|Appledore Councillor and former Fire Fighter Len Ford is celebrating the news that both Appledore and Woolacombe Fire Stations have been saved from closure under revised plans announced by Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue Service.
|The proposals for closure were originally put forward in 2019 as the service attempted to make budget savings and improve efficiency. The plans were then put out for public consultation last summer and Councillor Ford along with others has been widely praised for his campaigning to keep Stations open.
Councillor Ford served as a retained Firefighter for Appledore between 1982 and 1992 and was later a Devon County Councillor connected to the Fire Authority from 2005 to 2009. While acknowledging that change was inevitable for the organisation he felt that solely focusing on closures rather than a redrawing of the service with possible new or amalgamated stations was a more appropriate way forward. Councillor Ford went on to say:
“As a former Firefighter, I’m glad that I was able to play a part in persuading the Fire Service to reconsider their plans. However, there was considerable public support for this stance and many people played a part. I would particularly like to thank Sally Hocking – the clerk at Morthoe and my fellow TDC Councillors Philip Hackett and Simon Newton for their support. I hope that the management team and the unions will now get together and come up with a better plan to safeguard the public’s safety and to reduce the risk of harm from fire.”