Felixstowe: Don’t let them touch our fire crew heroes

FELIXSTOWE: People of Felixstowe are fighting back against plans to slash the town’s fire cover in an Evening Star campaign to save the resort from the cuts.

As part of a raft of cost-cutting measures, Suffolk County Council has suggested saving �210,000 – less than two per cent of the affected budget – by getting rid of any permanent fire cover at Felixstowe’s High Road West station.

In an emergency, residents would have to wait for engines to battle their way through nearly 12 miles of traffic from Ipswich, or wait for on-call firemen to get to the station to respond.

The council has even admitted response times would be affected but has deemed the risk “acceptable”.

But The Evening Star has today launched a fightback against the proposed cuts in a bid to save the people of Felixstowe – a town crammed with big hotels, residential homes for the elderly, office blocks, packed seaside attractions and the biggest container port in Britain – from being put at risk.

Editor Nigel Pickover said: “Fire chiefs think it is acceptable that the people of Felixstowe should get an inferior fire and rescue service to other parts of our region.

“So we have drawn a line in Felixstowe’s sand – and told them we will fight their proposals at every turn.

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“And we’ve told them that as the plans are so bizarre and unwarranted that we’ll take a look into all their current proposals, including a plan to kill off a locally-based fire control for the county.”

Felixstowe county councillors Nick Barber and John Goodwin are opposing the cuts and will be meeting fire chief Andy Fry tomorrow to discuss the way forward.

“We are both opposed to the changes,” said Cllr Barber.

“We are hoping to find out exactly what they are talking about and what we can do next. We need to oppose it and do what we can to try and stop this from happening.”

n Opinion – page 4