ASHBOURNE’S fire station has escaped the brunt of a ‘radical’ transformation of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue and will not be closed, the News Telegraph can reveal.
Under plans announced this week to cut operating costs in the service, 19 fire stations and 78 jobs are set to face the axe but Ashbourne’s Park Road station and its retained workforce will not be affected.
Derby’s three stations - including Kingsway, which makes regular trips to the Ashbourne area - would close as part of a three-way merger and stations surrounding Ashbourne including Belper and Matlock could also be affected.
Bosses have now launched a 10 week consultation into the plans, which they say is to ensure will ensure the service avoids problems in the future.
Chief executive Sean Frayne said: “Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to ensuring it is fit to respond to the many challenges being faced both now and in the future.
“By ensuring the service has the best available resources, located in the most strategic locations throughout the county, I as chief fire officer for Derbyshire, am satisfied that the Service can continue to provide an excellent effective service to our communities.”
Former fireman, Ashbourne businessman, Derbyshire County Councillor and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority member Simon Spencer said consulting with the public and working collaboratively would now be vital in moving forward.
He said: “This concession is critical.
“It is only right that when we go to the public to consult on these radical plans to deliver the fire service in a new and progressive way that we show the public that we are looking at all options, including doing radical things with the Fire and Rescue Authority itself.
“It could not be right that the FRA would be immune to change when the service faces such a shake-up.”
Bosses hope the reductions in head-count will be found through normal reductions through retirement and leavers. It is predicted that, as part of the mergers and shake-ups, eight new stations would be opened, reducing the number in the county from 31 to 20.