TWO public meetings on changes to the fire service that could see more than 200 firefighter roles cut are to be held in the Portsmouth area.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have today unveiled the dates of five public meetings that will give residents a chance to find out more about the proposals and ask questions.
I strongly encourage Hampshire residents to take part in this formal consultation process and tell us what they think of the proposed changes to help us to provide the best possible service back to themChief officer Dave Curry
A meeting is due to take place in Portsmouth on Wednesday, November 11, and another in Gosport on Wednesday, November 18.
Times and locations have not yet been given and a dedicated website to the proposals is not yet live.
Chief officer Dave Curry said: ‘From today the people of Hampshire will have the chance to make their voice heard on some incredibly important proposals that will shape the future of their fire service for years to come.
‘We want to deliver an effective service in accordance with the needs of its communities, ensuring we match our resources to levels of known risk.
‘In light of the changes in risk across Hampshire and potential financial challenges, it’s vital we remain relevant, become more efficient and provide the people of Hampshire with a first-class fire and rescue service.
‘I strongly encourage Hampshire residents to take part in this formal consultation process and tell us what they think of the proposed changes to help us to provide the best possible service back to them.’
The Fire Brigades Union warns the cuts will lead to a reduced service.
Over the past 18 months the fire service has been working on a plan to cope with a funding shortfall of £12.2m over the next four years.
Project Risk Review has looked at how all 51 stations across the county are staffed, the vehicles used and the numbers of callouts.
With this in mind, plans have been drawn up to help the service save up to £5m with £3.5m of that coming from front-line savings.
The number of full-time firefighters would fall from 576 to 488 and retained crew would drop to 519 from 656.
No stations would close, however many will see a reduction in the number of traditional fire engines and firefighter cover.