Fire service cuts in Somerset

Proposals to reduce the numbers of full-time firefighters and stations in Somerset are going to the vote this morning.

Live updates

  1. Richard Lawrence
  2. West Country (W)

Summary of cuts at Devon & Somerset Fire Service

Cuts approved today by the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

  • In Plymouth, relocate one fire engine and change the crewing of three out of seven fire engines in the city to be taken over by retained firefighters. One engine would be moved from Camels head to Crownhill and full time crews would be replaced on engines at Plympton and Plymstock.
  • On-call staff would take over roles on Plymouth`s aerial platform
  • In Taunton, the second of the three fire engines would be crewed by retained firefighters.
  • In Torquay the second engine would be crewed by retained firefighters.
  • Ilfracombe fire station would be manned by retained firefighters only.

However the fire authority agreed to invest nearly £500,000 in fire prevention schemes.

The Chief Fire officer Lee Howell said no-one in his position should have to face such large cuts but it was the only option given the Government's reduction in funding.

He hopes there will be no compulsory redundancies and that the proposals won't adversely affect response times. Torquay, for example, has neighbouring stations it can rely on to help when serious fires occur.

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Meeting to discuss fire service cuts in Somerset

Fire crews protesting outside today's meeting. Credit: ITV News West Country

Proposals to reduce the numbers of full-time firefighters and stations in Somerset are going to the vote this morning.

The county's fire authority has to make cuts of around £8m in the next two years.

The number of back-office staff will also be cut.

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