Glossopdale enjoys many advantages from being ‘on the edge’ – ‘on the edge’ of Greater Manchester gives us the opportunity to be a part of the city to work or visit. Being on the edge of the Peak District means we can also enjoy the countryside.
But being on the edge of 3 regions – the North West, Yorkshire and East Midlands – as well as on the edge of Derbyshire, also means we have to constantly fight for resources that are distributed regionally.
As the Chronicle highlighted last week, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue is proposing to sell off the homes at Glossop Fire Station that enable our full-time fire fighters to provide the fastest response, especially at night when fires are more likely and when most deaths from fire occur.
All of the consultation options are for more retained fire fighters, who have another job, but can specify they are ‘on call’ at certain times. It is difficult to recruit retained fire crews, partly because most employers cannot grant their staff ‘as and when’ release. The adverts on Glossop Fire Station for retained fire fighters have been there for as long as I can remember.
The Fire Service cannot guarantee that it will always have sufficient retained staff on call, especially at night and weekends, and it also takes longer for retained fire fighters to reach the fire station. So I am pressing the Fire Service on how much the proposed changes will reduce fire cover for Glossop and whether they can guarantee a continuous safe level of service.
Glossop fire station is one of the most efficient in the county and I know from meeting local crews that the station covers a vast area from old mill buildings to open moorland, where fires are both difficult to access and to fight.
Changes in Glossop fire cover will impact on other areas of High Peak so I have urged residents and businesses across the constituency to respond to the ‘Review of Duty Systems’. As all the suggested options involve a reduced service, you can just click ‘next’ to say what you think.
Thank you to everyone who is campaigning for Glossop’s fire service. Unfortunately, our experience of the Shire Hill consultation is not a good one, but the huge campaign and wealth of evidence put together by the people of Glossop will mean we can fight on, and I will keep campaigning for the Shire Hill site to be used for much-needed health services.
And we must not let other authorities ‘off the hook’ by not responding to consultations. All of the decisions to cut services are financially driven – nearly 8 years of austerity are taking their toll. Rural areas and those ‘on the edge’ are always the first to suffer. But it does not mean our needs are any less. As your MP I will continue to point that out, and I welcome all the support and voices from across Glossopdale.