Avon Fire and Rescue to close five fire stations

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Avon Fire and Rescue Service is planning to close five fire stations in the Bristol area to save money.

Keynsham and Brislington stations would be replaced by a new station on Avon Ring Road and Southmead and Patchway stations would also be replaced.

It also plans to merge Speedwell with Kingswood station and move its headquarters out of central Bristol.

Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: "We've got to find £11m out of a £46m budget - we haven't got much choice."

Described as the "biggest change" to the service since the 1970s, the authority also plans to shift its headquarters to Keynsham and redevelop Temple Fire Station.

"Many of the fire stations we operate were inherited and their locations are not where we would chose to put them today," said Mr Pearson.

"Currently we guarantee a minimum response time of eight minutes in the Bristol area, and that won't change."

'No compulsory redundancies'

In July, the service announced it would be cutting 32 firefighter jobs, in a bid to make savings.

It also confirmed that a total of 84 posts could go over the next five years, if each stage of the scheme went ahead.

Fire authority chair Terry Walker said having new larger fire stations in "strategic areas of the city" would "ensure the service remains excellent".

"When the first round of austerity measures were announced Avon Fire Authority pledged to do everything it could to ensure there were no compulsory redundancies and that frontline services are protected," he said.

"Through these plans I am pleased that we will be able to meet this commitment."

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