Consultation is launched on plans to cut the night shift at West Bridgford fire station
Plans to withdraw full-time night fire crews from West Bridgford and remove a fire engine from London Road are among plans to save money. See the public consultation launched today.
Below from the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
County Councilor Jonathan Wheeler for West Bridgford South, who is also leader of the Conservative fire authority group, told the Wire: ‘It’s really important that everyone in West Bridgford, and indeed all of Rushcliffe and in the city, make known its point of view on the consultation.
“Labour and the ruling Independent Administration seem to have made up their mind, but let’s show them how important it is for us to keep our nightly cover in West Bridgford.
“We need everyone to share this consultation with friends and family who will also be affected, and I hope local labor councilors will join us in opposing the cuts and putting pressure on their party colleagues. for them to change their minds.
“It is clear from the consultation that the £660,000 they want to save from West Bridgford under the guise of budget savings goes directly to Ashfield. It shows that this is a political choice and we have to show that a life in Rushcliffe is worth the same as Ashfield.
Why do we consult?
Finances are a challenge for everyone right now. We are facing pressures on our budget mainly due to inflation, the cost of pensions, future uncertainties and the cost of living crisis. Legally, we must establish a balanced budget. From 2023 we believe we need to save between £2m and £3m a year.
What are we doing about it?
A review of the entire organization identified three main areas for improving efficiency. These are non-operational staff structures, our operational model is the number of fire stations and fire trucks we have; and our operational officer structure.
75% of our funding is dedicated to staff, so naturally any cuts will have an impact on staff. In wages alone, a full-time fire station with a fire engine and 24/7 cover costs around £1.2million a year. A guard station, where crews are based within five minutes of their fire station and are called to the station when needed, costs around £225,000 in salaries. Stations that are day shift, where firefighters are on duty during the day and on call at night, cost around £800,000.
Over the past 18 months, we have undertaken a comprehensive risk assessment. Analytics tells us the types of incidents we are likely to experience, where they are likely to occur, and the times of day when we have the highest levels of demand. We engaged a leading independent industry specialist who has worked with a number of fire departments across the country, to advise us on how we could meet our anticipated financial challenges, while minimizing the impact of an increase in emergency response times.
Accordingly, the Fire Chief recommends that the Fire Authority go into public consultation to seek input on changes to our operating model:
- Removal of one of the two fire engines at London Road station. This will generate savings of around £1m per year
- Removal of one of two fire trucks at Stockhill Fire Station. This will generate savings of around £1m per year
- Removed night shift at West Bridgford Fire Station. This will save around £660,000 a year.
- To better balance our resources across the county and to help keep an average response time as close to eight minutes as possible, the above changes support the return of the Ashfield Fire Station to a 24 hour permanent model. and 7 days a week. This will require an investment of around £660,000
In total, these changes will generate approximately £2 million in savings per year.
The Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire Authority has approved a public consultation to be held on this proposal to seek your input. At this stageno changes are guaranteed until the public comment period is over.
What happens next?
We invite you to participate in our public consultation which will last 12 weeks.
More information can be found by visiting frequently asked questions.
Any other questions can be submitted to [email protected]
You can give your opinion on fire cover in Nottinghamshire by completing the consultation survey below:
The survey is here