Firefighters ‘humbled’ by support after collecting 5,000 signatures for petition
Firefighters in Bury St Edmunds have collected more than 5,000 signatures in a petition against plans to slash the service’s budget.
Crews from Bury were out in force on Saturday outside the town’s Waitrose supermarket, chatting to residents and collecting names and addresses.
Matt Hassey, representative for the Bury firefighters, said they were humbled by the support of the public.
“They are out again probably at the Arc in Bury at the weekend to collect even more before the consultation finishes. We are really glad of the public’s support, we are quite humbled by it really.”
The fire service budget is set to be cut by £1.34 million by April 2018 to cope with a reduction in the county council’s government funding.
Matt said it was crucial the public share their views on the proposals with the council.
He said: “We would like to urge people to get on the council website and have their say because we are getting very close to the deadline.”
Matt said the fire at a thatched home in Elmswell two weeks ago, which took 14 engines, showed how there wasn’t much room to manoeuvre in the service already.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “We have developed our proposals for consultation, taking into account the emergencies we have attended over the last five years and looking at risk in Suffolk. We have also considered the implications for reducing the number of fire engines, taking into account emergencies happening simultaneously, which happens from time to time.
“ We believe that our proposals will mean we can continue to provide what is an effective response to emergencies wherever and whenever these occur. The consultation closes on February 22 and we want to encourage as many people as possible to have their say.”
To have your say visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/emergency-and-rescue/fire-service-redesign