‘We have raised in the strongest possible terms our concerns’ - senior councillors speak out against Suffolk fire cuts

Wrentham Fire Station in North Suffolk.Picture: James Bass

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

A leading member of a council which wants to reduce fire cover to save money has raised concerns about the closure of a village fire station 'in the strongest possible terms'.

Suffolk county councillor for HalesworthTony Goldson.

Suffolk county councillor for HalesworthTony Goldson. - Credit: Nick Butcher

In signs of a split in Suffolk County Council's cabinet over the controversial issue, Tony Goldson – the authority's cabinet member for health – wrote a letter over plans to shut Wrentham Fire Station, close to his Halesworth division.

'Throughout the consultation process, we met several times with Matthew Hicks, the cabinet member, and have raised personally and in the strongest possible terms with him our concerns about the possible impact on the service should the proposals as outlined go ahead,'

In a joint letter with fellow Suffolk county councillor Michael Ladd, submitted just before cabinet papers for the crucial decision are published on Monday, Mr Goldson said: 'We have discussed the degree of risk presented by the closure of Wrentham Fire Station along with the overall resilience across the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service brought about by changes elsewhere. Following our meetings we are reassured that Mr Hicks and the chief fire officer have listened to our concerns and those we represent and we await with interest the publication of the cabinet papers on May 9 ahead of the cabinet meeting on May 17.'

Suffolk County Council has proposed closing the facility as part of a series of proposals to save £1.3m from the fire service's £22m budget by 2017. The proposals also include removing a fire engine from Lowestoft South.

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Chief fire officer Mark Hardingham has argued that those changes would still leave the area with adequate fire cover, but residents have opposed the move. The EDP has run the Save Our Stations campaign against fire service cuts.

What do you think about the proposals? Email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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