Fight is on to save Manea fire station with MP Steve Barclay leading the way
Local MP Steve Barclay has joined the fight to save a village fire station that is once again facing the threat of closure.
Over a decade ago the community Manea rallied to save its volunteer fire station from being closed and once again residents are once again being called on to fight for the vital, life-saving service.
Mr Barclay, who has described Manea Fire Station as a crucial community asset, has met with local firefighters and parish councillors to discuss the plans by Cambridgeshire Fire Authority’s re-organisation plans which would see the village station close and its firefighters transferred elsewhere.
The MP, and newly appointed Environment Secretary, said: “This would be a big mistake and something I will campaign strongly to prevent.”
He met with the station’s Acting Watch Commander Rhys Fenn, Crew Commander Roly Rimmer, council chair Ben Bonos, and councillor Charlie Marks to discuss the fight to save Manea Fire Service.
Mr Barclay said: “Manea Fire Station is essential to meeting the required key response time of 12 minutes, given the distance from other stations and the nature of our Fen roads. The retained firefighters often cover key periods on Friday evenings and weekends, and they also respond to road traffic accidents and incidents in our waterways.
“We have been through this before as the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority previously tried this based on flawed data. Having discussed this with Rhys, Roly, Charlie and Ben it sounds like flawed data is once again being used, shaped by actions such as restricting access to the next new recruits training slots in January.
“Manea Fire Station must stay. Our rural location requires a local crew and the role of retained firefighters makes it good value for money. I have already phoned the Minister for the Fire Service to discuss this flawed scheme from Cambridgeshire and he has agreed to investigate this proposal and will follow up with the Chief Fire Officer next week. Similar plans are also proposed for Sutton and Kimbolton which need investigation too.
"The sooner this misguided proposal creating unnecessary uncertainty can be addressed, the better. We are fortunate to have such a fantastic crew in Manea and need to keep it.”
Coun Bonos said: “We need people’s help. Our fire station is under threat and a proposal to close it is due to be submitted in December.
“Here in Manea, this proposal will leave us at greater risk because we will not have a crew near enough to meet the target response times for rural incidents. The closure will also add pressure to other local stations which are backed up by Manea.”
A petition launched by Crew Commander Roly Rimmer has already had over 1,000 signatures but there is still time for people to sign it by visiting ipetitions.com and searching save you local fire stations.