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Council’s Cabinet commits to no further fire station closures in Suffolk before Government’s 2020 Spending Review

Wednesday, 18th May 2016.

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet approved plans yesterday for Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s 2015-18 Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). As part of his speech Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks made a clear and firm commitment that following the decision to withdraw four fire engines as part of the Cabinet report, there will be no fire station closures in Suffolk or any further reduction in the number of frontline fire engines before 2020, when the Government is due to announce its next spending review.

The Cabinet’s carefully considered decision follows a thorough and robust formal 14 week consultation that received praise from other councillors during their meeting at Endeavour House. As part of the consultation, over 20,000 people offered their views and representations. This comprehensive consultation is testament to the importance people in Suffolk place on the service.

No firefighters will lose their jobs or be made redundant as a result of this decision. The reduction of 16 full time firefighter posts and 21 on-call fire fighter posts will be managed over time through normal staff turnover.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “The proposals agreed on Tuesday demonstrate that this Council has listened carefully to what people said in the consultation, as well as taking the professional advice given by Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Chief Fire Officer, Mark Hardingham.

“I know that the fire and rescue service is held in very high regard across the county and rightly has an excellent reputation that the Council is very proud of.

“Year-on-year the Council has provided the fire and rescue service with financial protection. I have made the commitment, through to the end of the government’s spending review period in 2020, that there will be no reduction in the number of fire stations in Suffolk, there will be no further reduction in the number of frontline fire engines and there will be no further reduction in funding above the level already announced.”

This decision ensures that the service remains fit to continue to provide a balance of Prevention, Protection and Emergency Response services to communities across Suffolk:

- Prevention – working with young, elderly and vulnerable people to promote healthy lifestyles, community safety and fire prevention

- Protection – working with business to support them meeting their legal fire safety protection requirements

- Emergency Response – providing 24/7 999 emergency response services across the county and in support of significant emergencies across the country

Haverhill Online News

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