Union slams the sale of Radlett Fire Station
PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 June 2010
COUNTY Hall’s decision to sell Radlett Fire Station has been condemned by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
The site in Watling Street has been marketed by estate agents Lambert Smith Hampton and the deadline for offers on its freehold is tomorrow afternoon (Thursday).
But the decision to sell the site of the fire station, which was closed in 2006 as part of a cost-cutting exercise, has been met with large scale opposition from local residents including those that fought a strong campaign – Save Our Fire And Rescue (SOFAR) – to get the service reinstated.
A statement released by the FBU late last week gave details of the advertisement for the site which described it as suitable for a range of uses, close to the mainline station and within a “vibrant town”.
The statement continued: “There’s just one problem. This property is the only fire station Radlett has. Without it, firefighters take longer to reach fires and other emergencies in the town and surrounding areas and that puts lives in danger.”
The FBU also continues to accuse Herts County Council (HCC) of “bad faith” after they reneged on a lifeline they had thrown the campaigners who managed to secure private funding to keep the service running.
The site has a long history as a community fire station after it was gifted to the people of Radlett more than 100 years ago. Both the original horse-drawn fire engine and the first motorised Dennis fire engine were funded by local contributions.
FBU secretary Tony Smith said: “We believe that it is morally unjustifiable that HCC should now look to profit from the sale of such a valuable historic amenity in which so much community funding and effort has been invested.
“The people of Radlett are looking to their politicians to start fulfilling their election promises. This building is and always has been a community asset and that’s how it should remain.”
SOFAR has urged all residents in Radlett to contact their local county councillor Caroline Clapper, requesting that the fire station is reinstated or used as a community safety centre incorporating fire, police and ambulance services instead.