Wrentham fire station saved from closure - but campaigners still fear Suffolk fire cuts will harm public safety
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A popular village fire station earmarked for closure is to be saved after a council revised its cuts to fire services along the east coast in the wake of a strong public backlash.
However, campaigners against the reductions say the new proposals do not go far enough - and will leave the county less safe.
Suffolk County Council had proposed removing an on-call fire engine from Lowestoft South fire station and closing nearby Wrentham fire station. It was part of plans to help save £1.3million from its budget, which also included removing fire engines across the county.
However a paper released ahead of Suffolk County Council's cabinet meeting on May 17 - where a final decision will be made - has instead recommended that Wrentham fire station stays open.
But the fire engine there will be replaced with a smaller rapid response unit, with the number of on-call firefighters reduced from 11 to eight. The removal of the on-call fire engine at Lowestoft South will go ahead as planned, but the number of on-call firefighters will be reduced from 21 to 15, as oppose to the original proposal to reduce it to 13.
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Chief fire officer Mark Hardingham said: 'There was an important principle about maintaining a fire station in a rural community. We've found an opportunity to do that at a reduced cost.'
However Roy Humphreys, of the Fire Brigades Union in Suffolk, said the cuts 'will have a disproportionate impact on our ability to keep those who live, work and travel within the county safe'.
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