Possible job losses at ‘hardest hit’ fire brigade risks public safety, warn Tom Blenkinsop MP and Anna Turley

Labour politicians in Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland have today (18 October 2012) expressed their deep concern over reports that 75 fire fighters’ jobs are at risk at Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop said:
“The news that Cleveland Fire Brigade are considering making 75 firefighters redundant is extremely worrying news, but reflects the dire financial situation the Brigade has been placed in by Eric Pickles and the Tory Government.

“In Parliament last month, I told fellow MPs about how Cleveland, a unique area with significant levels of fire risk, was perversely facing the joint-largest cuts due to the Tories’ decision to hit regions like the North East the hardest.

“I fear that my constituency will be particularly affected by these cuts, both due to the social deprivation in South Middlesbrough and the rural nature of East Cleveland, which could possibly face delayed response times if jobs were lost.”

Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary candidate for Redcar, Anna Turley, added:
“We have already seen how the cuts are impacting our local communities, with arson in Redcar & Cleveland having increased dramatically by 34% over the past year. I worry that this, paired with job losses, could damage our public safety.

“The Tories and Lib Dems in Government should be working to provide a funding settlement for fire brigades that assists those in areas with high levels of risk and social deprivation, rather than making Fire Brigades there lay off front-line emergency workers.”

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