Campaigners worried over plans to close Dronfield fire station have taken their concerns to the top.
Lee Rowley, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for North East Derbyshire, voiced community fears when he met the chief executive of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Sean Frayne and deputy chief fire officer, Andy Waldie.
In the meeting, Mr Rowley said residents were worried about response times increasing if the fire station closes - forcing the town to rely on cover from Chesterfield or Eckington stations.
The proposed closure was announced in September as part of a wider re-organisation of the county’s service, aimed at saving cash in the wake of Government funding cuts.
Mr Rowley said: “When faced with these kind of proposals, the best way is to take residents’ concerns straight to the top. That’s why I asked for a face-to-face meeting with the chief fire officer to discuss how the authority’s plans would affect north east Derbyshire.
“I highlighted the increased risk to the local community if Dronfield were to be left without a fire station for the first time in nearly 70 years.
“There’s no two ways about it – Dronfield needs a fire station. Whilst everyone knows that savings need to be found as a result of a decade of Labour overspending, this proposal from the Labour-controlled fire authority is the wrong decision, at the wrong time, targeting the wrong area for savings.
He added: “The fire and rescue authority should firstly look to further back-office and administrative savings or alternative options to ensure Dronfield fire station is protected.
“It’s vital that we stand up to protect Dronfield.
“That’s exactly what I’ll continue to keep doing on behalf of local residents and businesses.”
Mr Rowley has been working with Dronfield’s Conservative councillors and the local campaign group, collecting signatures for the petition and knocking on doors to raise awareness of the possible closure.