Meetings to discuss fire service cuts

Latest fire and emergency news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest fire and emergency news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

As part of Suffolk County Council’s ongoing public consultation looking at the future provision for Suffolk’s fire service, a timetable of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) hosted public meetings has been set for early 2016 to enable people to learn more about what is being proposed and have their say.

Fire officers are encouraging people to attend the meetings across the county so that their views can be taken into account before the proposals are finalised and any decisions are made. The consultation closes on February 22.

The events are on the following dates and locations:

• January 6, Bury St Edmunds – West Suffolk House, 6.30pm-8.30pm

• January 14, Ipswich – Endeavour House, 6.30pm-8.30pm

• January 28, Wrentham – Village Hall, 6.30pm-8.30pm

• February 1, Lowestoft – Riverside Centre, 6.30pm-8.30pm

• February 3, Sudbury – Town Hall, 6.30pm-8.30pm

To attend any of these events, please email fireserviceredesign@suffolk.gov.uk confirming which meeting date and venue you wish to attend.

In addition to the meetings hosted by SFRS, officers and councillors have also been invited to attend a number of other town, parish and area meetings and dates are published on the SFRS website as they are confirmed.

The consultation seeks views on a range of specific proposals for changing the way the fire and rescue service is set-up across the county.

The Fire and Rescue Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan currently identifies the following proposals; to reduce the number of fire engines in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, to replace the second fire engine at Sudbury with a rapid response fire engine, and to close Wrentham fire station.

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Matthew Hicks said: “The Council recognises the importance of our fire and rescue service and has, over recent years, done everything possible to protect it against reductions in grant funding from the Government. We have invested in fire stations, training facilities, new fire engines, better firefighting clothing and the latest equipment; and we have established a fantastic collaborative approach between Suffolk’s blue light emergency partners, with plans for more shared stations in the future.

“Without question, this is a challenging set of proposals. However, they have been shaped by fire officers following an assessment of the risk in Suffolk and the feedback received during a pre-consultation exercise held in the summer. I now encourage people to respond to this full consultation so we can have a wide a range of views to help inform our future decisions regarding the shape of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

“I am confident that were the proposals implemented Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service could continue to deliver what I think is an outstanding service to the residents of Suffolk.”