1. ITV Report

Devon and Somerset Fire Service approve station closure plans

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has approved plans to close a station. Credit: ITV News West Country

Plans to close a station and relocate another have been approved as part of cuts to fire and rescue services in Devon and Somerset.

The fire authority today voted in favour of closing Budleigh Salterton and relocating Topsham to its headquarters in Clyst St George.

The decision follows a 12-week long consultation into money saving plans, which were unveiled last year.

Eight stations from across the region were originally earmarked for closure but plans were scaled back after concerns were raised.

Eight stations were originally earmarked for closure. Credit: ITV News West Country

Instead, the service has now voted in favour of implementing the following:

  • Defer the decision to implement day crewing at Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton
  • Close Budleigh Salterton and allow firefighters to respond from Exmouth
  • Relocate Topsham to Clyst St George (service HQ)
  • The third fire engine from Bridgwater, Taunton, Torquay and Yeovil to be replaced with alternative vehicles
  • Remove the second fire engines from Crediton, Lynton, Martock and Totnes
  • Introduce variable fire engine availability dependent on risk

Cllr Sara Randall Johnson, chair of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, said it was important that firefighters and residents now had more certainty about the future.

We had a long and detailed consultation period over the summer during which people made it very clear how much they value the fire service.

Although there were difficult conversations at times, I was pleased to hear how strongly the public and staff felt connected to their local fire stations.

Members have considered all these proposals at length and have thought very carefully about the impact our decisions may have on the service, staff and the public. These changes will enable the Service to move resources to the areas where they are most needed.

– Cllr Sara Randall Johnson