Felixstowe: MP Jon Cruddas challenges David Cameron over fire cover cuts

A SENIOR Labour MP says the government must be called to account over budget cuts which are set to hit front-line fire cover in Suffolk.

Jon Cruddas met firefighters during a visit to Felixstowe fire station – and backed the Evening Star’s Save Our Fire Crews campaign which is fighting to stop the town’s full-time crews from being axed.

Fire Brigades Union officials say if on-call crews have to handle every incident it could mean it takes between six and nine minutes for a fire engine to reach an emergency.

The union says the county council is taking “a huge gamble” with people’s lives and livelihoods.

Mr Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, said the proposed cuts were “very worrying”.

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“This is a real and live issue which will affect the whole of the community here in Felixstowe and I can understand that it will be very worrying for people who may have concerns about what emergency cover will be available and what they can rely on,” he said.

“We hear a lot about cuts but when they hit a front-line service such as firefighters, they become very real.”

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Before the election, prime minister David Cameron said if ministers came to him proposing front-line reductions they would be asked to think again.

Mr Cruddas said: “I think people should be called to account and I will be taking back what I have learned here in Suffolk to Westminster and asking questions.”

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