MEMBERS of Cleveland Fire Authority (CFA) have met with Fire Minister to make clear the unfairness of the Government’s massive cuts to its funding and to warn him of the impact which future reductions will have on public safety.
Last Friday (March 7) the authority approved savings proposals which included the closure of Marine Fire Station due to the Government’s £5.758m reduction to funding over the next four years on top of £4m cuts last year.
The chairman of CFA Councillor Robbie Payne and member Councillor Jan Brunton spoke to Brandon Lewis MP when they attended the Local Government Association Conference in Cardiff.
Coun Payne said: “We believe the Government’s grant allocation is totally unfair as once again we have suffered the highest reduction in spending power of all the English fire authorities.
“We explained to Mr Lewis in detail the substantial fire risks in our area - not least from high hazard industries – and we left him in no doubt how concerned we are that our ability to make further cuts and still protect the public is becoming untenable.
“We asked him to look long and hard at the impact which any further funding cuts would have on our fire service and urged him to call a halt so that public safety is not put at risk.
“We have invited the Fire Minister to come and visit the Authority’s area and during that visit we will continue to press home this message.”