Proposed fire cuts are set to be debated

Lowestoft on call fire fighters are campaigning against the proposed cuts to the Fire Service.

Lowestoft on call fire fighters are campaigning against the proposed cuts to the Fire Service. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Meetings to discuss proposed cuts to the fire service in Suffolk will be held in Wrentham and Lowestoft over the coming days.

A public consultation is being held on Suffolk County Council's plan to save £1.3m from the fire service's £22m budget by 2018.

Public meetings about the proposals are being held on Thursday at Wrentham Village Hall and on Monday, February 1, at the Riverside Centre in Lowestoft.

Both meetings run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

With proposals to close Wrentham fire station, in Chapel Road, and remove an engine from Lowestoft South fire station, fire officers are encouraging people to attend the meetings so their views can be taken into account before any decisions are made.

Earlier this month Wrentham Parish Council held a public meeting to discuss the potential closure of the village's fire station.

More than 50 people attended, with concerns raised about the closure and support given to Wrentham's fire crew, who were present.

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Phil Johnston, Lowestoft branch secretary for the Fire Brigades Union, gave up-to-date information on fire cover and 'resilience' at the meeting and said that on the day of the meeting, a total of 20 fire engines were 'off the run' – unavailable – over the 24-hour period'.

He said: 'This included the stations surrounding and closest to Wrentham.'

Last month the Fire Brigades Union Suffolk launched a petition calling for 'the full Suffolk County Council' members to vote on the fire cuts, and 'not just the nine cabinet members'.

The petition, which began on website, has almost reached its target of 1,500 signatures. With Norfolk fire stations at risk because the Norfolk County Council needs to save £111m over three years, the EDP launched its Save Our Stations campaign when it emerged a potential 25pc cut to the fire service budget could see stations close.

Email to confirm attendance to the forthcoming meetings.

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