Fire Stations (Warwickshire)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 30th June 2010.

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Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Conservative, Stratford-on-Avon 4:00 pm, 30th June 2010

You put that very beautifully, Mr. Benton; you are quite right. I therefore thank my hon. Friend for allowing me to intervene on him in this debate. I shall just add that the initial consultation on this issue was deeply flawed, which I think was recognised in the end. I went to see the chief fire officer before May-I will see him again on Friday-to press the point home that the local community and the local fire officers in Bidford, Studley and Alcester have not been in any way objectionable. In fact, they have been very proactive and John Maples, my predecessor as the MP for Stratford-on-Avon, has worked very hard with them. They have put forward a very strong proposal, which I have supported throughout this process, and I just implore the councillors to look at that proposal for Bidford, Studley and Alcester fire stations to remain open, because if one looks at all the evidence that I have before me, which I am sure my hon. Friend has also seen, one sees that if those stations close the length of time that firefighters will take to get to fire hazards would be increased to what I believe would be an unacceptably long time. So I implore the councillors to listen very carefully before they make the decision to close those three fire stations.