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Campaign to halt unprecedented fire service cuts
11:40am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
ANGRY campaigners have launched a petition in a bid to scrap proposals to cut the fire service – with protesters aiming for 50,000 signatures.
An online petition has been created by desperate residents after it emerged unprecedented service cuts could see lives put at risk.
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is to cut £4.7 million from spending over the next three years.
In Redditch the cuts could mean removing an on-call engine to leave one whole time engine and one on-call engine saving £55,300.
It would cost six on-call Redditch firefighters their jobs.
Chris Edwards from ‘Save Your Local Fire Service’ said: “There is talk of closing fire stations and cutting engines and I think it’s very extreme.
“The options they are looking at are ridiculous. We’ve got to show them people across Worcestershire and Herefordshire don’t want it.”
Since the campaigners launched the website more than 250 people have signed it but they say the aim is for 50,000 by the time the consultation closes in January.
Bosses at the fire service say they understand the concerns, and are keen to get feedback during the 12 week public consultation.
Assistant chief fire officer, John Hodges, said: “The service is well aware that some online groups and petitions have been formed over recent days and we completely understand community concerns over potential changes to their fire cover.
“That is why we are undertaking such an extensive consultation process, with all our key stakeholders, between now and the new year.
“The fire authority is very keen to hear everyone’s views and I would encourage as many people as possible to complete the community risk management plan questionnaire which can be viewed at hwfire.org.uk/consultation.”
To see the online petition, visit ipetitions.com/petition/ stophwfirecuts.
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