It is expected that the authority’s 26 members will back a recommendation to reprieve six of the eight fire stations previously earmarked for closure.
And this week, Porlock villagers who organised a six-month campaign against the threatened shutting of their award-winning fire station hailed the unexpected about-turn as a major victory.
“The village is absolutely buzzing,” said Porlock district councillor Cllr Andy Milne, leader of the Save Our Station campaign.
“There’s huge relief and great satisfaction in the way the whole community has pulled together to achieve our goal against all the odds.
“We have hopefully saved two priceless public services – the firefighters and the first responders – which benefit the whole district.
“It shows once again what a special place Porlock is and how the community unites when there’s a problem to solve. There’s an incredible team spirit.
“Everyone did their bit, from fetes to fund-raisers, organising petitions and helping people with their consultation forms.”
Cllr Milne added: “We were determined to fight to the end and would certainly have gone for a judicial review had the fire authority not suddenly decided to show some common sense.”
He also praised the Free Press for being the first newspaper to cover the story and for assiduously following every development of the campaign.
“The excellent and accurate coverage we got in our local paper made the public aware of what was going on and played a huge part in our eventual success,” Cllr Milne said. “Thank you, Free Press!”
This week, local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, who spoke at a rally to defend the station, said: “I am very pleased the fire and rescue service has scrapped what was always a stupid idea.
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