Campaigners to march against fire service cuts in Lincoln

A group of campaigners opposed to proposed cuts to fire services in Lincolnshire are holding a protest march in Lincoln this weekend.

The march by the Defend Our Fire Services campaign group will start at St Martin’s Square at the top of the High Street on Saturday, January 31, from 11.30am.

Elaine Smith, Defend Our Fire Services spokesperson, said: “Our campaign seeks to increase public awareness of how the proposed cuts to our Fire and Rescue services will impact on response times and coverage.

“The service has already experienced a significant reduction to its funding and consequently a further £1.23 million of cuts will have devastating affects for both fire fighters and the public.

“The campaign has developed real momentum so far and over 1,000 people have already signed our petition.

“However, we still need many more signatures and we’re calling on everyone who values their local fire services to march with us on Saturday.”

The campaigners' poster for the protest on Saturday.

The campaigners’ poster for the protest on Saturday.

Dave Ramscar, Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Obviously any reduction to the fire service is regrettable; however, we are confident that the proposals being consulted on allow us to achieve the required savings while having the least impact on the overall level of service provided.

“Despite considerable strain on local authority budgets in recent years, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has been able to deliver significant improvements to its capability across the county.

“Since 2010, we have increased the number of fire engines crewed by wholetime firefighters on a 24 hour basis from two to nine, and on average our on-call firefighters across the county train for an extra hour each week.

“During this time there has been no reduction in the number of fire engines or fire stations and we have been able to make significant investments in new appliances and equipment, to allow our firefighters to continue to deliver a first class fire and rescue service for Lincolnshire.”