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A.M. STEPS UP FIRE FIGHT

 


27th OCTOBER 2004

STORY: EMMA EVANS
emma.evans@gwent-wales.co.uk


PHOTO: NO PHOTO


THE fight to stop the downgrading of Pontardawe Fire Station has stepped up a gear with the Mid and West Wales Fire Authority setting up a special meeting to discuss issues which have arisen.

The consultation period ends on November 5, but a special meeting to discuss a number of issues is planned for tomorrow (Thurs).

Gwenda Thomas, Assembly Member for Neath, attended a meeting with several public representatives last week.

She said: “This issue is of great concern to me as Pontardawe fire station covers a large part of my constituency.

“I know that the Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, Edwina Hart, is taking this matter very seriously and I look forward to the transfer to fire and rescue responsibility to the National Assembly.

“This transfer will be completed by November 10. For this reason, I believe that these draft proposals are premature. I will be writing to express my views and the views of the people I represent,”

Local AMs have had numerous meetings with the fire authority.

Peter Black AM said :”This is a very important issue.

“The meeting was very productive and those who did attend found it a useful discussion of the issues involved.”

A fire authority spokeswoman said: “The purpose of the meeting on October 28 will be to discuss matters arising from the consultation process of the draft integrated risk management plan.

“This will include the position adopted by some Assembly Members which the authority needs to consider before the end of the consultation period.

“There are no proposals to remove the front line appliances from Pontardawe.

“The plan does propose a review of the way this fire appliance is crewed, which currently requires 28 firefighters, dealing with 500 calls per year in their station area.”

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