Wrentham fire station may close and Lowestoft could lose an appliance in cost-cutting move

Lowestoft fire station on Stradbroke Road. Photo: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft fire station on Stradbroke Road. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant © 2009

Wrentham fire station could close, and Lowestoft fire station would lose one appliance – if proposals from Suffolk County Council are accepted next year.

Changes could be on the way for Suffolk fire service.

Changes could be on the way for Suffolk fire service.

Ipswich could see the number of fire appliances it hosts cut from six to three under the proposed review into the future of Suffolk Fire Service.

With the number of fire appliances on the streets of Suffolk proposed to be reduced, firefighters have pledged to fight the move, and their union leader has branded the proposal as 'ridiculous and absurd.'

Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, and Sudbury fire stations would each lose one appliance – while Wrentham fire station in north Suffolk would close altogether under the proposals.

The change at Ipswich would lead to the loss of 20 full-time firefighters' jobs.

The proposals are aimed at saving £1.3m from the fire service's £22m budget by 2017/18, and would be implemented during that financial year.

They were drawn up after the fire service carried out a public consultation over its role in the county during the summer, and – if approved by the county's cabinet – there will be a further consultation on these proposals between mid-November and February.

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A final decision is set to be made in April or May next year.

However the Fire Brigades Union has vowed to fight the cuts. Suffolk chairman Andy Vingoe said: 'These proposals are ridiculous and absurd.

'There are very serious safety concerns and we shall do all we can to oppose them.'

Suffolk's chief fire officer Mark Hardingham said the number of calls the service dealt with had fallen significantly over recent years.

Cabinet member Matthew Hicks insisted the changes would only be implemented once they have been through a full public consultation.