MP visits fire station under threat of closure

Laura White
Laura White

After Devon and Somerset Fire and  Rescue Service announced that it is
considering operational changes which they describe as potentially the biggest shake-up in 50 years, Central Devon MP Mel Stride visited Ashburton Fire Station to meet with firefighters who would be affected by its closure.

The proposals which are going to a  12-week public consultation could affect three stations in the MP’s constituency.

All 6 options on the table would see the closure of Ashburton Fire Station, 4 would see one of the two fire engines at Crediton Fire Station removed, and 1 of the 6 would result in a change to how the two fire engines at Okehampton are crewed, although both would be kept.

Mr Stride met with Crew Manager Don Distin, other fire officers and Teignbridge District Councillor Sarah Parker-Khan. How the proposals would affect fire and rescue service capability and response times locally, how the firefighters currently based at the station would be affected and why the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are proposing these
changes were all discussed.

Mel is appealing to local residents to get involved with the consultation at so those making the decision understand the strength of feeling locally about keeping the station open.

Speaking after their meeting Mr Stride said: “I really appreciated Don and his team taking the time to speak to me and for all the work Sarah has already done to challenge these proposals.

‘I am very concerned about any loss of service in our constituency and will be strongly resisting these proposed changes which would affect Ashburton and could affect Crediton and Okehampton as well. Ashburton is ideally located both in terms of A38 access and for getting onto Dartmoor and it would be a very sad day for our town if the station was to close. We have agreed a way forward at our very constructive meeting and I will work closely with the local crew and others to see that we land the best possible outcome locally.”

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