Councillor Turns Up the Heat in Fire Debate

December 23, 2008 12:00 AM

Bob Bonner – The museum’s General Manager (Left), Councillor Peter Rush (Centre), and Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority Keith Whitmore (Right).Heywood North Councillor Peter Rush has taken another step in his plans to see the official Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Museum relocated to Heywood. Councillor Rush recently invited Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority, Councillor Keith Whitmore, to the museum to have a look around at the exhibition and discuss his vision for Heywood.

The museum, which is currently located on Maclure Road, Rochdale, is looking for a new home as plans go ahead for a brand new fire station in Rochdale. It celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and highlights the significant role Greater Manchester has played in the history and development of the fire service. The display features several full-size appliances, along with equipment, uniforms, models, photographs and much more.

Councillor Rush said: "I invited Councillor Whitmore down to discuss my plans for the Heywood site as I wanted to provide him with a clearer picture of my vision. It would be great if we could keep the museum within the Borough and I believe that moving it to Heywood would really breathe new life into the area around the train station and also our town centre."

Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority Councillor Keith Whitmore said: "I would like to thank Councillor Rush for the invitation and for arranging my tour of the museum. Discussions regarding the relocation of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Museum are now at a more advanced stage and the Heywood option is definitely one that we are looking into with more detail. Councillor Rush has certainly put across a strong case for Heywood and I commend him on his efforts and enthusiasm."

Councillor Rush also revealed that he has written a letter to Secretary of State for Transport Geoff Hoon MP, making his case for the linking up of Heywood Railway Station to the National Rail Network via Castleton.

Councillor Rush said: "The message we can take from the referendum is that the people of Heywood want improved public transport but don't want to pay more taxes. I am still fully determined to see our Railway Station linked up to the national rail network. I have written to Secretary of State for Transport, Geoff Hoon MP, making Heywood's case for the £25Million needed for the extension to Castleton. Gordon Brown has not confirmed what will happen to the £1.5Billion that was promised to Greater Manchester and it is important that we put across our case both quickly and clearly. I want to see Heywood get back on track and I am determined to carry on with this campaign for a better transport network for our area."