Views sought on future of village fire stations

Fred Brown

Fred Brown - Credit: Archant

MEMBERS of the public are being invited to have their say on plans to combine Burwell and Swaffham Bulbeck fire stations.

The eight-week consultation began on Tuesday, running until July 2, and follows a decision made by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority in February move forward with plans to combine the two stations.

It is hoped that the merger will create a larger purpose-built fire station with a state of the art training facility, parking and community facilities at the land adjacent to the current Burwell Fire Station.

Fred Brown, former chairman of the fire authority said: “Both existing buildings and the land surrounding them were not designed to house fire stations and so are not fit for purpose.

“The creation of one combined fire station has always been a long term plan, as it is not feasible to bring either Swaffham or Burwell stations up to modern day standards, or to provide a proper practical training facility.

“A plot of land adjacent to Burwell Fire Station has now been made available and its owners have agreed to do a land swap with the fire authority.”

A leaflet explaining the plans will be sent to all addresses in Burwell and Swaffham asking for the views of members of the public.

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Residents elsewhere in Cambridgeshire can pick up a leaflet at their local fire station, or by logging on to where they can also complete an online version of the survey.

Once the consultation has ended, the results will be collated and evaluated, prior to being presented to the authority at its meeting in October for a decision. If approved the building works could start by the end of 2013.

Due to ongoing problems recruiting in the Swaffham area, the Swaffham fire engine only attended 11 incidents between during 2012/13 financial year - four of which were false alarms.

The rest of the incidents in the Swaffham area were attended by fire engines from elsewhere in the county. It is hoped that by combining the two stations, this will lead to an improve service across the whole of Burwell and Swaffham.