FIREFIGHTERS from across North Wales will join with supporters to defend the region’s fire service from cuts at a mass rally in Queen’s Square, Wrexham at 12pm this Saturday, 30th September.
The protest takes place on the day that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is set to close a public consultation on cuts to firefighters, fire stations and cover across North Wales.
The Fire Brigades Union’s campaign ‘Save Our Fire Service’ opposes the options presented in the consultation, as all three options would result in a reduction to fire cover. The union has put forwards two alternative proposals for growth and investment in the service instead.
A petition opposing these options has gained over 1,800 signatures.
Speakers at the rally will include Plaid Cymru county councillor Carrie Harper, Wales TUC general secretary Shavanah Taj, Councillor Dana Davies, representatives from Unite the Union, and FBU representatives including assistant general secretary Ben Selby.
Matt Ryan, North Wales FBU Brigade Secretary, said: “If any of the proposed cuts are implemented, towns and villages across North Wales will face a concerning reduction in fire cover. This means fewer firefighters and resources available to respond quickly to incidents like house fires.
“We have put forward clear alternatives to these dangerous cuts, which would allow our service to continue protecting our communities and to grow with investment.
“Members of the public have been vocal in joining the campaign and defending their fire service. We invite residents of North Wales and surrounding areas to join us at the rally this Saturday.”
Duncan Stewart-Ball, Wales FBU Regional Secretary, said: “The strength of feeling among firefighters and the public has been overwhelming. It’s clear that our communities will not stand by and allow public safety to be sacrificed as part of a cost cutting exercise.
“Slashing the number of fire stations, firefighters, fire engines inevitably puts lives and homes at risk. We will not sit back and allow this decimation of our public service.
“We urge the Fire Authority to put an option for improvement to our services out to the public of North Wales and let them decide.”