Union warning over proposal to cut fire service ‘fewer resources

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AN OVERHAUL of Suffolk’s fire and rescue service will result in fewer resources to draw on during major incidents in Bury St Edmunds, union leaders have warned.

Fire bosses want to cut full-time crew at Haverhill and Felixstowe stations from seven to five days a week as part of plans to save the service £1.5 million.

Other proposals include axing four fire safety advice personnel and reducing staffing of a turntable ladder appliance in Ipswich.

The proposals were finalised following a 12-week public consultation and will be discussed by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

Union bosses have hit out at the moves arguing that consultation responses were ‘vastly opposed’ to the measures.

Pete Taylor, acting brigade secretary for the Suffolk branch of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “We’re disappointed with the recommendations.

“If there’s a major incident in Bury there would be fewer resources county wide to draw on to deal with it. We are not disputing the resources will get to Bury but it will take longer for them to get there.”

Andy Fry, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, said: “It is important that in developing details of changes, a proper balance is struck between achieving savings in a very difficult financial environment and continuing to deliver services that meet the needs of people in Suffolk.”