Alex has convinced the Minister in charge of the Fire Service, Bob Neill MP, to meet with the Chief Fire Office of Cleveland Fire Authority as well as local MPs to discuss budget cuts.
The Minister had refused a written request to visit the region but agreed in a debate on Monday, in his response to Alex’s speech on cuts to Local Government Funding, to a meeting in Westminster.
The meeting will take place next Wednesday afternoon and Alex has invited all Teesside MPs. Ahead of the meeting, Alex said:
“I have serious concerns about the impact of budget cuts on Cleveland Fire Authority. I recently met with the Chief Fire Officer for Cleveland Fire Authority as well as local firefighters in Billingham.
They warned that cuts on the scale proposed by the Coaltion could see our local service compromised. This is especially worrying given that on Teesside we have a large number of hazardous chemical sites.
Cleveland Fire Authority has already delivered efficiency savings of £1.8 million over the past 3 years. There is only so much money to be saved through efficiencies, and sooner rather than later the cuts will hit front-line fire services.
I hope that this meeting will give us the opportunity to outline the unique problems faced by Cleveland Fire Authority. Lives should not be put at risk by budget cuts and we will be taking that message to the Minister.”