FIRE chiefs in Lancashire have voted to delay the relocation of their headquarters amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the service.
County fire authority members have decided to delay shifting their HQ from Fulwood, near Preston, to Euxton, where the brigade’s training centre is based.
Around £700,000 will be saved per year in financing, as a result of the decision, as the service is faced with an in-year savings requirement of £4.6million.
Sir Ken Knight completed a report last year, raising the spectre of fire authorities being merged, closer working with other emergency services or even local councils taking direct charge of their responsibilities.
And while Lancashire fire bosses want to retain the status quo, the decision to postpone the HQ relocation for five years is seen as prudent.
Keith Mattinson, director of corporate services, said in a report: “This would enable completion of another emergency cover review in three years time, provide an opportunity to review after the next set of elections, both national and local, and should provide greater clarity on future funding and on government plans for the future of fire and rescue services.”
But management have accepted that some ‘remedial work’ will be needed on the existing fire headquarters and training centre, including repairing the roof at Lancaster House.
Mr Mattinson said: “These will be kept to the minimum required to ensure that both buildings remain fit for purpose whilst the main project is on hold.”