Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has accused the Government of ‘literally playing with fire’ by underfunding Cleveland Fire Authority.
New Home Office figures show that cuts to Cleveland’s fire and rescue service have seen staff numbers fall by 180 since 2010, and that across England and Wales deaths as a result of fire increased by 20% in the past year. The number of fire safety inspectors has also fallen by 28% nationally.
By underfunding our Fire Service, this Government is literally playing with fire. Lives are being put at risk and yet the government’s austerity agenda behind these cuts has failed to deliver any economic benefit. Labour is calling for a moratorium on further cuts to the service.
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Fire and Rescue Services, Chris Williamson, has announced that a Labour Government will invest in 3,000 new fire fighters.