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DERBYSHIRE: Firefighters and stations could go under cost-cutting plans

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Almost 80 firefighters could be axed and scores of stations closed in Derbyshire as part of a major reorganisation.

The proposals would see 78 full-time firefighters lose their jobs and the closure of 19 stations across the county – including in towns like Dronfield and Matlock – by 2022.

Bosses at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS), which must cut its budget by 40 per cent over the next four years, said the changes would make the organisation more efficient.

However, the Fire Brigades’ Union said it had “deep concerns” about the plans and voiced fears over slower response times.

The proposals were announced by Derbyshire Fire Authority (DFA), which oversees the running of the service, and will be subject to a public consultation.

Sean Frayne, chief fire officer at DFRS, said: “I am satisfied we can continue to provide an excellent and effective service to our communities.

“We are committed to ensuring we are fit to respond to the many challenges being faced both now and in the future.”

Cllr Roland Hosker, chair of DFA, added: “It is always difficult to make decisions borne out of budget constraints but Derbyshire is leading the way and showing that it is making sound business decisions which will ensure the fire service is efficient, effective and robust.

“I would encourage everyone to get involved with the consultation process and let us know their views and comments on the plans.”

The proposals would see a reduction in the number of firefighters but increased use of retained personnel, officers who are called into work following emergency call-outs.

As well as the planned station closures, eight new bases would open.

Chris Tapp, secretary for the Fire Brigades’ Union in Derbyshire, said: “We are deeply concerned about these proposed changes.

“We think there will be slower response times as a result of them and I know the community in Derbyshire does not want that.”

To get involved in the consultation, visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk

Closing: Dronfield, Staveley, Melbourne, Belper, Duffield, Hathersage, Bradwell, Ascot Drive, Nottingham Road, Kingsway, Whaley Bridge, New Mills, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Ripley, Crich, Alfreton, Heanor, Matlock and Wirksworth

Opening: Eckington, Hilton, Belper (south), Bamford, Derby, Furness Vale, Ripley (A38) and Cromford

No change: Ashbourne; Shirebrook, Bolsover, Clowne, Clay Cross and Bakewell

Relocation within the area: Buxton, Chesterfield and Long Eaton

Downgraded from wholetime to retained: Swadlincote, Glossop, Ilkeston and Long Eaton

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