A meeting to consider closing fire stations in Devon has been moved to the new year.
A range of controversial options for changes to the fire service will now be debated by the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority members on January 10, 2020.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) has consulted on six options to 'streamline' the service that involve closing eight stations - including Appledore and Woolacombe - as well as altering the cover at other stations. A seventh option would involve cherry picking elements from the other six.
Communities across North Devon fear the changes could cost lives.
The fire authority meeting was to consider the results of the consultation process carried out over the summer and was scheduled for December 18.
The move follows a unanimous decision by members on Friday, November 8.
Staff and trade union representatives had raised concerns about the impact the decision may have on staff if made just before Christmas.
In addition, a General Election has been called since the date for the meeting was set and the service said it would not have chosen a date for the meeting so close to an election.
DSFR consulted over the summer on proposals which it says would 'modernise' the service.
They include station closures, reducing the number of fire appliances and changing crewing arrangements.
It says this would enable it to reinvest in prevention and protection work to reduce the risk of incidents occurring.
During the 12-week consultation, the service received about 3,300 completed surveys, 700 written submissions, and five petitions.