THE campaign to save Royston Fire Station moves forward next week with a special meeting organised to fight the closure.

Dan Jarvis MP and local councillors will be holding a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, December 7 at Royston Civic Hall.

Dan said:  “This is a critical issue for the people of Royston and the surrounding areas.  I urge as many people as possible to attend the public meeting on December 7th and have their say.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) has had its budgets cut by £10 million per year and - although it plans to cut management and administration costs by a quarter - it says more drastic action is needed to save the cash.

Royston is one of three stations earmarked for closure under the cuts because SYFR say the part-time firefighter crews at Royston attend relatively few incidents and the area would be well covered by the full-time crews at Cudworth and Barnsley.

Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: “We have already seen our budget reduced by over £3m this year and will receive a further cut of £1.2m next year. The Government has also warned us the cuts in 2013-15 will be even greater than in 2011-13. Having already committed to large savings in management and administration costs, we have nowhere else left to look for the rest of the savings.

“Firefighter costs represent by far the largest part of our budget. The challenge to us is to reduce the number of firefighters we employ whilst having the minimum possible impact on our emergency response service. We have thoroughly researched all the options and I am satisfied that, in my professional opinion as a firefighter with over 20 years’ service, these proposals will help us reduce our costs with the minimum impact on service delivery. They enable us to make some significant savings whilst maintaining our absolute commitment to providing a first-class emergency response service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

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