Controversial plans to close fire stations across the High Peak have been opposed by Derbyshire County Council.
Members of the authority’s cabinet agreed to oppose Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (DFRS) transformation plans when they met last week.
The proposals, currently out for consultation, would see:
• the closure of 19 fire stations;
• the opening of eight new stations;
• the relocation of three stations and the introduction of two new retained duty system (RDS) stations:
• a reduction in the number of wholetime stations to five, with seven wholetime crewed fire engines;
• a reduction in the number of RDS standalone stations from 19 to 15.
This could result in the total number of fire stations across Derbyshire reducing from 31 to 20.
In the High Peak, stations in New Mills, Whaley Bridge and Chapel-en-le-Frith would be closed, and replaced with a new merged station in Furness Vale, next to the A6.
Stations in Bradwell and Hathersage in the Hope Valley would also be closed, and replaced with a new merged station on Hathersage Road in Bamford.
Glossop fire station would be changed from a wholetime station to a retained duty system station - increasing the response to incidents between 8am and 6pm by four to five minutes on average.
And the state-of-the art fire and rescue centre in Buxton, officially opened on Staden Lane in October 2011, will be relocated.
In the Hope Valley, locals and parish councils have joined forces to fight the changes.
A public meeting was held in Hathersage on Tuesday night, attended by representatives from DFRS.
Andy Nash, spokesperson for Save Hope Valley Fire Services, said: “The proposals that DFRS has put forward are based on a paper exercise using computer models to achieve savings. While we accept that the service has to deal with budget cuts, the proposals completely fail to recognise the realities of the Hope Valley. The community in Bamford does not have the residents or businesses to provide the personnel to act as retained fire fighters.”
A petition calling for the Hope Valley’s fire stations to be retained has also attracted over 240 signatures. See more at www.bradda.org.uk.
The consultation closes on December 23. To read the consultation document, and have your say, see www.derbys-fire.gov.uk.