Padiham and Hyndburn to lose fire engines as part of government spending cuts (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Padiham and Hyndburn to lose fire engines as part of government spending cuts
5:00pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
BOSSES of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed Padiham and Hyndburn will each lose an emergency appliance as part of cuts to meet Government spending targets.
There will also be changes to the cover provided in Chorley.
Yesterday, the county’s Combined Fire Authority approved the blueprint needed to save £4 million by March 31, 2017.
The ‘Emergency Cover Review 2013’ decision means a “wholetime” fire engine — fully crewed and on 24-hour standby — would be lost at Hynd-burn station leaving it with two.
One of two retained appliances at Padiham, crewed by volunteers, will also be scrapped.
Chorley fared better with a wholetime engine to be converted to the money-saving day-crewing plus regime during 2015-16. The borough’s retained crew would be transferred to a new station at Euxton. The review also splits the Urban Search and Rescue function and vehicles between Chorley and Bamber Bridge.
In total 32 firefighters’ posts will be lost in East Lancashire, The authority also reduced the time-scale of the review from four years saving £5.2 million, to three years (2014 to 2017), saving £4 million.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny said: “The consultation was thorough, and the final package of revisions to emergency cover testifies to the fact we have listened carefully.
“I am confident that the changes in emergency cover will deliver the savings necessary, yet maximise the effectiveness of our emergency response capability. Even with these changes our overall response times to house fires will remain one of the fastest in the country.”
Lancashire secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Steve Harman said: “It will affect emergency cover, damage to property and possible loss of life.”
CFA deputy chairman and Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson, a former firefighter and FBU representative said: “This is not desirable but it was the least worst option.”
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