Fire Service Cuts

Jarrow constituency MP Stephen Hepburn has raised the proposed downgrading of Hebburn Fire Station with Government Ministers.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Fire stations in Tyne and Wear could be downgraded under cost-cutting plans due to budget issues. One solution that has been identified by the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority is to downgrade Hebburn Fire Station by switching it to part-time staffing, with evening cover provided from fire stations elsewhere.


Yesterday in Parliament (Monday 5th November) at questions to the Secretary of State responsible for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Mr Hepburn asked: “The Tyne and Wear fire service is facing £3 million of cuts, which could mean the closure of my local fire station. Will the Secretary of State look at the special problems with funding fire services that are facing local Government in the North East?”


In response, James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government told the Jarrow constituency MP: “I will certainly raise the hon. Gentleman’s point with colleagues who lead on fire within the Home Office.”


Mr Hepburn has also written to the Minister of State for the Fire Service at the Home Office in order to highlight the financial issues the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is facing.


Stephen Hepburn MP said: “It is deeply disappointing to learn that due to sustained budget cuts, the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are having to look at downgrading Hebburn Fire Station in order to plug budget funding gaps.”


“It is quite clear that eight years of reckless Tory Government cuts have overstretched and underfunded our local fire and rescue services. Our area has been disproportionately hit. We are facing a similar problem with the proposed downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital.


“Since 2010 the Service has had its budget slashed by over £11 million, over 40 per cent in real-terms. Tyne and Wear has also lost 285 front-line firefighter jobs.


“The fact is that a possible switch to part-time staffing at Hebburn Fire Station, with evening cover provided from South Shields and Tynemouth, is a major concern, especially due to the number of new housing estates being built in the nearby area. Public safety should always be the number one priority.


“I have written to the Government Minister responsible for the Fire Service and highlighted the challenging financial outlook facing the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, to see what can be done.”


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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