The West Briton is celebrating a milestone in its long-running campaign to preserve 24-hour fire cover in Cornwall.
The paper launched its Save Our Stations campaign five months ago in response to proposals by the county council to axe night-time cover at Falmouth and Camborne.
Such a move would have left Cornwall as the only county in England without a frontline, round-the-clock fire service.
But last week the council’s ruling executive backed down and instead confirmed it would recommend that Camborne fire station remains open at night. It also pledged to pump more than £300,000 into improving the retained fire service in the county.
Announcing the move exclusively to The West Briton, council chiefs praised Save Our Stations, saying it had effectively highlighted the fire safety message and led to a reduction in incidents involving firefighters in Cornwall.
The breakthrough came two months after the paper organised a ‘Station to Station’ march which saw hundreds of protesters trek 18 miles from Falmouth to Camborne to drum home the vital importance of 24-hour fire cover.
The event culminated with a rally featuring speeches by local politicians and John Drake, South West secretary of the Fire Brigades’ Union. Video footage of the day is now on thisiscornwall.co.uk
Following the concession over the future of night-time cover at Camborne fire station, the West Briton is now setting its sights on saving the overnight service at Falmouth. That decision is expected in around two months’ time.
West Briton editor-in-chief Andy Cooper, who took part in the protest march alongside colleagues, said: “This news was a tremendous vindication for our campaign and we were delighted when the county council made contact to inform us they had listened to our voice and decided to drop the proposals.
“It just proves that strong campaigning, both in the West Briton and on our website www.thisiscornwall.co.uk, can make a difference.
“I am especially pleased for Jonathan Carter, our Cornwall chief reporter, who has worked tirelessly on this campaign and shown dogged determination to see it through to victory.”