Blaenau Gwent AM, Alun Davies, backs Blaina fire station in fight against axe
8:40am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
BLAENAU Gwent AM Alun Davies has waded into the row surrounding the possible closure of Blaina fire station.
Plans to close the station, which is manned by 16 retained fire fighters, and to remove the retained appliance from Cwmbran fire station, which is crewed by 17 retained fire fighters there, have been put forward as part of a wide-ranging fire cover review.
The AM says he has been contacted by a number of constituents concerned about the proposed closure of the Blaina station, all of whom feel it offers a vital service and fear the implications if it were to close.
Mr Davies said: “Blaina fire station has always been an integral part of the community and never more so than since the death of two of its firefighters in 1996. Those men gave their lives while trying to protect the people they so bravely served and every day their colleagues at Blaina follow in their footsteps.
“There is no denying the emotional ties to the station, but it’s the genuine concern of people that think its closure would mean the area would be left without adequate cover that has led to a petition to save it.”
Mr Davies added he had listened to residents’ concerns and as a result has arranged an urgent meeting this week with fire service representatives to discuss the proposal and the potential impact on firefighters and the community.
He said: “I will do all I can to ensure the safety of my constituents and ensure the memories of those lost are honoured.”
More than 4,300 people have now added their names to online petitions protesting the plans, while dozens of people gathered for a peaceful demonstration outside Blaina fire station last week.
ACFO Thomas said: “Changes to the way we are proposing to deliver our services...will not significantly increase the risk to the communities within those unitary authority areas.
“However, in the event the proposals are accepted by the fire authority in December following the consultation process, it is anticipated that job losses will result."
Those who have set up the petitions have asked anyone commenting to send their feedback via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, in order to have their say recognised as part of the fire service’s consultation period.
There will also be a demonstration outside the Ebbw Vale Civic Centre at 12.30pm on October 7, while chief fire officer Huw Jakeway will speak to councillors at a closed meeting inside.
Public consultation is scheduled to take place on October 17 and 18 but it is not yet clear where.
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