Concerns raised about Portsmouth’s fire safety future

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond has raised her concerns about planned cuts to the area's fire service

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond has raised her concerns about planned cuts to the area's fire service

Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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AN MP has raised concerns about fire safety in the city.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond raised her worries at a meeting with the county’s fire service chief, Dave Curry.

It comes after the plans to slash the number of firefighters by 200 in a bid to save £5m were announced.

The MP was told Southsea would still have three engines, a large, medium and a van, instead of the three large appliances at present.

Four fighters will be lost from the station but this will not be through redundancies, she added.

Mrs Drummond said: ‘I have previously met the Fire Brigades’ Union and listened to their fears about the reduction in engines and staff and I still have some concerns that residents in Portsmouth will be receiving a lesser service.

‘However, the chief fire officer said that the changes will not lead to this happening.

‘He pointed out that there has been a 50 per cent reduction in fires in the county in recent years and that the two smaller engines proposed for Southsea would be able to deal with 70 per cent of incidents, with a van being very appropriate in the crowded streets of the city.’

Mrs Drummond added: ‘On the whole I am reassured about these proposals, but I remain concerned that it does mean less future cover in Southsea with less capable appliances and less firefighters.’

However, the MP said that if she felt lives were at risk by the plan she would not hesitate to take action.

The public consultation into the proposals is continuing until December 4.

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