Public meetings to take place on proposed fire service cuts in Wrentham and Lowestoft

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

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

Wrentham Fire Station in North Suffolk.Picture: James Bass

Wrentham Fire Station in North Suffolk.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

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

Public meetings about the proposals are being held on Thursday, January 28, 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 that their views can be taken into account before any decisions are made.

Last week, 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.

Phil Johnston, FBU branch secretary Lowestoft and District, gave up-to-date information on fire cover 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,

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and 'not just the nine cabinet members'.

The petition, which began on website change.org, has almost reached its target of 1,500 signatures.

To view the petition, visit: www.change.org/p/suffolk-county-council-cabinet-colin-noble-the-full-suffolk-county-council-should-vote-on-fire-cuts-not-just-the-9-cabinet-members#petition-letter

Email fireserviceredesign@suffolk.gov.uk to confirm attendance to the forthcoming meetings.

? What do you think about the proposed cuts? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk