Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Berkshire council will resubmit bid to run fire station

Windsor Fire Station
Windsor Fire Station plans to close between 2000 and 0800 BST

A Berkshire council will resubmit a bid which could allow it to take local control of its fire services.

A previous application by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead was turned down by the Local Government Association, despite a vocal campaign.

But Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has been given "clear assurance" from the government that the bid can go ahead via the Sustainable Communities Act.

The campaign has been supported by celebrities including Sir Elton John.

The original bid by the council to take over providing fire station services from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service was turned down by the Local Government Association.

'Serve community'

However, there will be further rounds of the Sustainable Communities Act, and Maidenhead and Windsor Council leader David Burbage said Windsor planned to apply again at the next available opportunity.

He said: "When we were turned down the first time the reasons they gave were that it would be "unsustainable" and "unviable" for us to run the fire authority.

"But there are smaller fire authorities, such as the Isle of Wight that are highly rated and serve the community effectively.

"If we submit a second bid we will be better prepared and address issues raised during the first round, by doing a more thorough consultation with the local community."

Olaf Baars, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said that closing Windsor Fire Station at night would improve services in Wokingham and coverage over the rest of Berkshire.

A campaign to keep Windsor Fire Station open 24 hours a day drew support from celebrities including Sir Elton John and Rolf Harris.

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