ASHBOURNE Town Council says it is ready to fight new plans to get rid of the town’s second fire engine.
Town councillors, who fought and won a campaign in 2011 to convince the cash-strapped Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service not to axe ‘Ashbourne Two’ and replace it with a smaller vehicle, say they will back Ashbourne’s fire and rescue officers ‘100 per cent’ in a bid to keep the vehicle at the Park Road station.
The latest threat to replace the second vehicle with a small response vehicle comes as fire service bosses aim to juggle with an ever-diminishing budget by re-shaping the entire county’s service and plans currently under consultation involve closing or relocating stations, moving staff and cutting the number of vehicles in its fleet.
Town councillors, who launched the ‘Save Ashbourne’s Fire Engine’ (SAFE) campaign in 2011, argue that this time the town’s second engine is in greater need than ever before.
Ashbourne’s mayor Steve Bull said: “Obviously the town council will support the lads in Ashbourne to the end on this one because it’s important, especially with more planned developments in the town, that we keep the second engine.
“At the end of the day we should be putting more infrastructure into the town and not taking it away.
“We’ll be campaigning as hard as we did before to keep the second engine in Ashbourne.”
Councillor Denise Brown, one of the councillors instrumental in starting the last campaign, says she is also ready for another fight.
She said: “My stance is still the same as last time and that is that it’s very important to have two engines in Ashbourne because of the locality and where we are.
“They talk about a reduced need for appliances because of sprinklers and so on but they’re not going to help anyone in a road traffic accident are they?
“With all the planned development the flood gates are open and we need that second appliance. I’ll be there to give all the support I can and will be rallying the other councillors.”
A consultation into the proposed changes closes on Monday, December 23.