New council-funded Windsor fire station agreed

Windsor fire station St Mark's Road
Image caption Crews from Slough currently staff Windsor station at night

Councillors have agreed to release £300,000 to help fund a new full-time fire station in Berkshire.

The move will see 24-hour cover by a dedicated Windsor-based crew, with a new station built in Tinkers Lane.

A meeting of full council on Tuesday saw members approve the release of capital funds from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council reserves.

The remaining £100,000 will come from a government grant to the fire service.

Windsor's current station at a site in St Mark's Road, which is due to be sold, has been crewed during daylight hours only by the Windsor crew since October 2011 when a new 24-hour station opened in Wokingham.

Crews from Slough currently staff Windsor station at night.

'Seems strange'

The station was threatened with night-time closure, and a campaign to keep it open 24 hours a day was supported by local celebrities, including Sir Elton John.

The Tinkers Lane station, which could be opened within the next year, would be provided by the council, but staffed and run by the fire service.

Council leader David Burbage said: "We are all very pleased. This is a case we have been fighting for eight years.

"Originally the fire station was going to go."

He welcomed the £100,000 grant contribution and said he believed the fire service has since come to realise the importance of a station in Windsor.

Independent councillor Malcolm Beer questioned the authority's decision to put forward the majority of funding.

He said: "It seems strange in a climate of cutbacks to be sponsoring the fire service to the tune of £300,000.

"There's also no real guarantee of what kind of cover fire crews will be able to provide."

The Fire Brigades Union said it would not comment on the proposal.

A council cabinet meeting on Thursday is expected to award the building contract.

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