Barrow MP: I will work with you to save services
Last updated at 16:33, Tuesday, 18 February 2014
AN MP has addressed concerns over fire services being slashed in Cumbria and has criticised the government for not giving sufficient thought to the impact of radical cuts.
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock added that he did agree with controversial decisions passed as part of the Labour-led coalition’s budget proposals last week.
But he said they were being forced on Cumbria County Council by the Conservative-led government.
Mr Woodcock added: “Ministers are insisting that Cumbria County Council must make savings of £24.5m in 2014/15 and almost £90m over the next three years.
“That has placed councillors in a horrible position of being forced to choose between things like reducing safeguarding our children, help for the elderly and fire protection.”
Mr Woodcock said he was concerned about the closure of Dalton fire station and Barrow losing a pump and said he wanted response times to be officially monitored in the coming months to measure whether safety can be maintained.
The MP said: “I know the councillors responsible for this area have thought long and hard and decided the cuts can be made but I am not convinced that the government has given sufficient thought to the impact of the cuts it is imposing on our area.
“Cuts to local government funding are being applied in an unfair way, with many better-off areas receiving much smaller cuts to funding or even increases.
“Not enough attention is being paid by the government to the needs of areas that have particular geographical issues or have higher levels of deprivation.”
When asked what would happen if there was a crash on the A590 Ulverston and a serious fire in Barrow at the same time, he replied: “I know our committed fire crews in Furness will continue to do everything possible to maintain public safety and to respond swiftly to all incidents.
“However, multiple incidents will stretch any fire service and in the light of these cuts, that risk may now be somewhat higher. That is why I want response times to be closely monitored and reported back on so we can understand the impact and, if necessary, make the case for extra resources for fire services in Furness.”
Mr Woodcock said he would take on board any ideas from his constituents.
He said: “ As well as pressing for official monitoring, I will be calling on ministers to look urgently at whether the funding they are providing for local authorities is sufficient to ensure fire and rescue services can be adequately provided in geographically remote areas. I want to work with local people to make the case to protect our local fire service and want to hear their ideas too.”
First published at 16:17, Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
What still not allowing reasonable questions on serious matters that have not been addressed? Especially the much needed support for our Local Mental Health Charities? Please, ask Mr Woodcock Why he did not support our Community on that occasion? You may get a comment were we could not?
Its a great pity Mr Woodcock did nothing to help save the Cumbria Mental Health group before it folded due to Intimidation & Discrimination from the Executives in Kendal When his help was requested? This Charity was developed right here in Barrow & has now folded, some much needed support went to the wall due to disinterest from the NHS Trust, Mr Woodcock was asked for his Input, but there was none to be had, however now the situation has changed our MP has jumped on the Band wagon now it suits his needs? & the good people of Furness are now without a voice? Shameful all we needed was MR Woodcocks Support?