FBU warns response times could double if merger plans are agreed

Bletchley fire stationAttendance times to fires and other emergencies could double in Milton Keynes if plans to merge two fire stations are agreed.

The FBU has warned public safety could be put in jeopardy if Buckingham and Milton Keynes Fire Authority’s plans to relocate frontline firefighting services from Great Holm fire station and Bletchley fire station to a new site at West Ashland are approved.

James Wolfenden, secretary of the FBU in Southern England, said: “In life-saving emergencies every second counts. If implemented, the public living in northern and western areas of Milton Keynes will have to wait an extra 5 – 10 minutes for fire crews to arrive at an emergency.

“To date the fire authority has only produced a vague and insufficient consultation document that is not fit for purpose. They have produced no risk or impact assessments, incident data or risk profiling. And no statistical analysis has been published for members of the public to see and understand how these proposals will affect the service they receive.

“Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK. Through its Western Expansion development an expected 6,000 homes are due to be constructed within the next two years. The current location of fire stations is ideal – fire crews can be mobilised quickly to any part of Milton Keynes. It makes no sense to cut back a vital, life-saving public service at this time.”

The FBU has called for a wider public consultation by the fire authority saying the consultation period should be increased from 12 to 16 weeks, for a series of open meetings to be arranged and for the publication of comprehensive statistical analysis on the impact these proposals will have on public safety.

  • The consultation currently runs until November 9th. You can participate in it here.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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