DSU's fire fight is a success

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DSU’s fight to halt the closure of Leicester Central Fire Station has been a successful one.

The campaign, led by De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s Deputy President Education, Amie Chapman, was supported by De Montfort University (DMU) and ran alongside similar campaigns from other major local organisations.

Proposals had been made to close Leicester’s Central Fire Station, which covers large swathes of the city including DMU, the University of Leicester, both the King Power and Welford Road stadia and Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Amie said: “It feels amazing, particularly because this was such a long campaign.

“The fire brigade union called me last year to ask if I knew what was being proposed so I went along to a public meeting on the off chance, realised what was happening, and the campaign organically grew from there.

“It was very clear that they were not thinking about the universities and the students in the affected area and I gave that perspective.

“But the panel got together this week and made a huge U-turn on the whole thing after they realised just what a stupid idea it was.”

The proposals had been made by a panel which features heads of major services, including Leicestershire Fire and Rescue, and city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby.

Amie continued: “To think that they have listened to what DSU was saying gives meaning to all of the hard work we do.

“Most importantly, it means students are going to be safe. Regardless of what plans the panel have, they will be keeping their hands off of that station.”

Samuel Hilton, Student Engagement Coordinator at DSU, helped organise the campaign and said: “It definitely feels like the students’ union was a pressure group of more than 22,000 people in this case, used in a precise way to target the decision makers. The students just rallied around it from the off.

“Now it is just a case of letting people know how useful their campaign has been.”

Decision makers have now suggested the savings can be made by budgets cuts elsewhere within Leicestershire Fire and Rescue on the advice of the Fire Brigades Union.

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