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Row Erupts Over Fire Station Closure

Monday February 6 2012

THE consultation about the proposed closure of Royston Fire Station ends today - amid arguments about the statistics released to support the closure.

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.

But Dan Jarvis, MP, has demanded answers - asking for an explanation about why out-of-date figures were released to justify it which, he says, were significantly different to those logged by the fire station crew, regarding call-outs, response times and running costs of the station.

Dan joined a meeting of Barnsley councillors on a Scrutiny Commission which asked for the fire station to stay open for at least another year, while accurate figures were agreed.

He added: "This is not just a Royston issue, it affects residents in neighbouring areas too, such as Carlton, Mapplewell, Staincross, Darton and Monk Bretton. I urge everyone to contact the Fire Authority’s public consultation and fight to keep Royston Fire Station open.”

The crews at Royston Fire Station sent an email to We Are Barnsley with all their call-out data on it - it said Cudworth is already the second busiest one pump station in South Yorkshire and closing Royston station will put extra strain on an already stretched resource.

They say the figures given are based on years when Royston was a two pump station but, it said, on call outs for 2011 when Royston has been sent out they have been the first pump to attend 72 per cent of the time. Based on 151 callouts in South Yorkshire, Royston have been the first to attend at 107 of these.

It also says there have also been a large number of mobilisation errors where other pumps were sent into the Royston area to attend incidents where Royston would have attended much faster - one such error saw Dearne take over 16 minutes to reach an incident in Royston’s station area when Royston were available to attend.

The crews say that, since January 20122, the amount of calls received by Royston is up by 343 per cent.

If you have a comment to make, it can be done by e-mail on serviceplan@syfire.gov.uk - we'd also be interested to hear your thoughts if you want to comment in the box below.

* To see the original WAB debate when the closure was announced, go here. *

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4 Showing 4 comments

Reply Posted by Tracy Adlington on Monday February 6 2012 at 11:26
It's distgusting and our fire station needs to remain open, if a fire was to break out here in Royston and we had no station then what happens if Cudworth are out already? It's wrong and we need the station.. Also they provide a great service for our under 16s every Tuesday evening it's Young Fire Fighters cadets and they are wonderful. So they are there to provide a service of saving life's and a service to our children. Please support them

Reply Posted by Koo on Monday February 6 2012 at 12:37
Typical twisting of figures to support their argument. I'f they want to close Royston station, just move the crews to Cudworth. That should save them some money on rent.

Reply Posted by Geof on Tuesday February 7 2012 at 08:55
and more on petrol ...

Reply Posted by Geof on Tuesday February 7 2012 at 08:59
I agree with tracy the fire station provides a great service to the people of royston and the surrounding airea, without them i could have lost my sister and her boyfriend who lived in a flat above a shop that was torched in an arson attack.