Four-year backlog for fire station work

FIRE stations across North Somerset are in need of almost £500,000 of repairs.

FIRE stations across North Somerset are in need of almost £500,000 of repairs.

Avon Fire and Rescue Authority is facing more than a four year backlog of building work which needs to be carried out at its stations costing more than £2.6million.

Weston Fire Station, in Milton Avenue, needs almost £200,000 of mechanical, electrical and building maintenance.

Throughout North Somerset repairs need to be made at stations including Blagdon, Winscombe, Portishead, Clevedon and Pill.

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But the authority has maintained that its stations across the district 'are fit for purpose'.

A spokesman said: "All essential works are carried out to ensure there are no adverse affects on service provision, but the authority's budget means that we have to take a phased approach to more general requirements.

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"There are no major structural issues on any station and there are no health and safety implications or risks to staff or public.

"We have invested significant sums annually to ensure they are properly fit for purpose."

Earlier this week the authority announced an increase of almost five per cent in how much it charges North Somerset residents for its services.

The draft 4.7 per cent increase means that a Band D property will pay £56.15 this year.

The authority will meet to set final figures for its budget next month, once it has confirmed the amount it receives from central Government.

Figures previously released by the authority show a £568,000 shortfall in funding from Government for this year almost doubling to £968,000 the following year, compared to its own spending estimates.

However, the average increase for fire authorities in 2008/9 is 2.4 per cent.

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