Maria Caulfield MP is opposing planned cuts that would see a loss of fire engines and fire fighters across the Lewes constituency, that are being supported by local Lib Dems.
The MP recently joined forces with neighbouring MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle to write to Fire Authority Members urging them to delay the ongoing consultation due to the coronavirus. They argue that people are less likely to fill in any consultation during the pandemic, but with such wide sweeping changes proposed to the fire service it is not right for local people to not have a say.
The changes would see fire stations like Newhaven and Lewes lose their second fire engine and changes to staff working patterns meaning only part time cover at weekends. The proposals are based on figures from two years ago meaning that they are out of date and need updating, as call outs have increased.
Maria Caulfield MP said “Despite what the Lib Dems on the Fire Authority are saying they do not need to plough head with this consultation during a global pandemic. It is ironic that local Lib Dems have attacked me regarding funding cuts since 2010, when their own Norman Baker was a Government Minister in the Home Office (which is responsible for fire services) during these cuts. The fire authority or its members have not asked me to lobby for more funding from the government as I have successfully done for local schools and councils.”
“Local people are rightly worried about cuts to essential fire services across the constituency and I will continue to work alongside residents and other parties who can see that the consultation and planned cuts are not good for our area, even if the Lib Dems cannot see this.”
Maria Caulfield MP is asking residents to complete a survey on her website to share their views with her and to write to Fire Authority Members directly. Local fire Authority members in the Lewes constituency are Cllr Carolyn Lambert (Lib Dem), Cllr Sarah Osborne (Lib Dem), Cllr Ruth O’Keefe MBE (Ind), and Cllr Jim Sheppard (Con) whose details can all be found at https://esfrs.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1