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Leicestershire Fire and Rescue urged sell £11m HQ to save cash

  • 10-22-2015

A fire authority has been urged to sell it's £11m HQ rather than close stations and cut staff to save money.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue plans to make about 90 redundancies and close Leicester Central and Kibworth fire stations to make up a shortfall of £3m.

Under the plans, councillors believe there would be "less demand for office space" and cutting frontline services would leave the city "unsafe".

A senior fire officer said the authority would consider the option.

Eleven fire engines would also go and be replaced by three tactical response vehicles.

But, selling the multi-million pound building, in Birstall, which is under three years old and cost £7m to build, was not part of the plans.

Councillor Michael Charlesworth, of Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, said: "There's a lot of room at existing fire stations... I know they are looking for cuts in back office functions, so there's going to be less demand for office space.

"So, why consider fire stations and not the headquarters?"

Last week, Leicester City Council's Overview Scrutiny Committee unanimously voted to reject the proposals.

Councillor Baljit Singh, who chairs the committee, said: "With a city the size of Leicester with a number of sport stadiums, hospitals and flats the management of risk is high.

"The provisional plans will create a serious situation and leave the city unsafe."

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie said: "We will look at selling it and what the implications of that maybe and the amount that we would receive for it.

"We would look at leasing it and see what income it would generate and we will look at other places that we can move our headquarters function into."

"If it's the best option is to move, then we'll move."

The Fire Brigades' Union has described the proposals, under public consultation, as terrifying.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC


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