The Lancashire Combined Fire Authority decision to reduce cover at Lancaster Fire Station from two full-time appliances to one appliance with the other appliance being staffed by retained (part-time firefighters) resulting in a five minute slower response time, will inevitably impact on the service.
This is a major cut in service provision that is being inflicted on one of the most vital services in the district in terms of life saving and it will inevitably impact on service delivery in regard to the level of response times.
It needs to be highlighted that we are likely to see more housing development within our district over the next few years so cutting vital services and leaving fewer full-time on call is hardly a step in the right direction.
This issue is a county-wide issue, as well as a national issue.
The route of the problem is the savage cuts that this Government is implementing on front line services like the fire service.
The fire authority has no option but to carry out these cuts because the pay settlement the fire authority is receiving from central government will not enable the service to continue like it has been doing. Jobs will be lost and staff will be working with fewer numbers.
A motion to full council from the Labour Group next week will seek to lobby our two Members of Parliament affirming our belief that funding cuts should be reversed but, most importantly, we are seeking to join with other Lancashire councils in conjunction with the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority to campaign for proper funding for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
Coun David Whitaker
Councillor, Harbour Ward