going to cost.
One thing is sure, the initial fire cover for Barrow and Dalton will be restricted to one crew (as opposed to the present three)and the so called savings from Dalton's removal will soon be eaten up providing accommodation for the Firefighters moving to Ulverston (whilst the fully equipped Barrow station remains half empty).

Budget Savings?? sounds more like just an excuse to restructure??

Posted by firebob on 6 May 2014 at 13:27

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