The Future of Sudbury’s Fire and Rescue Service
Suffolk's fire service is already very lean, the second cheapest of its kind in the UK. Long starved of investment from County Hall, it now faces a cut of £1m.
So-called waste was stripped out in 2011. Any further cuts will now hit the front-line service; the speed and effectiveness of its emergency response. The prevention of a single major fire in a public building can save not only lives, but more money than they currently seek to cut.
Sudbury fire station is the only one in South Suffolk with two fire appliances. The loss of one may prove highly dangerous. It frequently responds to emergencies across a wide area, especially as retained stations in villages are frequently off the run. With just one appliance, it seems certain the town will be without fire cover at times, particularly Monday-Friday during the day.
It is absolutely vital that Sudbury remains a two fire appliance station. It's a life or death decision.
The closure of Long Melford station may also prove tragic. It provided the first fire appliance at the scene when the recent fire in Sudbury left 20 people homeless and destroyed two buildings in the heart of the town. We're told a fault with the pager system left Sudbury’s retained firefighters, with their station 300 yards from the fire, unaware that they were even needed. Again, a lack of investment in up-to-date equipment and communication systems.
It's time for some of the council's £165m reserves, tucked away for a 'rainy day', to be called on. When lives are at risk, I say the rainy day is here and we must oppose any further cuts to Suffolk's fire service.
Please join me - contact South Suffolk Labour Party to get involved.
Sudbury town councillor and South Suffolk CLP Chair