A petition set up by campaigners against proposed cuts to the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service has received over 1,000 signatures in a week.
The recently formed Defend Our Fire Services group set up the petition as Lincolnshire County Council proposed cuts to save £90 million by 2018/19 – including fire and rescue provisions.
The petition, which was set up on Thursday, January 15, has gained over 900 signatures on paper and over 100 via two online e-petitions, according to the campaigners.
The Fire Brigades Union in Lincolnshire and Lincoln & District TUC backed petition says:
“In response to the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Integrated Risk Management Planning consultation we, the undersigned, demand of Lincolnshire County Council:
- NO to cuts in firefighter crew levels in Lincolnshire;
- NO to longer fire service response times in Lincolnshire;
- NO to cuts in other council services to fund fire and rescue services;
- YES to demanding more money from central government to fund our county’s fire services.”
Spokesperson for Defend Our Fire Services, Elaine Smith, said: “It is an excellent achievement for the campaign to have signed so many people in opposition to these dangerous cuts to our services in such a short space of time.
“This is a massive show of support for the brave men and women who put themselves in danger day-in, day-out to keep our communities safe.
“However, we can’t rest on our laurels. In the next two weeks, we want to have at least 3,500 signatures. This will allow the campaign to have the right to address the next full council meeting in February about why we need to defend our fire services from these dangerous cuts.”
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.”
The Defend Our Fire Services group will host a public meeting on January 22 to gather community support in protesting the cuts.
The meeting will take place from 7pm at the St Giles Community Centre on Swift Gardens in Lincoln.
For more information, contact Elaine Smith on 07795 097293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.