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Stop fire cuts
10:04am Friday 1st November 2013 in Letters
I AM sure that you are all aware of the recent proposals that have gone out to consultation regarding the changes to Ledbury’s fire station.
The proposal, if it goes ahead, will see the fire cover in Ledbury cut from two pumps to one, effectively halving the cover in Ledbury and surrounding areas.
This, of course, does not only involve the loss of a second pump but also the loss of the retained firefighters that serve our community so well.
This saving is expected to make about £55,000 of the proposed savings trying to be made across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
As a town we have already seen a reduced amount of police cover over the recent years, we have seen the loss of the ambulance station in the town and now we are faced with this and I say enough is enough.
Ledbury is home to some 10,000 people and I am asking everybody to take part in this consultation and tell the fire authority that Ledbury is not prepared to lose its second pump. The town is proposed to get bigger and bigger over the next few years and we should be protecting this frontline service not cutting it.
Our service in Ledbury is not made up of full-time people, it is made up of retained staff who give up their spare time in between jobs, families and social life to put their lives at risk and protect us and our families. I personally believe that they deserve better and I also feel we, as the people of Ledbury, have a duty to tell the fire authority as well as our local MP Bill Wiggin that a cut to the front line in Ledbury is not acceptable and that they need to go and find £55,000 from somewhere else not by risking lives in Ledbury.
Once we lose a second pump we will not get it back nor will we get back the number of trained retained firefighters that we currently have. At the moment the station rely on the good, kind-heartedness of local businesses who allow retained staff to be released from work to attend call outs and the proposals would put this element at risk as the number of call outs would increase with a smaller head count.
We have a high street that is our heritage and the loss of the second pump puts that at risk because in the event of a fire such as the one a few years ago at the Seven Stars it would mean having to wait for the second pump to arrive meaning a much greater risk of not being able to contain a fire and it spreading, putting lives and buildings at risk. So, please get writing and tell the fire authority that the answer to the proposals in Ledbury is no, we will not agree to lose of service nor potential loss of lives in our town.
TERRY WIDDOWS Mayor of Ledbury
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