Suffolk/Cambs: Fire service merger plans revealed

Thursday, March 29, 2012
12:38 PM

CAMBRIDGESHIRE and Suffolk fire services could be merged in order to protect front line services against budget cuts.

The two services took a first step towards merging in October when the Cambridgeshire and Suffolk call centres were brought under one roof.

Talks about a full merger of the two services will take place tomorrow at a meeting of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority.

Suffolk County Council cabinet members have already agreed to review the governance of its fire service.

Cambridgeshire’s fire authority is also doing the same, and a merger is on the table.

Neil Newberry, assistant chief fire officer for Cambridgeshire, said: “We have an obligation to make long-term plans in order to protect the front line service that we provide to the public. As part of these plans we are exploring a number of options that have the possibility to make large-scale savings over the next decade.

“Merging the service fully with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is just one of these options.”

How much cash and how many jobs could be lost is currently unknown.

Kevin Napier, Cambridgeshire secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “We will look at the impact on jobs and training, as the Suffolk service has coastal rescue capabilities, which as a land-locked county, we have never had to deal with.”


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