Meeting held over Cwmbran fire station plans
7:01am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A MEETING has been held over plans to axe the fire engine at Cwmbran Fire Station.
The meeting was called by Torfaen’s Assembly Member, Lynne Neagle, and MP, Paul Murphy, with Chief Fire Officer, Huw Jakeway, after it emerged that the future of the engine, and the jobs of its 17 retained crew, were threatened as part of a Fire Cover Review currently being consulted on by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
The review could also see the closure of Blaina Fire Station.
The Save our Sirens campaign has been set up to save the engine and has attracted widespread public support locally, with many expressing fears over the ability of the fire service to cope in the event of major incidents, given that Cwmbran will effectively see its local fire cover reduced by half, with only one appliance remaining.
A final decision on the Fire Cover Review is expected to be taken at a full meeting of members of the Fire Authority in December.
Speaking following the meeting last week, Ms Neagle said: “I’ve been working closely with firefighters at Cwmbran ever since the threat to the second engine emerged, so this was an important opportunity to express the concerns of the community directly to the Chief Fire Officer.
“I also intend to keep up the pressure at Assembly level. Having already questioned the First Minister directly about these proposals.”
Mr Murphy added: “Although it was a constructive meeting, we made it quite clear that many of our constituents are deeply worried about the impact of removing the second engine at Cwmbran, and that we will do everything we can to support the Save our Sirens campaign in the weeks ahead.
“I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents worried about these plans. We need as many people as possible to respond to the consultation by the closing date on November 15.”
Lynne Neagle, AM for Torfaen, told the Senedd today that she was unconvinced that the data analysis underpinning proposals at Cwmbran fire station gives sufficient weight to the critical role of the second engine which the service plans to cut.
Local government minister Lesley Griffiths replied chief fire office Huw Jakeway had confirmed to him that he had undertaken a “very robust risk assessment” regarding the consultation proposals.
She urged everyone to take part in the consultation if they have concerns.
The Save our Sirens - Cwmbran Fire Station Facebook Group has attracted over 1,000 members, while 3,266 have signed an online petition.
Residents can respond to the Fire Cover Review consultation, which closes on November 15 by completing an online questionnaire onwww.surveymonkey.com/s/MXFLDCR
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