Rothwell’s new fire station building starts this month

Cllr David Nagle, Angel Kellett and Cllr Karen Bruce photo

Cllr David Nagle, Rothwell community campaigner Angel Kellett and Cllr Karen Bruce

Rothwell Labour Party’s community campaign to save our fire station not only saved our fire station and fire engine, but we recently got the even better news that we are to get a brand new fire station built on the same site.

Councillors and residents were delighted when we were told that Rothwell’s new fire station is to be built in the spring, with a temporary fire station providing emergency cover at the same location during the demolition and construction.

I’m very much looking Fire station closure protestforward to our brand new fire station being built, and it just goes to show what people power can do. We have now been given the planned start date for the main contractors to be on site which is the 17th March and although there has been a delay by BT in getting the temporary phone lines installed, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is still confident that its target date will be met and that the project will keep on schedule.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tell us that there will undoubtedly be some initial noise on site when the demolition starts, in particular the breaking up of the concrete slab and the contractors will be circulating letters in the local area.  The fire service require its contractors to be part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which sets certain standards to limit the impact on local residents.

Oulton and Woodlesford action group community day fire station petition stall photoThere’s no doubt that the new Rothwell fire station represents a significant investment in the area and will provide a high quality service, making our residents feel safe and secure for many years to come. Our community campaign and petition was a great success and we had great fun out and about at community events and galas gathering signatures and chatting with everyone!

It’s been great working with the community to save Rothwell fire station with ward colleague David Nagle and Rothwell campaigner Angela Kellett, who with the tenants and residents association was out collecting signatures to help our campaign to keep our fire station, so we’re all delighted with the fantastic news that our new fire station is about to be built.

Rothwell fire station saved

Councillor Karen Bruce and Councillor David NagleI’ve just received news that confirms what I’d heard in my last meeting with Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling – Rothwell fire station will stay open! Both I and Councillor David Nagle want to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone that worked so hard to help us with the Save Our Station campaign.

The fire authority’s community consultation received more 12,000 responses – of which about 3,000 were from Rothwell. That’s about a quarter of all the responses, which when you consider that there were 10 stations proposed for closure, shows how effective our campaign was and how strongly local people felt about this issue.

The original proposal was to close Rothwell and Garforth fire stations and have just one station at Swillington with just one fire engine between them. The new proposal is that both Rothwell and Garforth remain open and retain their fire engines. A new ‘Day Crew’ staffing system will be implemented at both fire stations.

This is the news release that has just been issued by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority:

Consultation shapes county’s fire cover plans

Councillors will consider record levels of public feedback on radical proposals to reform fire cover across West Yorkshire.

During a 12-week formal consultation exercise (which concluded on 30 November 2012), West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue officers met with members of the community including district, town and parish councils, MPs and employee representative bodies to discuss the eleven proposals and listen to the views of local people.

This year community engagement attracted 12,037 formal representations, four-times that received during consultation undertaken in 2011 – a „listening exercise with legs‟ enabling concerns to be heard and suggestions presented by the community.

In light of the consultation and following professional analysis, Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling will ask West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority to consider changes to the draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan 2013-14 at its next meeting on 21 December 2012. If approved, the plan would be implemented between 2013 and 2020.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling re-emphasised the reasons for changes to emergency cover: “The success of the brigade‟s fire safety work over the past 10 years means there is undeniable scope for change. Accidental fire deaths and injuries are at an all-time low and some stations are now half as busy as they were a few years ago so I‟m confident we can rationalise and modernise the service whilst still providing effective fire cover.

“We know we have to find cuts of between £8-12m over the next two years – and already have plans in place — but all the messages coming out of central government project further reductions in financial support for local authorities up to 2020,” he explained.

“I believe that these proposals represent changes that will have the least impact on emergency cover for the county, yet contribute significantly to addressing the financial gap the Authority must address.”

The consultation and proposals to changes to emergency cover will be considered by the Fire Authority on 21 December 2012.

You can download a PDF of the full report here.

Save Rothwell fire station

Rothwell fire station has been earmarked for closure under radical plans that will see six fire stations in Leeds close and 200 fire fighter jobs be slashed. The local community in Rothwell, Woodlesford, Outlton and Carlton has reacted angrily to the news and is standing shoulder to shoulder with myself and Councillor David Nagle to fight the proposed closure.

Save Rothwell fire station

Local residents and community groups turned out in force to kick start the campaign to save Rothwell fire station.

Please do your bit by signing our online petition and asking your friends and family to sign it as well. Remember that you sign as an individual so everyone in your house can sign as well. You can also download a paper petition that you can print to get others to sign. Print some copies and take them to your local pub, club, shops, takeaway etc and ask them to put the petition on the counter. We need as many people as possible to sign.

Download the Stop the closure of Rothwell fire station petition PDF.