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"Damaging, destructive and risky cuts"
12:00pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Local
A “GOVERNMENT that doesn’t care” could see lives put at risk according to one Worcestershire County Councillor.
The claim came from Councillor Richard Udall, chairman of the overview and scrutiny performance board, as Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority met to back unprecedented service cuts.
It is part of the authority's Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP), which also included a merger with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue.
However, plans to hold talks between Hereford and Worcester Fire Service and counterparts in Warwickshire have been postponed for a report with more details on it to be published.
In Redditch the cuts, intended to help save the service nearly £5m over three years, 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.
Coun Udall told the authority that the plan was the most worrying paper he had seen in 18 years as a member.
“These are damaging, destructive and risky cuts designed in Downing Street by people who don’t have to live with the consequences,” he said.
“We need to act to prevent the impact of these cuts in any way we can against a Government that doesn’t care.”
Deputy chief fire officer Richard Lawrence said that these are difficult times for everyone.
He told the authority that the service was not shying away from the impact of the cuts but that the cuts proposed had the least impact according to analysis.
A 12 week public consultation on closing stations and reducing the number of fire engines has now started.
The fire authority will analyse the results of the consultation, which ends early next year.
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