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Debate held on future of Norfolk Fire Service with nine stations under threat of closure

PUBLISHED: 16:04 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:08 09 September 2015

Norfolk fire service are facing heavy budget cuts. Picture: Norfolk Fire Service/Brian Walshe

Norfolk fire service are facing heavy budget cuts. Picture: Norfolk Fire Service/Brian Walshe

Norfolk Fire Service/Brian Walshe

Councillors have warned that Norfolk's fire service has already been "cut to the bone" following discussions about slashing the organisation's budget.

Norfolk County Council’s communities committee today looked over the latest budget reduction proposals.

Council papers show that if 25pc of the service’s budget is cut, nine fire stations would close including: East Harling, Heacham, Hingham, Martham, Massingham, Mundesley, Reepham, Sheringham and Terrington.

The local authority must make a swathe of cuts across its departments in an effort to plug a £111m funding gap over the next three years.

Other areas that are likely to be affected include libraries and museums across the county.

Council officers presented the committee with a variety of options to consider in regard to future funding for the fire service.

Councillors recognised that an 8pc cut was likely to be the most suitable, saving the authority £2.224m.

Chrissie Rumsby, county councillor for the Mile Cross ward, said: “We are seeing cut after cut after cut. We are dealing with people’s lives and we are coming to an age where there are more cars on the road and more floods.

“I dread to think what an 8pc cut on the ground would really mean. I strongly believe the fire service has been cut to the bone as it is.”

The full set of proposals will be considered by the council’s policy and resources committee on October 26.

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