FIRE SERVICE CUTS: Doorstep campaign to highlight dangers

Lancashire Fire Brigade Union secretary, Steve Harman.
Lancashire Fire Brigade Union secretary, Steve Harman.

Crews have stepped up their bid to raise public awareness through a doorstep campaign.

They have also written to the Fire Authority asking for the funding to be protected.

Mr Parkinson said: “We want to urge people to sign the e-petition and contact their MP.

“What people should realise is that this is their fire service; they pay their council tax and they are having it downgraded without having any say over it.”

FBU secretary for Lancashire, Steve Harman, said: “We will keep on fighting and trying to raise the profile of the effect the cuts will have.

“The only way this is going to change is by getting the government to realise that the people on the ground are angry about the cuts and the dramatic effect it’s going to have.”

Mr Harman added: “The cuts have eaten so deeply that for the first time we are having to get rid of engines.

“It’s obviously a lot cheaper to have a fire service run with volunteers than to have full-time firefighters.

“I have been in the fire service 30 years and never known this before and it’s going to get worse.

“We need the public to start raising their concerns to protect the fire service, because otherwise the cuts will continue to get worse.

“The public need to demand the fire service they want. People don’t want to compromise on their family’s safety, but they are being forced to.”

A Lancaster City Council overview and scrutiny panel recently objected to the proposals after meeting with officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw also objected to the decision.

He said: “I have grave concerns that the loss of a ‘wholetime’ engine will result in the service being unable to meet the needs of the community and wider area.

“Lancaster Fire Station, along with Morecambe Fire Station, are the only ‘wholetime’ stations in the north of Lancashire and provide support to the ‘retained’ stations that surround them.

“Lancaster is unique in this area as, unlike other stations that I am aware of, it is surrounded by retained stations, and as such is not only a main station in its own right but also plays an essential supporting role to retained stations.”

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris said: “I think the decision by the Lancashire Fire Authority to remove a fire engine from Lancaster is an extremely bad decision and I urge them to reconsider.

“It is disappointing that the Fire Authority has increased the council tax my constituents are paying and at the same time has reduced the number of appliances. I will be writing to the Fire Authority to express my disappointment.”

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