Jobs at risk under Thames Valley fire service control centre plan

OXFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service’s control room could be run from Berkshire in two years’ time, with 22 jobs lost.

Oxfordshire County council and councils which form the Royal Berkshire Fire Service are proposing the creation of a joint control room to handle 999 calls.

Next Tuesday, the council’s cabinet and the Berkshire authority will discuss the proposal to run a joint control room from a purpose-built centre in Calcot, near Reading.

Only 30 staff will be needed, instead of 52 who work at the control rooms in Kidlington and Tilehurst, near Reading. Of those, 22 people currently work in Kidlington.

Oxfordshire’s chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said: “Neither ourselves nor Berkshire would be moving ahead with this proposal if we did not have confidence that it was the right thing to do.”

The move is expected to save a total of £659,000 a year, with £229,000 reinvested in system maintenance.

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