Keynsham fire station to close with HQ planned for site

Published on: 06 Feb 2014

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The local fire service will be moving its headquarters to Keynsham under a raft of proposals announced by Avon Fire Authority at the end of last month.

The move is part of a plan by Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) to relocate, merge and redevelop a number of fire stations across the area to help make annual savings of £4.5million and to “reflect modern requirements”.

Under the proposals, which were first put to the fire authority in July, Keynsham Fire Station, in Temple Street, would close and move to a new base on the Avon Ring Road, where it would amalgamate resources with Brislington Fire Station, which would also be shut.

A fire service spokesperson confirmed to Keynshamvoice that the Temple Street site was the AFA’s preferred location to create a new Avon Fire Service HQ at this stage in the process.

Kevin Pearson, AF&RS Chief Fire Officer, said the announcement represented the biggest change to the way the organisation delivered emergency services since the county of Avon was formed 40 years ago.

“Many of the fire stations we operate were inherited from four county fire brigades. As a result of developments in road networks over the last 40 years station locations are not where we would choose to put them today. This is an opportunity to place our resources at sites that reflect modern requirements.

“These changes are great news, not only for our staff, but also the community we serve. 

“Taking an ‘invest to save’ approach we are using money we have in reserve and borrowing to deliver these improvements. They will result in no reduction in our operational response standards, no reduction in the quality of vehicles and equipment we provide and no reduction in our community safety prevention activities.
“We are taking a phased approach to the work over the next five years. In the short term improvement works will begin at Kingswood Fire Station and we are actively engaged in plans to move our headquarters to Keynsham.

“We understand that local people care deeply about where their fire stations are located so we will be seeking their views throughout this project.”

Besides the new fire station on the Ring Road, Southmead and Patchway fire stations would also be merged at a new site near the former Filton Airfield, while a redeveloped station in Kingswood would amalgamate its resources with Speedwell Fire Station.

Temple Fire Station in the centre of Bristol would also be redeveloped.

Chair of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Terry Walker, said: “It’s no secret that public sector budgets are being squeezed. Over the next few years the money we receive from the Government will continue to fall, meaning £4.5 million of further annual savings will need to be found on top of the £6.6 million of savings and efficiencies we have already made since 2010. This means we have no alternative but to look at other options to deliver significant savings in the medium and long term.

“When the first round of austerity measures were announced Avon Fire Authority pledged to do everything it could to ensure there were no compulsory redundancies and that frontline services are protected. Through these plans I am pleased that we will be able to meet this commitment.

“These new fire stations will provide state-of-the-art facilities and ensure the service we provide to the community remains excellent.”

Feedback from the public – known as the Integrated Risk Management Plan 2015/16 – is welcome.

Send comments by email to future@avonfire.gov.uk or in writing to Avon Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Temple Back, Bristol, BS1 6EU.

More information can be found at www.avonfire.gov.uk and click on the Investing for the Future section.

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