Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 10:05 UK

New hope to keep Windsor Fire Station open at night

Adam Afriyie with David Cameron and firefighters at Windsor fire station last year
Adam Afriyie is pictured on his website with David Cameron at Windsor station

Fresh hopes have been raised that Windsor Fire Station could be saved from being closed at night under the new coalition government.

Campaigners lost a legal bid to stop plans to axe a night-time service after the fire authority claimed the station averaged three calls a week at night.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council want to take over the service and reverse the decision.

Windsor MP Adam Afriyie thinks the new coalition government will back the bid.

The council applied last year to the Local Government Association (LGA) to take control of its fire services under the Sustainable Communities Act.

But the bid was turned down as it would be "complex to implement" and the small size of the authority would "render it unviable", the LGA said.

Celebrity backing

But Mr Afriyie, who is pictured on his website campaigning with Prime Minister David Cameron at Windsor station last year, believes a new application could be successful.

He said: "The commitment is there from the coalition government that they want to see the Sustainable Communities Act work in a way it was designed to work.

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris said he "fully supported" the campaign

"They want local people to run services locally if it is in the interest of the community.

"There may be some bumps on the way depending on the Lib Dems' position but I am hopeful we can win the fight."

The campaign to keep the station open 24 hours has been supported by local celebrities including Sir Elton John and Rolf Harris.

But Olaf Baars, deputy chief fire officer, believes that closing Windsor at night would improve services in Wokingham and coverage over the rest of Berkshire.

He said: "We need to balance cover with resources we have.

"It is inevitable people in Windsor don't want to see emergency cover moved to Wokingham.

"But even after changes at Windsor they will still receive a better service than most of Berkshire."

The night-time closure is expected to come into force later this year.

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