No plans to axe stations’ – fire chief

FIRE stations in Comet country are not facing closure, according to a fire chief. Stations in Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock will not be axed despite Hitchin being included in a hit list which a fire union claims is an official fire service document. Her

FIRE stations in Comet country are not facing closure, according to a fire chief.

Stations in Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock will not be axed despite Hitchin being included in a hit list which a fire union claims is an official fire service document.

Hertfordshire's chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said there is no truth in the statement released by Hertfordshire's Fire Brigades Union (Herts FBU) which states that Hitchin could lose full time staff but gain 11 retained firefighters.

The union also claims that six other fire stations - not in Comet country - face closure or downgrading.


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Mr Wilsher said: "They (the union) are frightening innocent people by peddling false information.

"I cannot state clearly enough that none of these claims are true.

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"This appears to be a last ditch attempt by the union to damage the name of the service and I am stunned that they would sink that low.

"Why would we put two extra firefighters into Hitchin and Bishop's Stortford if the service was going to reduce both the next year?"

The union said the information came from confidential documents passed to them.

Herts FBU vice chairman Tony Smith said: "This hit list shows that no community is safe from the threat of cuts and no fire station is safe from the threat of closure. It suggests that current proposals are the beginnings of an agenda to rip the heart out of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"The cuts agenda is clearly far wider than the Bovingdon and Radlett closures and the downgrades at Watford and Royston that the county council are proposing this time around.

"So far they have put forward a few proposals from this list. Which stations will they be choosing next year?"

The fire service is taking legal advice about the union's claim.

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