Councillors come face to face with fire chief and tell him: Leave Manea well alone

AS our Go to Blazes campaign steps up a gear, Fenland councillors come face to face with county fire chief Graham Stagg. They tell him: Leave Manea Fire Station alone.

Mr Stagg visited Fenland District Council yesterday for a special meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee..

Committee chairman Councillor Pop Jolley, who is also a Manea parish councillor, said members wanted the station kept open “to prevent future loss of life due to increased response times to incidents”

Cllr Jolley said afterwards that councillors were concerned over attendance time at fires, reduced cover due to fewer appliances and the ability of the fire service to deal with water-related incidents.

“We understand the severe financial pressures that all public services are under in these difficult economic times,” said Cllr Jolley.

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“However, we view the service provided by Manea Fire Station as vital not only for the people of Manea but for Fenland as a whole.

“We and everyone in Fenland need to continue to fight hard to retain the station at Manea. Its closure would send out the message that a life in Manea is worth less than a life in Chatteris or March. That is not acceptable

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“Local people can also do their bit to help ensure the station is sustainable in the future by applying to become fire fighters themselves.

“We will continue to monitor closely the continuing discussions about the future of the fire and rescue service in Fenland.

“Mr Stagg has offered to return to us again in future to answer any further questions we may have.

“He also rebutted suggestions that he felt Stephen Barclay MP ‘had it in for him’. He said he recognised that the local MP was fully entitled to represent local people’s views and to ask whatever questions he liked and he had no problem with that. We welcomed that clarification.”

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