Monday, 15 March 2010


Liberal Democrats in south east Oxfordshire have backed the protest against County Council cuts to local fire services which could threaten lives across the area. Fire fighters from Abingdon and Didcot will protest against proposed cuts to their service outside County Hall on Tuesday.

The County cabinet will meet on Tuesday 16th March to discuss changes to fire cover in the county which would mean that villages in south Oxfordshire would only have cover from a retained crew at evenings and weekends. This would result in a longer wait for a crew to arrive at emergencies. The proposed cuts will mean that a fire engine may take 4 minutes longer to get to a fire in many parts of south east Oxfordshire, which could be the difference between life and death.

Henley Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman Andy Crick said: “The Council may say that people across south Oxfordshire will be safe without this full-time fire cover but then the people who built the Titanic said it was unsinkable. Many villages in our area are remote and residents need to know that if the worst happens they will have help as quickly as possible. These proposals from the County Council simply don't stack up and they must be opposed.

“Since they were elected in June 2009, County Tories have slashed budgets with no apparent regard for key services. It seems highly likely that the election result would have been very different if the Tories had revealed the full extent of the planned cuts before June but they chose not to. If this is what Tories in Oxfordshire are capable of it gives a chilling hint at what a Conservative government might do if elected nationally. We must be grateful that that risk is receding.”

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