Bob Ainsworth, Member of Parliament for Coventry North East, today spoke in a debate in Westminster Hall on funding cuts to Fire Services in the West Midlands.
West Midland’s Fire Service has had its government funding cut by the Tory-led government and a further cut could result in the West Midlands losing a total of 27% of its central government funding since 2000/01, if the current funding formula is applied again.
The number of firefighters in the West Midlands has already dropped from 2043 in 2000/01 to 1788 in 2010/11. 300 more could be loss if further harsh cuts are imposed on the West Midlands Fire Service.
“It is grossly unfair that the West Midlands Fire Service is facing another round of funding cuts under the current funding formula when they’ve already taken a huge cut in our funding.
WMFS has been at the forefront of making efficiencies and improvements in the service it provides over the last decade, but to force disproportionate and unfair cuts on them now, will risk lives.
Whilst the West Midlands and Coventry have been hit by cuts, some fire services have seen increases in their funding including Cheshire which just happens to cover the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s constituency.
I support the calls from the Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities for a fair, flat cut settlement across the board for fire services. If we really are ‘all in this together’ as we keep being told by the government, they will heed those calls”.
6 September 2012