North Devon’s MP Selaine Saxby has said she ‘broadly welcomes’ the revised fire service proposals that mean local fire stations will remain open.
A recent report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found the service to be 'good' overall but highlighted that it did not make the best use of its resources and that it should improve the availability of its on-call services.
Ms Saxby said: "The report highlighted that 'Between April 1 and December 31, 2018, on-call monthly engine availability ranged from 77.2 per cent to 84.2 per cent against a service target of 100 per cent. On occasions, there would be fire engines that would drop below 20 percent availability for a month.'
"This is not acceptable, and this entire review was a pre-emptive consultation to address this deficiency.
"All the set options proposed during the consultation were rejected and I am glad to see the service proposing a bespoke solution. "The closure of the Woolacombe station, in particular, seemed nonsensical and I am glad they have recognised this and have committed to retaining this station.
"While disappointed that we shall be losing the second appliance in Lynton, it is important for the area and Exmoor that the Porlock station has remained open.
"I am not yet convinced that 'roving' appliances are the right answer and while this option remains on the table, I am glad to see that DSFRS will be consulting further with the Fire Brigades Union on the practicalities of how this could work."