LABOUR COUNCILLORS CONDEMN FIRE SERVICE CUTS
Labour Councillors today confirmed that they would be campaigning against the proposed cuts to the Fire Service announced by the Conservative administration at Suffolk County Council.
The numbers of fire engines – and the on-call crews to operate them – are proposed to be cut in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, and one fire station – in Wrentham – is to be closed altogether. The County’s officers claim that no full-time firefighters will be affected, but the number of on-call firefighters will be reduced. Labour believes that this is likely to change in the near future, and that the number of full-time firefighters will also be reduced in due course.
“This is just another step in the continuing reduction of our Fire Service” said Cllr Peter Gardiner, Labour spokesperson for Public Protection. “We’ve already seen the Fire Service reduced in Felixstowe and other towns, and each time the Conservatives say this will not affect the quality of the service. There is only so far you can go, this is definitely a step too far – and there is no guarantee they will stop here. Enough is enough – it is time to defend our Fire Service”.
Cllr Sandy Martin, Labour Group Leader at the County, said “Suffolk can be proud of our firefighters, they do an amazing job, and we have one of the safest counties in Britain. But they won’t be able to keep us safe if they are cut too far. It makes no sense to endanger the people and businesses of Suffolk by reducing the Fire Service below their most effective level, and we believe the Tories have gone too far already. We will work with anyone and everyone to reverse this decision if at all possible.”