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Fire station future is discussed


6:55am 21st June 2011

Green councillors in York are calling upon the new Labour Cabinet running the City of York Council to halt the sale of council land at Kent Street to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, in a bid to protect fire cover for the historic city centre.

The first meeting of the council's new cabinet is due to decide on the sale at its first meeting on Jun 21st, the day before N Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is due to consider the latest compromise option of having a 'roving' fire tender during daylight hours after the current city centre facility is closed.

Currently the historic core has three tenders within minutes of the centre, including an aerial ladder, which the fire authority plan to relocate to the outer ring road.
Heritage Champion and Green Councillor for Fishergate ward Cllr DaveTaylor said:

 "The leaking of the Fire Service report by Councillor King can only be a good thing as it gives citizens another chance to see how fire cover for the historic city centre is being reduced. 

I have been very critical of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's plan to close Clifford Street Fire Station losing the full time crew for multiple fire engines, river-rescue craft, and aerial ladder platform. 

People living in the city centre, in high-rise buildings, in historic timber-framed buildings and those in peril on the river deserve better than a crew making its way down from the station on the Northern Ring Road. 

Similarly, people living in the South and East of the city, including the massive Heslington East development could be put at risk by the move. 

Having only one part-time engine at a new station on the Kent Street Car Park and a 'roving' fire engine, but only during the daytime hours, is a poor service for York, a massive reduction in fire cover, and a pathetic compromise.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken the decision regardless of public opposition and now the Council is faced with the decision to sell its Kent Street site for a smaller fire station which we are told would only house one fire engine with a part-time crew, no aerial ladder platform, and a river-rescue craft some distance from the river.

I call upon the Labour Cabinet running the City of York Council to stop this plan in its tracks by refusing to sell the land at Kent Street to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

 It should only do so if the Fire Service maintains two engines and an aerial ladder platform at the Kent Street site so as to protect the lives of people living in the city centre and South and East of the city and to preserve the fabric of the historic city centre should a blaze occur.
I still maintain it would be cheaper to renovate Clifford Street at a cost of maybe £300,000 than build a new station at Kent Street at a cost of around £3,000,000."


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