Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “We strongly welcome the decision taken to maintain both Stockport and Whitehill fire stations on their existing sites.
“We are also very pleased to learn that the number of fire engines and firefighters across both fire stations will remain the same as they are currently.
“This is good news for Stockport residents and the safety of the borough. Our local fire crews have an incredibly important role in responding to incidents, but also in terms of prevention, and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the council to thank them for all they do for residents.”
Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: “Three years ago, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s Programme for Change outline business case set out plans for a stronger organisation that is focused on keeping communities safe and delivering a sustainable, affordable, frontline first emergency service.
“This included plans to merge Stockport and Whitehill fire stations and build a new state-of-the-art fire station for the district. This proposal was subject to planning, modelling, identfication of suitable sites and public consultation.
“Following extensive exploration and initial consultation, and in the context of Stockport town centre becoming one of the UK’s largest regeneration areas, a suitable site that would allow us to maintain our high standards for the service could not be found. I have therefore decided not to proceed with this option.
“GMFRS is always looking at how it can improve the way it serves and protects the people of Greater Manchester, and it is right that we explore options to maximise this.
“However, fundamental to any changes is ensuring that the response times of the firefighters and the level of service provided is never compromised and this factor took precedence over any merger.
“Stockport and Whitehill stations will both remain operational, serving their communities. I can also confirm that we will now be able to improve and redevelop both existing stations as part of our wider estates improvements project to update, modernise and increase energy efficiency of all our fire and rescue service stations and buildings.
“This is good news for our firefighters and residents of Stockport and its surrounding areas.”