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Closure of Pangbourne Fire Station among £2.4m fire service cost cutting options

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Public viewpoints needed on proposals in 13-week consultation

THE closure of Pangbourne fire station is among the proposed options by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), which is faced with bridging a £2.4m financial gap over the next four years.

The fire service is seeking the views of members of the public in a 13-week consultation which started on Monday.

Seven options of proposed cost-cutting measures aim to plug the financial gap by 2020, which has been brought about because of cuts in Government funding.

The options, outlined in the RBFRS 2015 to 2019 Integrated Risk Management Plan, include closing retained fire stations at both Pangbourne and Wargrave next year.

Should the Pangbourne fire station building close, this service would merge with a new station at Theale.

The final option – to do nothing – is unviable according to the fire service, because this would entail increasing the fire service’s share of the council tax bill by more than the 1.99 per cent limit allowed.

Any increase above this limit would require a public referendum at a cost of £1m and it has therefore been ruled out.

Following the public consultation, the fire service authority will make a final decision on April 18, to be implemented from May.

The public consultation period continues until March 13, with all those who live, work and travel in Berkshire encouraged to respond.

Full details of all seven options can be viewed online at www.rbfrs.co.uk – and where responses can also be made.

Alternatively email responses to irmp@rbfrs.co.uk, telephone (0118) 9384331 and leave a message, or write to Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, IRMP Consultation, Newsham Court, Pincents Kiln, Calcot, Reading, RG31 7SD.

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