Key talks over fire service cuts

A MEETING at the House of Commons took place today (Wednesday) in which

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service discussed its budget cuts

programme with Cambridgeshire MPs.

Graham Stagg, Chief Fire Officer, accompanied by the Service’s senior

management team, travelled to London to talk through the programme. Also in attendance was Roy Pegram, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire and

Peterborough Fire Authority.

Mr Stagg said: “This was a constructive meeting. A number of issues were raised and a number of misunderstandings clarified. I welcome the offer of support from MPs for assistance in gaining CFRS favour to explore further ways to collaborate with other fire and rescue services. “We don’t know yet exactly how much we will need to save, as it depends on how much money is allocated to us by Government. If we are lucky, we hope to make our savings without impacting on the level of service we provide to the public. But if we are unlucky, we are forced into a situation where uncomfortable decisions will have to be made about the frontline service we provide to the public and we will be unable to make that promise.”

Cambs Fire and Rescue Service has spent the last nine months preparing for how it will combat a shortfall in its funding of anywhere between £4.2 million to £6 million.

So far, it has identified how it can save almost £4.2 million by a range of measures, including cutting support staff jobs and budgets and negotiating a new shift system for wholetime firefighters.

However, the Service accepts that if it needs to make further savings, these will be difficult to absorb and the Fire Authority will have to make uncomfortable decisions about removing frontline assets from service.

Manea is one of the stations facing potential closure due to the funding situation.