Fire service cuts petition

A petition against planned cuts to fire services in Torquay is being handed into Downing Street today.

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Fire service cuts in Torquay 'could cost lives'

A petition against planned cuts to fire services in Torquay is being handed into Downing Street today.

22,000 people signed it after Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service proposed axing the town's second full time crew.

They say it would make savings of £900,000, but campaigners say it could cost lives. Susie Colley is from Torquay Neighbourhood Plan:

Petition to PM opposing Torquay fire service cuts

A petition against planned cuts to fire services in Torquay will be handed into Downing Street today.

Twenty two thousand people signed the petition after Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service proposed axing Torquay's second full time crew.

Proposals to rationalise fire services include axing a Torquay crew Credit: ITV Westcountry

They say it would make savings of 900 thousand pounds, but campaigners say it could cost lives.

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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.

Meeting to discuss fire service cuts

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

Proposals to reduce the numbers of full-time firefighters and stations in Devon and 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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