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MP calls on county council to safeguard Staveley and Arnside Fire stations

February 11, 2010 11:18 AM

Tim Farron with councillors Joan Stocker and Graham Vincent at Staveley Fire StationSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has this today called on Cumbria County Council to commit to safeguarding Arnside and Staveley fire stations from closure.

The Fire Service modernisation plan contained within the Conservative-led council's 2010/11 budget sets out the closure of the service's repair garage in Kendal, and infers further cuts in the South Lakes for 2011/12, which would put local communities at risk.

Tim has called on the council to commit to a five year moratorium on any cuts to vital fire services such as Staveley and Arnside fire stations.

Other unwelcome proposals in the council's budget for 2010/11 include plans to charge for on-street parking. This will adversely affect communities like Ambleside and Windermere where businesses rely on free on-street parking to attract passing trade.

Speaking today, Tim said: "We all know that councils have to make savings because of the credit crunch, but the plans of the Conservative-led county council could put communities at risk. Communities such as Arnside and Staveley need their fire stations. I and my colleagues are committed to saving the service and that is why I am calling on Conservative and Labour councillors to join us and state that they will make a long term commitment to protecting these stations.

"Each year Arnside and Staveley seem to come forward for possible closure. This causes distress and uncertainty for the fire crews and for the whole community. I want the county council to end this charade and commit to protect the fire stations and their heroic staff, and reassure the community."

Tim has proposed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons on the subject, as follows:

This house recognises the importance of fire stations, especially those covering rural areas where it is even more important that fire crews are close to the communities that they serve; is deeply concerned by Cumbria County Council's plans to close down Arnside and Staveley fire stations; notes that these stations are pencilled-in for closure at budget times regularly; believes that the threat of closure should be lifted from Arnside and Staveley and calls upon Cumbria Fire Service to keep these stations open and to make a long term commitment to both of them.