Gloucestershire Fire Service under Threat

July 30, 2013 7:32 PM

A proposal to radically restructure Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service should be withdrawn immediately says Liberal Democrat councillor Jeremy Hilton.

Councillor Hilton who is also the party's national spokesperson for the fire and rescue service says a county council plan sent to the fire minister has not been properly considered by elected members of Gloucestershire County Council.

The Conservative cabinet at Shire Hall has sent the fire minister a proposal as part of the Transformation Challenge Award suggesting a number of changes that could damage fire cover in Gloucestershire.

The Tories plan to strip the county council of responsibility for running the fire service in Gloucestershire. They suggest merging it with a neighbouring fire authority and radically changing the operating model such as privatising or mutualising service delivery.

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: "Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service provides excellent fire cover, it is a top quartile performer and it also did a fantastic job during the floods of 2007.

"It is already the 5th cheapest fire authority in the country and is making 15% savings in its budget.

"Now the Tories want to spend time messing about with its governance and slashing the budget by a further 27%.

"This is a disproportionate attack on a well run fire service when compared to other county council services. Lives could be put at risk.

"The bid for Transformation Challenge Award funding must be re-written so that a considered and well managed transformation of the fire service into the future can take place."