Fire chiefs say no to pre-proposal Sudbury visit

CONCERNED: Sudbury town councillor Nick Irwin
CONCERNED: Sudbury town councillor Nick Irwin
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A councillor has expressed his disappointment that officials will not meet with Sudbury town councillors or members of the public before a county council meeting to decide cuts to Suffolk’s fire service.

In total annual savings of £1million will need to be found but councillors and members of the public are campaigning to stop cuts to front line services.

Sudbury town councillor Nick Irwin believes Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection and Mark Hardingham, chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, should attend a meeting at the town council, particularly in the wake of the devastating fire on September 6.

However, the pair said they were unable to attend several meetings, instead they will visit on November 13, after the Suffolk County Council cabinet meeting.

“We are asking them to come before the consultation so we can put our ideas forward,” said Mr Irwin.

“There’s going to be cuts, let’s face it. But we are worried that Sudbury will lose one of its two appliances.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We undertook a detailed pre-consultation earlier in the summer. This was widely publicised with about 600 responses.

“The Service is now developing more detailed proposals for further consultation and these will be considered by the Suffolk County Council cabinet on November 10.

“Subject to cabinet’s decision, this will be followed by a further 14 week public consultation. No decision will be taken on any proposals until after the consultation has closed in February 2016.”

The potential cuts will discussed at the full council meeting at Sudbury Town Hall from 7pm Tuesday.