THE Echo’s campaign to keep Sunderland Central Fire Station open is taking to the streets.
Our Hold Fire appeal is calling on fire service bosses to reverse a decision to close the Central station in Railway Row.
Earlier this week, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority (TWFRA) agreed to lobby Westminster for money to keep the station open and find cash by scrutinising budgets.
They also said Sunderland Central, along with two other stations, will only close as a last resort, towards the end of a three-year programme.
But union bosses, along with MPs and the Echo, are calling for the closure decision to be reversed.
This weekend, our petition will be taken into the city centre so shoppers can add their names.
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott will lead the effort, which will begin in the Market Square at 1pm on Saturday.
She said: “The future of fire service provision in the region must change as a result of the sheer scale of catastrophic central Government cuts being imposed on TWFRA.
“That said, it is my firm belief that Sunderland Central should remain open as part of those future plans.
“We need to let TWFRA understand the strength of feeling in the community against these proposed changes and to keep our fire station open.
“The Sunderland Echo has set up a petition to Save Our Station which I wholeheartedly support and strongly urge you to add your name.
“It is my firm belief that without mass public opposition to these plans, our station will be lost.
“If, as a city, we come together and oppose these changes, we can hopefully reverse this decision.”
Tuesday’s meeting saw a motion proposed by Millfield ward member Bob Price stating the closure should be delayed by three years to allow Government to be lobbied.
An amendment was then proposed which Mrs Elliott said has left the “situation virtually unchanged” to before the session.
The petition can be signed below and posted back to the Echo or via sunderlandecho.com.
Anyone who would like to help collect signatures can call Mrs Elliott’s office on 565 5327.