Following the Suffolk County Council consultation on removing all full-time fire-fighters from Felixstowe Fire Station, local activists campaigning against the cuts have presented a petition to Council leaders. They are calling on SCC to cancel their plans.
1,079 signatures have been collected by local Labour Party members. Members of the public have been queuing up to sign the petition. They are concerned about the serious impact that the cuts to the number of fire-fighters will have on the service the Fire and Rescue Service can provide.
In 2011 Felixstowe Fire Station had eight full-time fire fighters but following two previous cuts this number had been reduced to two with the current proposal being to leave the 29,000 people, 1,500 businesses and 12,000 homes with no full-time fire-fighters.
Labour Parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, Russell Whiting, said; “It is a disgrace that once again Suffolk County Council is slashing the number of firefighters to serve our community. These cuts will leave no full time fire fighters to cover Felixstowe and the surrounding area. This can only lead to increased response times and will seriously impact on the fire service’s ability to respond to any incident.”
Felixstowe Councillor Michael Sharman added, “If it takes even one minute longer to get to a fire, the increased risk of serious injury or loss of life is not worth the savings these cuts will make. We hope that the council will listen to the voice of the people of Felixstowe and stop these cuts.”
Labour Opposition Spokesperson for Public Protection on Suffolk County Council, Cllr Peter Gardiner, said, “We know that every second counts when fire is involved. We also know that the cost to the health service of serious burns injuries is far greater than the potential short-term savings from cutting the full time fire fighters to zero. This is another example of cutting services today to pass increased costs into the future.”
The petition was handed in on Monday 3rd March at 4pm and the consultation will close on the Tuesday 4th March.