Council to receive 4,000 strong petition against cuts to Lincolnshire fire service

Campaigners angry at proposed changes to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are to hand in a petition to the county council, signed by over 4,000 residents.

Firefighters, union members and Lincoln socialists will assemble on the High Street at 11am on Wednesday, May 4, before delivering the petition launched by the Lincolnshire Fire Brigades Union to the council.

The protesters are fighting against plans to downgrade Lincoln South fire station, which would mean firefighters are only on the base during the day and on call within five minutes at night.

The changes would see response times rise by an estimated two minutes between 6.30pm and 7.30am.

The savings, expected to be £1.67 million over three years, would see a reduction of 13 out of 24 firefighter posts at Lincoln South through managed retirements.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A protest organised by the Lincolnshire Fire Brigades Union was held on Lincoln High Street earlier this month.

Nick Parker, Lincoln TUSC spokesperson, said: “TUSC pays tribute to the FBU in Lincolnshire whose members have played a marvellous role throughout this campaign to raise awareness in the community about the effects of these dangerous cuts.

“These cuts will force residents to wait longer for a fire engine to turn up. These cuts will leave Lincoln and the surrounding area without a properly-staffed fire and rescue service overnight. Ultimately, these cuts will cost lives.

Lincoln and District TUC Secretary Nick Parker. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln and District TUC Secretary Nick Parker. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“The Tory-led county council must acknowledge the widespread opposition to their fire service cuts plans and withdraw them at once. However, this should not be at the expense of other council services such as road maintenance. We don’t believe in robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“The recent tax avoidance scandals involving the super-rich show that the money is there.”