Consultation results show overwhelming opposition to Fire Service cuts

The Consultation has given Suffolk County Council a clear mandate to reverse planned cuts to the Fire Service, says the Labour Group.

With well over 9,000 respondents to the consultation, plans to reduce the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service have been overwhelmingly rejected by the general public. The results of the Consultation come just over two weeks after the County Council’s Conservative Group unanimously voted against a cross-party motion to reverse proposed cuts to the Fire Service.

Labour Group Leader, Sandy Martin, who put forward the motion alongside the Liberal Democrat Group, said “The people of Suffolk have spoken in their thousands. They do not want their Fire Service to be cut.”

Peter Gardiner, Labour Group Spokesperson for Public Protection, said “The response from this Consultation has set a benchmark for how public consultations should be done. Suffolk people from every corner of the County, with no affiliation or political axe to grind, attended the consultation meetings in their hundreds to voice their concerns and opposition. Everything, from the county-wide FBU petition, which was also signed by over 5,000 people, to the consultation itself, shows that these cuts aren’t wanted.”

A final decision on whether or not to go ahead with the cuts proposed in the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) is due to take place at the next meeting of Cabinet on 17th May.

Cllr Martin concluded by saying “It seems totally undemocratic to me for an important decision like this – which has county-wide implications – to be taken by just 9 Conservative Councillors that sit in Cabinet, rather than the Full Council of 75 that represent all the people of Suffolk. The mandate from the public could not be clearer. Will the Cabinet do their democratic duty by acknowledging the results of the consultation and voting against these cuts? We can only wait and see.”

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