Save our First Stations

MP Calls for Fire Service to be given ‘protected service’ status as prospect of 10% cuts loom

JE_-_Fire_Station_Meeting.jpgPlaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, has called on the Labour Welsh Government to designate the Fire and Rescue Service in Wales as a ‘protected service’ in order to safeguard the service from devastating budget cuts.

Mr Edwards made the call following a frank meeting with the Chief Fire Officer of Mid and West Wales Fire Service, Mr Chris Davies, who informed the local MP that the Authority faced the prospect of a 10% budget cut this year if the six county councils of mid and west Wales passed on their expected cuts to the fire service.

Mr Edwards warned that cuts of that severity would lead to wholesale station closures and decimate the service as currently structured with inevitable concerns about the effectiveness of the service.

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MP backs fire fighter pensions picket

StrikeMember of Parliament Jonathan Edwards joined striking fire fighters this bank holiday weekend as local Fire Brigade Union members withdrew their labour over a pension dispute with the government.

Fire crews across Wales staged three consecutive days of strike action in what is a continuing row with the UK government that plans to raise their retirement age from 55 to 60, and to increase pension contributions.

The Plaid Cymru MP, who has been at the forefront of campaigns to protect our fire local services, said the strike action could have been avoided if the government had got around the negotiating table

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Rhodri uses Assembly debate to urge more support for Fire Service

Carmarthen East & Dinefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has urged the Welsh Government to build on the good performance of the fire and rescue service by expanding its remit to include a statutory duty to respond to challenges like flooding.

Speaking in today’s National Assembly debate on fire and rescue services, the Plaid Cymru AM, who is the party’s Local Government and Fire Spokesperson, paid tribute to the performance of the service, but said that a longer-term strategy is needed in order to cope with budget cuts and the impact of climate change.

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Fire station presentation presented to the Assembly

PetitionThe campaign spearheaded by MP Jonathan Edwards to protect our fire stations was taken to the National Assembly for Wales this week.

His petition, which collected over 3,000 signatures (3,057) was handed to the Chair of the Assembly’s Petitions Committee on the steps of the Senedd in the presence of fire fighters from Ammanford station who had travelled to Cardiff to support the campaign.

When presenting the petition Jonathan Edwards told the committee Chair, William Powell AM, how the campaign had started to protect the fire stations in his Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency, but soon grew to be a national campaign as communities across Wales also found their local stations under threat.

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Fire Service cuts concerns taken to the Assembly

The campaign launched by Plaid Cymru politicians to oppose the downgrading of Ammanford Fire Station and closure of Pontyates Fire Station has this week reached the National Assembly for Wales.
Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards, who last week launched an online petition opposing the changes, has now established his petition through the National Assembly’s Petitions Committee.
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Save Ammanford Fire Station

Local Member of Parliament, Jonathan Edwards and Assembly Member, Rhodri Glyn Thomas are supporting the campaign led by local Plaid Cymru Councillors against the proposal to downgrade Ammanford Fire Station from a full time station.

Due to severe budget cuts from the Labour Welsh Government, the Fire Authority is being forced to save over £4million in the next few years.

Proposals presented this month to the Fire Authority include a series of options for the service to make the savings imposed. One of these options - although not yet decided - is to downgrade Ammanford Fire Station from a full time station to one in which firefighters work part-time.

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