07:55AM, Tuesday 11 March 2014
Last week the Royal Borough's ruling Conservatives were claiming victory after persuading the Berkshire Fire Authority to allow a 24 hour service to continue to be based in the town, despite its decision to sell off the existing fire station in St Mark's Road.
An engine will operate from land on the borough's recycling plant in Tinkers Lane, which the council made available on a 30 year lease to the Fire Authority.
But Liberal Democrat opponents of the ruling Tories are not impressed. They point out that the size of the old fire station enabled it to accommodate fire crews and appliances from across the country, as they converged on Windsor to battle floods in Datchet and Wraysbury.
Campaigner and former Lib Dem councillor Richard Fagence said: “It’s clear that the Royal Borough Tories’ proposed mini fire station could not have provided anything like the required facilities to accommodate all of the extra crews deployed into our area over the past few weeks.
.“It’s time that both the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority and the Royal Borough Conservatives admitted their mistakes and conceded that Windsor's full-sized fire station is essential for residents' safety, both now and in the future."
But the deputy chairman of the Royal Borough cabinet Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) hit back. He said: "If the need arose again for help from other areas' fire appliances we could use other parts of Tinkers Lane to accommodate them. The fact is we have managed to keep a 24 hour fire station in Windsor - why can't the Liberal Democrats celebrate this?"
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