Labour and Conservative councillors both say no to Greasby Fire Station plans
In an update to a previous story about the changes to filming public meetings of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, I have received a formal response from Mersey Fire and Rescue Authority about my petition on the subject.
The letter is included below. The gist of it is I can present my petition at the public meeting on the 16th December 2014. I’ve decided to present it myself and not through one of the councillors, considering that at least one of the Wirral Council councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is well-known for his anti-public meeting filming views.
I also get up to five minutes to state how many people signed the paper and e-petition, what the petition is about and “further supporting remarks”. I’ve decided to not opt for the “deputation” option which would have allowed councillors (including Cllr Steve Niblock if he is present) to ask questions of me.
Whereas I could probably talk on the subject of filming public meetings for more than five minutes, this is certainly a positive step on the road to getting things changed and having a say at a public meeting on the issue thanks to the many who have signed the paper and e-petition so far and the many more who watch the videos I’ve recorded since September of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meetings.
Moving to more local matters, tonight’s Council meeting has unusually two notices of motion on fire related matters.
The Labour motion “Government’s Fire and Rescue Service Cuts” is down to be debated tonight, I’m not sure what’s happening to the Conservative motion “No Fire Station in the Centre of Greasby” as nothing is now next to it on the agenda published on Wirral Council’s website. This is what each notice of motion states:
2. NO FIRE STATION IN THE CENTRE OF GREASBY
Proposed by Councillor Tom Anderson
Seconded by Councillor Wendy Clements
Council acknowledges the overwhelming public opposition to a fire station on the site of Greasby Library.
Council notes that this concern relates to the specific site, not to the policy of merging of fire stations.
Council impresses upon Cabinet:
(1) not to gift, sell, lease the land concerned at the centre of Greasby, because of the value it has for the community; and
(2) to ask officers to work co-operatively with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in identifying and facilitating a more suitable site for operational purposes and to maintain the amenity of the local people.
3. GOVERNMENT’S FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE CUTS
Proposed by Councillor Phil Davies
Seconded by Councillor Adrian Jones
Council welcomes the announcement by the Leader of the Council to withdraw the Council-owned land in the centre of Greasby from consideration for a new fire station.
Given the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s obligation to maximise the protection of lives, and of property, it is inevitable that the location of Fire Stations may, from time to time, conflict with local preferences particularly where such structures may detract from the established scenic value of the MFRA’s preferred locations.
The Government’s devastating and unfair cuts to MFRA’s budget have resulted in the unavoidable need to cut the number of Fire Stations in Wirral. The Fire and Rescue Authority’s preferred location of a single Fire Station on a site in the centre of Greasby was based on its assessment of life saving response times. However, this would result in the loss of a much loved local green space.
The Council is asked to continue to work with the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority to identify an alternative site in the greater Greasby area.
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