West Bridgford emergency fire cover cuts ‘won’t save money’ as councillors and MP oppose proposals

Rushcliffe MP and councillors condemn plans to reduce emergency fire cover overnight.

There were claims that proposed fire cuts in Nottinghamshire are a “tragedy waiting to happen” at a public meeting discussing the plans.

A public consultation is ongoing on the proposals, which could see Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service reducing its fire crew cover at three stations in order to save £2m.

The major changes, proposed by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to reduce a budget deficit, would see West Bridgford Fire Station have no crew on duty at all at night, and both London Road and Stockhill stations losing one fire engine each.

As crews in West Bridgford would come from other areas overnight, average response times are expected to increase by 43 seconds at a station already significantly above the service’s eight-minute target.

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In Ashfield, the fire service plans the return of 24-hour cover at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield station.

Rushcliffe Labour held a public meeting in West Bridgford on November 18 where a panel of speakers told of their fears if the cuts go ahead.

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But the Home Office said that the fire service in Nottinghamshire has had an increase of 5.2 per cent in funding compared with 2021/22.

They added that the fire service held £10.7m in reserves as of March 2021, which is an increase of £0.9m compared with the previous year.

Mark Stilwell, Regional chair of the Fire Brigades Union and a firefighter for over 20 years in Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

“We’re going to get a massive incident eventually and we’ll be looking at what we should’ve done better.

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“Since I joined this job, all I’ve seen is austerity and cuts and it does sadden me.

“In Nottinghamshire, we’ve lost six appliances in a decade and two…

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