Decision Time For Cambs Fire Cuts

26 May 2011, 21:06

Members of The Fire Authority have met to decide whether to approve millions of pounds worth of cuts to Cambridgeshire's Fire Service.

Last week, managers recommended a number of cost-cutting measures, including cutting up to 25 frontline jobs, as part of a drive to save at least £4.2million during the next four years.

This afternoon (Thursday) members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority voted on whether or not to accept these recommendations.

The Fire Authority has agreed to:

  • A further review of non-operational support services, including between 30 and 40 back office job cuts.
  • Allow an Operational Support Unit, that attends major incidents and provides food and refreshments to firefighters, to be removed from service.
  • Allow one of two Hazardous Materials Units to be removed from service.
  • Allow one Turntable Ladder to be removed from service.

The Fire Authority has agreed to let managers at Cambridgeshire Fire Service proceed with:

  • Reviewing the shift system employed at various fire stations across Cambridgeshire, with predictions that around 25 frontline jobs will be lost.
  • Reviewing whether a Rescue Vehicle based at Huntingdon should be removed from service as soon as possible.
  • Reviewing whether to move a Rescue Vehicle from Dogsthorpe to Stanground to provide better operational coverage.
  • Reviewing whether to remove one appliance from fire stations in St Ives and Ramsey, leaving one fire engine at each station.
  • Reviewing whether Manea fire station should be closed down.
  • Reviewing whether fewer appliances should be based at fire stations in Soham, Ely, Burwell, Thorney and Gamlingay.

Chairman of the Fire Authority Roy Pegram said: "No one wants to be in the position of having to make decisions that will impact on people, either our own staff or members of the public.

However, we have to find these savings as we have a legal duty to produce a balanced budget.

That means making tough decisions and today the Fire Authority agreed by a majority vote to the proposals presented to us by the fire service management team.

The Service can go on and implement some of the recommendations now, but for others we have agreed that a full business case should be brought back to the Fire Authority for a decision later in the year."

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