A public consultation has started into plans to make massive cuts in Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service - tell Politicians NO more cuts in the Fire Service.
The coalition government has reduced its grant to Devon and Somerset fire and rescue service by 10.3% for the year 2013/14 and 7.3% for the year 2014/15. This means a loss of £3.4 million in the next financial year and £2.1 million the following, cuts three times more savage than any ever imposed on the service before, by any previous government, and gives the lie to Minister Eric Pickles’ claim that the fire and rescue service is somehow being protected.
On 18 January, the fire authority and fire service senior managers put forward proposals for public consultation, including a set of cuts that would see fire appliances removed from local communities.
The planned cuts include:
- Removal of around 150 Whole Time Firefighter Posts (20% of the wholetime workforce);
- Downgrading WT cover at Torquay & Taunton by H ALF;
- Removing 1 WT from Camelshead to make it RDS at Crownhill;
- Downgrading the 1 pump WT shift Stations at Plympton and Plymstock to RDS only;
- Downgrading the WT Day Crew Station at Ilfracombe to RDS only;
- Downgrading the aerial appliance at Crownhill Fire Station to dual crew
The FBU has organised a significant campaign of opposition and every member is being asked to play a full part. Leaflets have been printed which tell the public what the plans will actually mean and how dangerous the Union thinks they are. These leaflets are designed for use in local areas and although they have the same front cover, the text on the back is aimed at specific areas in Torquay - Ilfracombe - Taunton - Plymouth. There is also a "generic" leaflet for use throughout Devon and Somerset. All these leaflets are attached, together with the front cover. Firefighters will be handing them out to the public and asking them to register their protest by emailing, writing or calling during the consultation. Your voice is important: if you live, work or visit Devon & Somerset then please have your say. Tell the consultation that there should be no frontline cuts in any of the following ways:
• Telephone: 01392 872354
• Post: Consultation Officer DSFRS Headquarters, Clyst St George, Exeter Devon EX3 0NW
• Fax: 01392 872300
(Marked for the attention of the Consultation Officer)
• Twitter: @DSFireUpdates
• Facebook: Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service
Further updates, information and campaigning events on this vital issue will be posted on our website and distributed via meetings, social media and email etc. Please follow us and keep up to date!