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Press Release - Authority agrees to put options for change to public consultation
Posted on 28/06/2019

Public consultation on a series of options to change the way the Service operates in the future will open on Monday 1 July.

At a meeting of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority today (Friday 28 June), Members agreed to approve the options for consultation but with an amendment to ensure that the consultation process allows the public to comment on elements of the proposals.

Cllr Sara Randall-Johnson, Chair of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, said: “We, as members, want to know more and the only way to do that is to go out to the public and give everyone an opportunity to come forward with their ideas.”

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is considering closing or removing a number of low risk/low activity fire stations and fire engines, and reinvesting the savings into prevention work in the community.

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “Even with a very quick response, sometimes we arrive too late. The best way to improve public safety is to increase our prevention work and stop fires from happening in the first place.”

The proposals would allow the Service to move its resources from areas of low risk to areas where they are most needed.

The changes are also intended to address difficulties with recruiting on-call firefighters and the historical location of fire stations which means that some are now in the wrong place to meet the risk in those communities.

The public are invited to take part in the consultation from 1 July to 20 September 2019.

There will be a number of ways in which the public can give their views, including a series of public drop-in exhibitions. Further information has been published on the website www.dsfire.gov.uk.

Ends

The amendment was as follows:

DEVON & SOMERSET FIRE & RESCUE AUTHORITY

28 JUNE 2019

AGENDA ITEM 8 – SAFER TOGETHER PROGRAMME SERVICE DELIVERY OPERATING MODEL PHASE 2 – REALLOCATION OF RESOURCES AND CONSULTATION PROCESS

 Councillor Redman to MOVE, with Councillor Buchan seconding:

(a).      that, as recommended by the Community Safety & Corporate Planning Committee on 27 June, the following options be approved for the purposes of public consultation;

Option 1 - Station closures

Option 2 - Station closures and removal of all third engines

Option 3 - Station closures, removal of all third and some second engines

Option 4 - Station closures, removal of all third and some second engines and change of status to day crewing

Option 5 - Station closures, removal of all third and some second engines, change of status to day crewing with a change of status to On Call at night

Option 6 - Station closures, removal of all third and some second engines, change of status to day crewing with a change of status to On Call at night, change of status to some additional second engines to become On Call at night only and the introduction of day crewed wholetime roving engines.

(b).      that, in approving the above options for public consultation purposes, the presentation of options for consultation be amended to make clear the flexibility of the proposals, specifically that:

(i)         with the exception of Option 6 (which is dependent upon Option 4 for personnel together with either Options 2, 3 or 5 for fire engines), each option may be considered individually as part of the public consultation;

(ii)        the individual elements of the options can be explored as part of the public consultation;

(iii)       subject to (i) above, any final recommendations following public consultation could comprise all, some or a combination of the elements of the options that have been subject to public consultation;

(iv)      that full risk assessment information on the options will be available as part of the public consultation as required.

(c).      that report CSCPC/19/3 on the consultation process to be undertaken (as attached at Appendix B to report DSFRA/19/15 to this Authority meeting and considered by the Community Safety & Corporate Planning Committee on 27 June 2018) be noted.

Options

The options are summarised below.

Option 1 - Station closures at Appledore, Ashburton, Budleigh Salterton, Colyton, Kingston, Porlock, Topsham, Woolacombe

Option 2 - Station closures listed in option 1, plus removal of third fire engines at Bridgwater, Taunton, Torquay and Yeovil

Option 3 - Option 2, plus removal of second fire engines at Crediton, Lynton, Martock and Totnes

Option 4 - Option 3, plus change of status to day crewing at Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton

Option 5 - Option 4, plus change of status of second fire engine to on-call at night only at Brixham, Chard, Dartmouth, Frome, Honiton, Ilfracombe, Okehampton, Sidmouth, Tavistock, Teignmouth, Tiverton, Wellington, Wells and Williton

Option 6 - Option 5, plus the introduction of day crewed roving fire engines for targeted response and additional prevention work

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