Bridgwater Town Councillors added their weight to the growing campaign to oppose the proposed changes to the Fire and Rescue Service in Devon and Somerset. Town Council Leader Councillor Brian Smedley (Westover) proposed the adoption of the FBU (Fire Brigades Union) response This was passed unanimously. Cllr Smedley said “The motion follows on from a motion passed at Sedgemoor District Council on Wednesday signed by all the Political parties ratcheting up the pressure on the Fire Authority to reconsider its drastic course of action. ”
This council having considered the current consultation being run by DSFRS feels that:-
The Options proposed do not provide sufficient detail for the improvements claimed, particularly information on how the on-call system would be improved, how extra prevention and protection will be achieved, or how much would actually be re-invested into the service. It fails to recognise the excellent work Firefighters already do to prevent injuries, building damage and environmental damage, and to respond to all types of incidents.
This council feels that the data given in the consultation is flawed and has an unachievable expectation, in that there is an assumption made that after the cuts, all assets will be available at all times, giving the false impression that the risk of fire deaths will reduce if the proposals are agreed, whereas statistically it is likely that risk would increase.
This revised attendance times make no reference to properties that may be disadvantaged by the proposed changes.It should also be noted that if the proposals were to be adopted, around ⅓ of the residents of Devon and Somerset, over 600000 people, will see a slower response from the Fire and Rescue service. As such this Council calls upon DSFRS authority members to reject in full the options proposed.
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