Monday, 21 October 2019

D-day for fire station

THE future of Wargrave fire station is set to be decided next month.

The Royal Berkshire Fire Authority deferred plans to shut the Victoria Road station for nine months in November.

This was on the understanding that the required savings of £168,000 could be found elsewhere in the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s budget.

The Wargrave crew also had to demonstrate an increased availability from around six per cent to 60 per cent.

The extension period ended on August 18 but a final decision will not be made until the authority considers a progress report on October 14.

Wargrave fire station opened in 1903 and is the oldest and smallest station in Berkshire.

In recent years, it has struggled to recruit retained firefighters. It nearly closed in 2014 after two-thirds of the crew left in two years.

The authority held a public consultation in 2017 on cost-saving measures and closing Wargrave and Pangbourne fire stations were among the most popular options.

However, a campaign by Wargrave residents and the parish council resulted in the closure being delayed.

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