Rochdale MP slams fire cuts

December 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has slammed news revealed on Rochdale Online yesterday that fire crews will no longer answer automatic alarms linking businesses to their station straight away. From this week local fire bosses, suffering from a budget shortfall will ask that staff double check if there is a fire. If they don't, fire bosses will not send any fire engines. They claim that this will save over £2 Million a year in 'false call outs'.

Fire bosses have confirmed that hospitals, hotels and other 'at risk' buildings will not be affected.

Mr Rowen said: "This latest cut back concerns me and just goes to show that the Government's penny pinching is hurting our local Fire Authority. Greater Manchester Fire Authority is facing massive budget cuts over the next three years. Ours is one of seven metropolitan fire authorities that will see a 6% budget cut. Changes to the way funding is allocated to fire authorities by the Government could lead to a £30 Million loss in funding. It is no coincidence that these cuts in funding come in the same week that our Fire Authority are making cuts to their service that could put lives at risk. It seems that Fire Bosses are being forced by the Government to put pounds in front of people.

"It is simply a disgrace that ministers have underestimated the extra funds needed by places like Rochdale. I shall be taking this issue up in Parliament. I am sure many MPs of all parties will be furious that the Government are cutting funding to some of the most deprived areas in the country."