Posted: Thursday 11 February 2021, 17:12
At today’s, Thursday 11 February 2021, meeting of the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Members approved recommendations to replace aging fire stations at Glossop, Matlock and New Mills and to increase the Council Tax precept by 1.98%.
Fire Authority Members approved three new-builds as part of the Service’s Capital Construction Programme 2021-2024 considering the age of the existing stations, their efficiency and their effectiveness in functioning as a modern fire station.
Speaking following today’s Fire Authority meeting, Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Kevin Buttery said: “The combined age of the existing fire stations at Glossop, Matlock and New Mills is over 162 years, so it’s easy to understand why these buildings may not fit with the operational requirements of today’s modern fire and rescue service.
“Members have today approved that all three stations will be rebuilt on their existing sites, and that the stations will be built with a design life of 60 years and will conform to the latest energy efficiency standards. They will all have better on-site training facilities which will not only support firefighters responding to emergencies, but also support local recruitment processes. In addition to these benefits each of the new-builds will also have the potential to release capital from the sale of surrounding land and in the case of Glossop and Matlock, the sale of housing stock.”
The new stations are expected to cost around £8,800,000 and aim to be completed by 2024/25. The new Matlock Station has the potential for a possible co-location with Derbyshire Police and at New Mills, a possible co-location with both the Police and East Midlands Ambulance Service. Any additional costs for co-location would be funded by our collaborative partners if a co-location is agreed.
Fire Authority Members also approved a 1.98% Council Tax precept increase at today’s meeting, meaning the average Derbyshire home in Band D will pay an additional £1.54 annually to the Fire and Rescue Authority.
Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson said: “Our Fire Authority Members have secured a strong financial position for the Service through its ongoing ability to make decisions, particularly around previous savings to our establishment, major structural projects and key collaborative working with partners. But with projected financial deficits, investment required in fire stations, the financial uncertainty faced due to Covid19 and ongoing national discussions regarding firefighter pensions, we need to be able to face this financial uncertainty with the confidence that we can continue to invest in new equipment, training and infrastructure to ensure we can deliver our statutory duties and provide our communities with a first class fire and rescue service.
“Any increase in personal costs, no matter how small, has an impact on all our communities, especially at a time of great uncertainty and I know Members gave this the thorough consideration it required before agreeing to the increase.”