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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Calls for Cumbria fire service to be monitored after cuts

FIRE response times should be monitored in the wake of savage cuts to the Cumbria Fire and Rescue service, to establish if it has been adversely affected.

The call was made yesterday by Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock as he weighed into the debate.

A raft of savings was voted through by the Labour-led coalition group on Cumbria County Council last week.

Among them were cuts to the fire service in Furness which had been the subject of public disquiet.

Mr Woodcock said: “I am really concerned about the proposed reductions to Barrow coverage and hope response times will be officially monitored in the coming months to measure whether safety can be maintained.” The cuts, which are part of a £24.4m savings package, will see Dalton fire station closed and sold.

Just one engine will remain in Barrow with its second pump moved to Ulverston where it will serve alongside a retained vehicle.

All of Barrow borough’s Labour county councillors voted for the cuts.

An alternative Conservative budget had been put forward but that was voted down.

Councillor Stewart Young, the leader of the council and Labour group, said: “The Conservative Group’s budget included exactly the same cuts to the fire service as the budget put forward by the Labour/Lib Dem coalition.

“It is an indication of how difficult these decisions are, that all three political groups on the county council put forward the same savings proposals for the fire service.”

Mr Woodcock has pointed the finger firmly at the coalition government for the need to make savings of £80m over three years.

He said: “I think it is terrible that the scale of government cuts imposed on Cumbria has forced our community to choose between the prospect of reductions to such fundamentally important services like safeguarding our most vulnerable children, help for the elderly and fire protection.”

Have your say

A good suggestion from Mr Woodcock.It would be very interesting to see how many times the full time pump from Ulverston has needed to attend calls in the Barrow area and its response times.And whether fire fighter safety and public safety are put at risk due to the delay in the second pump arriving.Also the availability of the two retained pumps on a average month.And if pumps from further afield have needed to respond to the Barrow area,because of the unavailability of the retained pumps based at Walney and Ulverston.This would need to be monitored over a period of time and the facts put into the public domain.I think the powers that be at least owe the Furness public this request from Mr Woodcock.

Alan McClelland

Posted by Alan McClelland on 18 February 2014 at 08:40

Total Tory'isms....cuts in the wrong places. Simply cut the bank managers bonuses for a year and save £240m
It's broken Britain (again). Check your smoke alarm batteries, your gonna need them!

Posted by Blandroid on 17 February 2014 at 19:00

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