Objection efforts go up in smoke

Fire Station Closures'Royston fire station in Barnsley which is proposed for closure in fire service cuts
Fire Station Closures'Royston fire station in Barnsley which is proposed for closure in fire service cuts
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HUNDREDS of worried residents signed petitions and lobbied fire chiefs over cost-cutting plans to close stations near their homes.

Locals affected by the closure of retained stations in Mosborough and Royston - where part-time firefighters work on an on-call basis - were the most vocal in their opposition, fire chiefs have admitted.

A petition against the proposed closure of Mosborough fire station was signed by 408 residents, and 30 letters of concern were written by Royston residents.

Public meetings in the two communities were also the busiest - one in Royston was attended by 100 residents and one in Mosborough by another 60.

And 2,737 residents across the county signed a petition in support of the Fire Brigades Union’s objections to the plans.

But despite the opposition, and ideas put forward as alternatives, it is suggested the original proposals should be approved.

Hazel Hinchliffe, aged 67, who worked as a cook and cleaner at Mansfield Road, Darnall and Mosborough stations, said: “It’s very sad.

“I think Mosborough is very old and needs to be closed, and Mansfield Road is in a very bad position because of the traffic.

“But I’m not sure the new Birley station will be in any better a position - it will come out right on a roundabout.”

Gordon Millward, 65, who lives in Mosborough and used to work in Darnall, said: “The general feeling in Mosborough is that, if the fire station closes, response times will increase. “

Said Khan, 48, a taxi driver from Darnall, said: “Rather than this Government spending millions on war and missiles they should be spending money on communities and local people - preserving the fire service, the police service, health and education.”

Andrew Russell, 63, a retired local government worker from Sothall, said: “It’s a concern - but it is a sign of the times with all the cutbacks.

“I assume they know what the new response times will be - if a crew is taking 15 minutes to get here from Darnall or Aston to the outer parts of Mosborough instead of just seven or eight, people can die in that time. But any reduction has to be a bad thing.”

But Sylvia Hamilton, 70, of Olivers Mount, Darnall, said: “As long as the new station is located at a sensible point on the Parkway, I see no reason it should be any worse than the current station.

“I’ve been to several briefings about it and they say they now deal with as many motorway accidents as fires - this should give them good access to the whole district.

“But one thing I am worried about is what they do with the old station. We have too many empty buildings in Darnall.”

And Bob Butler, 79, a retired engineer from Darnall, said: “I think this is actually a good idea. My son used to live near Darnall station and the engines have a terrible time getting out of the station because of the traffic.

“Putting a station on the Parkway could mean they get here quicker. But it’s terrible in this day and age to sack people. I don’t see any reason to make people redundant.”