Cuts To Suffolk's Fire Service Take A U-Turn

The County Council have announced new plans which would see savings reduced by £300,000.

There's been months of public consultation and now the County Council's announced it's making changes to the original proposals is put forward.

The new plans are as follows;

-       Maintain the existing two fire engines and the on-call fire fighters at Sudbury Fire Station

-       Maintain Wrentham Fire Station and 8 on-call firefighters, replacing the existing fire engine with a smaller rapid response fire engine

-       Remove the second full-time fire engine at Princes Street, Ipswich and reduce the number of full time fire fighters at Princes Street by 16 instead of 20. The additional four fire fighters will be used to crew on-call fire engines across the county during weekdays

-       Maintain the on-call fire engine and the on-call fire fighters at Princes Street, Ipswich

-       Remove the third fire engine at Ipswich East Fire Station but reduce the number of on-call firefighters from 21 to 15 instead of the 13 that was originally proposed

-       Remove the third fire engine at Bury St Edmunds Fire Station but reduce the number of on-call firefighters from 21 to 15 instead of the 13 that was originally proposed

-       Remove the third fire engine from Lowestoft South Fire Station but reduce the number of on-call firefighters from 21 to 15 instead of the 13 that was originally proposed

-       Develop plans for a new ‘blue light’ fire station in Ipswich, or a refurbishment of the existing Princes Street station, to share facilities with Police and Ambulance services

The proposals, together with those being made through reducing senior management and support office functions, provide savings of around £1million. Further review and discussion will follow in preparation for the 2017/18 budget to consider if additional savings are required. 

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “These proposals have been prepared to provide Suffolk with a fit for purpose fire service that meets the needs of residents across the county.

“We have, in preparing these proposals, listened to feedback through the consultation process and have taken the professional advice of our Chief Fire Officer Mark Hardingham.

“Suffolk Fire and Rescue is a real success story, serving our communities across the county. We have always said it is a challenge trying to find savings from such a dynamic emergency service but, with ever decreasing central Government funding, every public service has to find efficiencies and live within its means. The county council has contributed to the protection of the fire service in previous years and continues to do so. Without this financial protection the impact of required savings would be much worse.”  

You can read the full Cabinet report here: http://committeeminutes.suffolkcc.gov.uk/index.aspx   

These proposals will be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 17 May.

 

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