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Fire Station Closures

Volume 588: debated on Monday 30 March 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Which fire stations are currently earmarked for closure or are subject to plans to reduce the number of fire appliances; and [HL1115]What discussions they have had with the fire brigade unions concerning the closure of fire stations or the reduction of fire appliances. [HL1116]

Statutory responsibility for the provision of an efficient fire service rests locally with the individual fire authorities. However, any fire authority wishing to reduce the number of its fire stations, fire appliances of firefighter posts must, under section 19 of the Fire Services Act 1947, seek the approval of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary. Approval is only given if my right honourable friend is satisfied that the national recommended standards of fire cover will be maintained. Home Office guidance makes it clear that, in addition to any representations which may be made to the fire authority, interested parties also have the opportunity to make representations direct to the Home Secretary. My right honourable friend and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for fire service issues have met union representatives in respect of particular Section 19 applications.Current Section 19 applications under consideration which involve the closure of a fire station or the removal of a fire appliance are:

Fire authorityFire stationProposal
South WalesBargoedremoval of pumping appliance
SurreyChobhamclosure
Gomshallclosure
Stainesclosure*
Sunburyclosure*
WarwickshireTysoeclosure
* To be replaced by a new fire station serving both Staines and Sunbury.
Once a Section 19 application is approved, the implementation of the changes is a matter for the fire authority.