Plans to cut a fire engine and 24 firefighters’ jobs in Wrexham have been branded as ‘short-sighted stupidity’ by Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru’s Wrexham chair Marc Jones said:
“The Fire Authority’s plan to save £1m by cutting 24 jobs and a fire appliance defies logic. They’ve just spent £15m on a brand new combined station in the town with the ambulance service so what was the strategic thinking behind losing a vital appliance. This makes even less when you consider that the Welsh Government is anticipating a 20% in the borough’s population over the coming years and there’s a huge new prison going to open on the industrial estate in 2017.
"Both will inevitably mean more work for our fire service. This is short-sighted stupidity.“I’ve been approached by firefighters concerned that, if there’s an incident requiring two appliances at the prison, there will be no cover for the rest of the county. The fire service has a chief fire officer, a deputy and three assistants earning packages worth a combined £600,000 a year – I would rather see a scaling down of the top brass rather than losing valued frontline firefighters.”
Cllr Jones, who chairs Caia Park Community Council, said:
“Wrexham’s fire services are already dealing with 43% of all North Wales arson and a large proportion of the road traffic accidents across the North. As community councillors, we are very aware of the work being done in terms of fire prevention that needs enhancing to pro-actively stop fires, but there will always be a need for a comprehensive emergency service that has the firefighters and appliances available to deal with any incident.”
Cllr Jones called on the Fire Authority to think again before cutting services in the largest town in the North.