South West fire merger rejected by Cornwall councillors
A MERGER creating one giant fire service covering most of the South West has been kicked out after Cornwall councillors unanimously rejected ceding control of the county's fire service.
A meeting had examined whether Cornwall's fire service should explore linking with Devon and Somerset.
Earlier this year, Avon Fire and Rescue Authority also considered and rejected a merger with the Exeter-based service.
Geoff Brown, the ward councillor for Newquay Central who is also chairman of Cornwall Council's homes and communities portfolio advisory committee, said: "Cornwall's fire service stays in Cornwall. It was a unanimous vote. We have got no appetite whatsoever to look at a merger."
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The cost-cutting bid had been put on the agenda amid fears of scything cuts to the county's service. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had urged Cornwall Council not to press ahead with discussions.
"Bigger is not always better, and firefighters believe a merger would threaten public safety in Cornwall," said South West FBU secretary, Phil Jordan.