Haverhill: Bid to cut fire station cover

CONCERNS were last night voiced after it emerged a town centre fire station could have its day cover cut from seven days to five.

The proposal put forward by Suffolk County Council would see Haverhill’s day crew cover – which runs from 8am until 6pm – cut from seven days to just five.

The county council says the move, if it goes ahead, would save �75,000 a year.

However, the council admits it might also “increase” the time taken to respond to incidents in the Haverhill area at weekends and result in a “reduction of firefighter numbers through either natural wastage or redundancy”.

In the authority’s draft savings proposals, the county said the increase in response times were “considered acceptable”.

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Andy Message, Suffolk’s acting branch secretary for the Fire Bridgades Union, and who is based in Haverhill, said: “We are strongly opposed to anything that slows the response time of a fire engine getting to a member of the public.

“Obviously we will be asking for the public to get involved and to express their concerns to their elected representatives and to support our campaign when these proposals go out to public consultation in due course.”

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A spokesman for the county council said the list of potential measures put forward to last week’s resources, finance and performance scrutiny committee were being proposed and said it was not possible to comment further right now.

The proposals for Haverhill have emerged just weeks after the station was reopened following an extensive refurbishment.

At the opening ceremony on October 19, assistant chief fire officer Mark Sanderson said: “Refurbishing the fire station presents a range of new opportunities and ensures that the fire and rescue service can continue to deliver a great service in the Haverhill area at exceptional value.”

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