Statement - Devon and Somerset Fire Service Consultation

"Having had in depth discussions with the Chief Fire Officer and having heard the community’s concerns at public meetings I am firmly opposed to the closure of Woolacombe Fire Station.

I understand and believe that the overall operation in Devon and Somerset does need to be looked at in a wide ranging and holistic way. This consultation process has highlighted to me that we at present do not have the kind of coverage that we need here in rural Northern Devon.

While I have reservations about many of the other changes that they are proposing, the closure of a station is final. Other changes in the way staff operate or the number of and location of appliances can be adjusted over time. But if we lose Woolacombe station, the service that it not only gives the community but the capacity and support it gives to the system, it is not coming back.

Communities across North Devon need to have their opinions heard. This is a genuine consultation and the Fire Authority want to hear your views. If you are not able to pick up the consultation document at one of the events, then you can fill in the questionnaire online at

I will be writing to the Chief Fire Officer and every member of the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority directly and I invite you to do the same."