Harriet Baldwin MP fears fire service cuts will hamper the fire service in Tenbury (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Harriet Baldwin MP fears fire service cuts will hamper the fire service in Tenbury
Tenbury’s MP Harriet Baldwin, pictured above, fears cuts to equipment at Tenbury fire station will hamper the force’s ability to deal with major incidents in the area.
A PROPOSAL to reduce fire cover in Tenbury is being shot down in flames with the town’s MP Harriett Baldwin joining the chorus of protest.
Under the scheme Tenbury would lose one of its two fire engines reducing cover for the town and making it impossible to have one engine either side of the Teme Bridge during flooding.
In just a week more than 300 names have been added to a petition against the move and 400 people have indicated their support for the ‘save our siren campaign’ on Facebook.
Now Harriet Baldwin, the MP for West Worcestershire that includes Tenbury, says that the changes would be unacceptable.
She has written to fire authority chairman Derek Prodger calling for a re-think on plans to re-configure front line fire services across the county.
This followed a meeting with the chief fire officer Mark Yates and with other senior fire fighters.
Harriett Baldwin is urging the fire authority to re-think the strate g y which she believes threatens to weaken the fire service's ability to deal with major incidents and provide standard levels of cover.
She has also written to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles asking for an improved grant settlement.
“I am concerned by the general impact of these changes on front line services and the ability to handle major incidents,”
“The proposed new service levels are not acceptable to us and we have asked the fire authority to have a re-think and look at other ways of making savings before considering this strategy.”
She specifically mentioned the flooding in 2007 which resulted in Tenbury becoming a temporary island but because there were two engines this enabled one to be stationed in town where it was heavily involved in pumping out flooded buildings.
There have been three major incidents in the Tenbury area so far during October and in the most recent a child had to be released after becoming trapped in a car.
A tractor driver had to be released when his machine overturned in Boraston and in a different incident firefighters attended an accident when a car overturned at Neen Sollars.
Tenbury Town Council has also voiced its concerns at the proposal to take away one of the two fire engines based at the station in Burford.
It is argued that the situation is made even worse by cuts including some proposed station closures where back up would come from in the event of a major incident in Tenbury.
Fire chiefs are proposing cuts as they must find savings of nearly £5 million.
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