Action group against fire engine removal

Sudbury's protest against the loss of the town's second fire engine.
Sudbury's protest against the loss of the town's second fire engine.

Local residents have formed an Action Group, determined to reverse a decision by Suffolk County Council to downgrade Sudbury Fire Station.

Last month the county council announced proposals for Sudbury to lose its second fire engine, to be replaced with an unspecified rapid response vehicle.

This decision, along with the lack of information surrounding the size and type of vehicle and the number of staff cuts at the station, was heavily criticised by serving and former firefighters, councillors and residents.

As well as in Sudbury, the station also provides cover to Great Cornard, Newton Green, Acton, Great Waldingfield and a large number of properties in North Essex.

The group believes despite the estimated cost saving of £35,000, removing one fire engine and replacing it with an unspecified vehicle has left the public consultation process with more questions than answers.

A spokesman for the group said: “We call upon Suffolk County Council to shelve this incomplete idea, and leave Sudbury alone.”

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen is chairman of the group.

He added: “We already have two ‘rapid response vehicles’ in Sudbury, they are called fire engines, and that’s what is needed.

“Would the proposed replacement vehicle have gone to the Market Hill fire? They can’t tell us. It’s all too vague. If that scenario had have played out once the station had been cut, lives could have been lost.

“£35,000 doesn’t sound like a lot when you think about it like that.”

On Saturday, from 10am, members of the group will be outside Sudbury Town Hall. Volunteers at the stall will show residents how to respond to the consultation.

The group is looking for volunteers to give a few hours on a Saturday or Thursday, when they want to continue public awareness of the ongoing public consultation outside the town hall.

The group’s spokesman added: “We know many people in Sudbury are angry about the changes, and here is a chance to help fight them.”

The public consultation on the changes runs until February 22, with action group members expressing the need for residents to voice their thoughts.

If you would like to help with the campaign email the action group at twopumpsplease@gmail.com.