Councillors raise safety concerns over downgrading of Lincoln South fire station

City councillors have urged Lincolnshire County Council to reconsider plans to downgrade Lincoln South fire station, suggesting that the safety of the public is at risk if the plans go ahead.

As previously reported, the proposals put forward by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue 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.

At a meeting in Lincoln on May 12, city councillors questioned the use of county council reserves and why these could not be allocated as funding, arguing that priority should be given to any service that could potentially prevent the loss of life.

Karen Lee

Councillor Karen Lee

Councillor Karen Lee, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee said: “The safety of the people of Lincoln is our highest priority.

If one person loses their life as a result of these cuts, then that is one person too many.

“Our committee has made its feelings known, and we urge the county council to seriously reconsider this matter.”

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire county councillor Richard Davies said that the meeting was positive, with valuable points raised by those in attendance.

He said: “We have clear budget constraints but the proposals are a good way to keep equitable service across the whole of the county.

The city council understands that we have to make difficult decisions like them and we have to deliver an efficient service on less money.

“There will be only a minimal impact on service delivery. The proposals based on analysis and statistics and we will take time to review the suggestions and proposals.”

Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC

Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC

Members of the Lincoln branch of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) also attended the meeting.

Nick Parker, spokesperson for Lincoln TUSC, said: “The council’s funding is in crisis. This crisis will not be resolved by pitting users of services against each other and robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“When the Tory government recognised that cuts to tax credits and disability benefits were politically toxic, they changed course.

“Now is the time for the Tory-led county council to do the same and immediately withdraw their plans to make these dangerous cuts to our county’s fire and rescue service.”