No closure of fire stations in Mid and West Wales welcomed

Rural response pump The fire authority will decide its budget next Monday

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A fire authority's decision not to close any fire stations as part of its proposed budget savings has been welcomed.

Mid and West Wales Fire Authority agreed its provisional budget for the next financial year but decided that savings would not include fire station closures.

It had been feared six could close.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service needs to save £2.6m next year and a further £1.5m in 2015/16.

The stations under threat were at Knighton, Montgomery, Cymmer, Pontyates, Pontarddulais and Gowerton.

Retained Firefighters' Union national officer for Wales Adrian Hughes, who is also Mid and West Wales secretary, said it was "fantastic news".

He also praised fire authority members' "understanding of the important contribution on-call firefighters make to so many communities" in the area.

Mid and West Wales fire service covers Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys.

Brecon and Radnorshire assembly member Kirsty Williams said: "Knighton is an incredibly efficient fire station, it provides excellent protection to a very large area at the lowest possible cost and any closure would have undoubtedly had a detrimental impact on response times to fires and road traffic collisions in Radnorshire."

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