Northumberland County Council has been urged by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to reject cuts to fire and rescues services and instead follow the example of their Cumbrian counterparts.
On Friday, Cumbria County Council reversed its decision to close five fire stations citing the major public backlash against the proposals as a key reason.
Proposals currently on the table from Northumberland include the removal of a fire engine from, and then the closure of, Haydon Bridge fire station, together with the scrapping of a fire engine at West Hartford and the introduction of alternative fire engines that permit the use of fewer firefighters in other parts of the county.
Guy Tiffin, secretary for the FBU in Northumberland said: “This challenge comes the day after Cumbria County Council’s cabinet demonstrated decisive leadership in their rejection of similar proposals in their own county.
“Cumbria County Council, where no one political party exerts overall control, stated that the views expressed by members of the public about their extreme concern at public meetings, and through other forms of public consultation, had impacted on their decision. That being the case, the FBU are challenging the Labour led authority in Northumberland to take heed of similar responses to the proposed cuts in their backyard.
“Northumberland’s fire and rescue service has suffered many of the same cutbacks that Cumbria has. While also enduring much of the same extreme weather and floods.
“The proposals under consultation by Northumberland County Council do nothing to improve public safety, no matter what spin you put on it. If Cumbria’s councillors believe that public safety should be prioritised above all else, why can’t Northumberland’s?”