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Councillors vote to close Blaina fire station and axe appliance in Wales

South Wales Fire and Rescue authority voted to close Blaina fire station as well as lose Cwmbran’s RDS appliance as part of the Services Fire Cover Review.

The group made of councillors from local authorities in the area voted to lose both following a meeting this morning.

The fire service said the review which prompted the station’s closure was the first since re-organisation since 1996, with the area’s fire safety having improved dramatically in that time.

The authority denied the move was solely to save money, but the chair of the finance committee admitted that where money could be saved, members should be obligated to do so.

Campaigners against the station’s closure include the families of Firefighters’ Stephen Griffin and Kevin Lane, who tragically died at an incident in Blaina in February 1996.

The original decision which had been made in March was sent to the respective local council’s scrutiny committees of Blaenau Gwent’s agreed with the FBU to keep it open.

Alex Psaila, South Wales FBU brigade secretary said, “It’s a sad day for South Wales FBU with the closure of Blaina as well as Cwmbran’s RDS appliance being lost.

“The station personnel, local councillors and members of the public have campaigned hard to get the fire authority to change its mind but unfortunately they chose not to listen to our arguments.

“Meetings will now be held between the FBU, management and the crews themselves to see what the future holds for them.

“The closure of Blaina station could mean 15 retained firefighters losing their jobs in Blaina, while 17 jobs in Cwmbran are also at risk, management have stated that potential redeployment could be one option.”

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