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Would you pay more for your fire service in Wisbech?

Fire and  Rescue

Published by the KLFM News Team at 5:35am 17th January 2018.

Are you happy to pay more for your fire and rescue service in Wisbech?

That's what Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority are asking residents.

It would be an extra 3% which would be £2.01 more a year for a Band D property.

The authority has told us that since 2010 they've had to make savings of £6m following year after year of funding cuts from government.

They added a 2% rise would allow them to maintain current levels of service and safeguard frontline firefighters next year.

But the authority wants to improve training and the way they meet new challenges.

Over the next five years - it's predicted they will need 70 new firefighters.

Chairman of the Fire Authority Kevin Reynolds explained:

"The average number of incidents our firefighters attend has reduced significantly over the last ten years.

"Although this is great news in terms of public safety, and something we are proud of with our efforts to prevent fires from happening in the first place, it has a negative knock on affect as our firefighters do not get the same operational experience as they once used to.

"Therefore they are becoming more and more reliant on training to maintain the skills.

"With the challenge ahead to recruit around 70 new firefighters in five years, we would like to improve the way we continue to train newly qualified firefighters and maintain the skills of experienced firefighters.

"To do this we need to invest in our training programme and facilities.

"We are one of the lowest cost fire and rescue services in the country and continuously review what we do to save money, become more efficient and improve our service.

"All areas of our Service have been scrutinised over the last few years to drive out savings and therefore, it is now more challenging to make further cuts or find money from somewhere to fund improvements, without having to take anything away from our frontline services.

"By increasing our proportion of the council tax by a small amount, we can continue to maintain frontline services as well as improve training to ensure our firefighters have the right skills and experience to deal with the huge range of incidents we attend."

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