There are few things that I feel more strongly about then the importance of excellent community fire stations. For obvious reasons, it is essential that people right across Reddish and the Heatons are served by fire staff who are based nearby and on hand to respond swiftly to any emergency that comes their way.
That’s why I was so delighted that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, as part of their major overhaul of fire stations, have earmarked Stockport Community Fire Station on King Street West as the site for a brand new, state-of-the-art fire station.
When this plan was first announced, there was talk of Whitehill fire station being closed and merged onto the new Stockport Community site. However, after tireless campaigning from local residents and representatives, GMFRS made the welcome announcement that both Stockport and Whitehill stations will remain operational. This decision was a real victory for local people and shows the importance of community engagement on these issues. I know that local councillors across Stockport are also working hard to challenge proposals to make Offerton Fire Station a daytime-only model.
Our fire and rescue services deserve to be given all the tools they need to do their vital jobs. Since 2016, £140m has been cut from fire services national. It’s therefore really important that we do everything we can here in Stockport to not only protect fire stations, but also invest in their future.
I look forward to continuing this work with local councillors and residents, and to seeing the new Stockport Community Fire Station become a reality.