Council pledges not to cut staffing as part of changes at Sleaford fire station

A Lincolnshire fire chief has promised not to cut staffing from Sleaford’s station, as the service changes crewing arrangements.

Sleaford fire station.
Sleaford fire station.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday were given an update on consultation around planned changes.

This includes Sleaford fire station having full-time day-time firefighters seven days a week, and on-call cover at night time — in a bid to save £30,000.

During the consultation, Sleaford Town Council raised concerns over the future of the station.

However, Chief Fire Officer Mark Baxter told councillors: “We are able to determine that this is not part of the recommendations, and we have no intention of moving assets away from Sleaford Station.”

He said one of the primary reasons the service was committed to keeping a whole-time crew on station during the day, seven days a week, was the one-way system through the town.

Councillor Andrew Key, whose ward oversees part of Sleaford, called for reassurance that response times or effectiveness would not be affected, adding: “That’s the most important thing for residents.”

Mr Baxter said he would not be putting forward any recommendations if they were not evidence based.

“We’re not anticipating to be seeing any detriment in regards to our operational responsible,” he said.

However, he added that there would be a quarterly review and that “if we are seeing a significant reduction in performance that we feel is putting communities at high risk. then we’re happy to re-consult for any changes in place.”

Mr Baxter was confident staff had been consulted and that there were still “significant” opportunities for people to work at stations which continued to offer higher rates of night-time allowance.

The changes will be brought in in 2023 in order to address any concerns for personnel.