MPs join bid to protect fire service

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Resort MPs have today backed calls to save vital fire fighting services from Government cuts.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Fylde coast families whose lives have been blighted by tragic blazes have joined forces with union officials to oppose the cuts, which could see Blackpool lose one fire engine and potential jobs losses at South Shore station.

The proposals have been made after a 25 per cent cut in funding to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) by central Government, meaning £10m of savings needs to be made by April 2016 across the county.

Now Gordon Marsden, who represents Blackpool South in Parliament, and Paul Maynard, who represents Blackpool North and Cleveleys, have added their voice to those determined to keep the life saving services in place.

Both MPs have vowed to submit their views in writing to the consultation.

Mr Marsden said: “I have serious doubts both about the proposals and the justification for them so far.

“It doesn’t seem to be that the evidence base is very strong.

“They say the risk of fire is at its lowest ever but I think that’s tempting providence.”

Under the proposals South Shore fire station would operate under the day crewing plus system from 2017, meaning fewer staff would be based at the station.

Mr Maynard said: “We should all be concerned at the recommendations to reduce coverage.

“Equally I appreciate the actual incidence of fires has reduced in recent decades.

“It’s a difficult balance but I would rather err on the side of caution and retain our existing level of coverage.”

A consultation on the proposals is running until October 20.

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