MIDDLEWICH'S MP has stepped into the debate raging around changes to the fire service - and the future of the town's fire station.
Cheshire Fire Brigade has stated that plans to close Middlewich, Northwich and Winsford fire stations and replace them with a single fire station, probably at Winsford, are off the agenda for at least two years.
But Ann Winterton is worried about what will happen after that and spoke out on the issue at the House of Commons.
Lady Winterton asked Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford: 'Will the minister recognise that technology can never replace local knowledge at both command and control centres and fire stations? Will he leave them alone?'
Mr Raynsford replied: 'Local knowledge has played only a limited role in fire response since the 1980s when computerised gazetteers were introduced. We now need to ensure we are using the best possible technology to deliver the best service and save more lives.'
Lady Winterton wants the Government to change its policy on the modernisation of Cheshire Fire Brigade. She believes the best way to protect Middlewich's homes and businesses is through a dedicated team of firefighters based at Middlewich fire station.
Middlewich Mayor Jim Basford has long opposed any threat to the town's fire station. Although Middlewich runs a retained fire service, through which firefighters provide only part-time support, Cllr Basford believes the station is essential to the town's future protection.