10:18AM, Tuesday 21 February 2017
The closure of Wargrave Fire Station is a ‘foregone conclusion’, an ex-firefighter has said.
Tony Annetts, 64, of Highfield Park, was a watch manager at the Wargrave Fire Station in Victoria Road and worked there from 1971 to 2013.
He has launched a petition to keep the branch open, but said people in the service had told him it seemed inevitable it would be closed down, despite Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service holding a public consultation into whether it will close.
“I just think we need something local,” he said.
“It is just going to result in long waiting times. We had a call for a car fire,” he added, referring to a blaze in Victoria Road last month.
“It took 22 minutes. They came from Caversham Road.”
The consulation is due to close on Monday, March 13.
Mr Annetts said he had spoken to people within the service and added: “They say they are being told it is a foregone conclusion. I don’t know why they are holding a consultation.”
He hoped people would go to a public consultation being held at the station between 10am and 5pm on Sunday in a show of support.
A spokesman for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It is important to note that no decisions have been made at this stage.
“After the consultation has closed, all feedback received will be carefully considered by the fire authority at a meeting on 18 April 2017, before any decisions are taken.
“The final decisions will be published in a report available on our website in May 2017.”
The consultation began on Monday, December 12 and ends on Monday, March 13.
Visit www.rbfrs.co.uk to take part in the consultation.
Go to www.thepetitionsite.com and search ‘save Wargrave Fire Station’ to view the petition.
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