Have your say on fire service cuts

THERE is just weeks left for people to have their say on Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s public consultation.

The draft Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) proposes significant changes to fire engines and fire stations in order to address about £2 million of an overall annual budget shortfall which rises to £7.2 million in the five years to 2016/17.

It sets out how the service proposes to make these savings from the frontline operational response.

The remaining savings will be made from back office and managerial changes.
This is in addition to the £2.5m (of the £7.2m) savings which have already been made from non-frontline services.

Councillor Derek Prodger MBE, Chairman of Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority said: “The fire authority is facing a very challenging financial position over the next few years and clearly recognises that difficult decisions have to be taken in the future.

“Since 2010/11, £2.5m of savings have made without affecting the service that communities receive from their local fire stations, but the £4.7m is an additional saving requirement.

“It is anticipated that approximately £2.7m of the additional savings can be found from further changes to back office and support functions. However, the scale of the savings required will inevitably mean some changes to the frontline.”

The 12-week consultation process will close on January 10 next year, and is requesting views and comments from the public and the Service’s key stakeholders from across the region.

Responses from the official consultation questionnaire will be collated into a report which will go before the fire authority in February and help to inform the final decision.

All of the proposals can be read in full by visiting hwfire.org.uk/consultation where an online questionnaire can also be completed.

A printable copy can be also found there along with a postal address.

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